Events for 2011

New Year's Eve Night Hike

From Sat Dec 31 2011, 05 PM to Sat Dec 31 2011, 07 PM

Tags: Hike NPS Event

Location: Sundew Trailhead, CR 1910, 0.5 mile south of FM 2827, about 7 miles north of the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center.

Description: Saturday, December 31 “New Year’s Eve Night Hike”, 5:30 pm. The Big Thicket can seem like a very different world after sunset. Engage your senses and learn about nocturnal wildlife on this 1-mile night hike. Meet at the Sundew Trailhead with water, good walking shoes, and a flashlight or headlamp with a red lens. The trailhead is located on CR 1910, 0.5 mile south of FM 2827, about 7 miles north of the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center.

Attendees: Open to public

Sundew Trail

Christmas Bird Count 12-28-2011

From Wed Dec 28 2011, 06 AM to Wed Dec 28 2011, 12 PM

Tags: Hike NPS Event Field Trip

Location: Corps of Engineers Park just north of the Dam B office on Hwy. 92 north FM 1746

Contact: Brian Lockwood

Description: The Beech Creek Christmas Bird Count is Wednesday, December 28, 2011. Meet at the Corps of Engineers Park just north of the Dam B office on Hwy. 92 north FM 1746 at 6:30 am.

Attendees: Open to public

Brown-headed nuthatch

Black Bears in the Big Thicket

From Sat Dec 17 2011, 02 PM to Sat Dec 17 2011, 03 PM

Tags: NPS Event

Location: Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center

Description: Saturday, December 17 “Black Bears in the Big Thicket”, 2 pm. Are there really black bears in the Big Thicket? What do they need to survive? Learn about black bear ecology, management, and their status in east Texas at this afternoon program. Meet at the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center. 45 minutes.

Attendees: Open to public

Black Bear Cub

Christmas Bird Count 12-17-2011

From Sat Dec 17 2011, 06 AM to Sat Dec 17 2011, 12 PM

Tags: Hike NPS Event Field Trip

Location: Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor's Center

Contact: Brian Lockwood

Description: The Turkey Creek Christmas Bird Count is this Saturday, December 17, 2011. Meet at the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor's Center at 6:30 am.

Attendees: Open to public

Cardinal

Sandhill Hike

From Sun Dec 04 2011, 01 PM to Sun Dec 04 2011, 03 PM

Tags: Hike NPS Event

Location: Kirby Nature Trailhead on FM 420, 2.5 west of the Big Thicket Visitor Center

Description: Sunday, December 4 “Sandhill Hike”, 1 pm. The open stands of longleaf pines along the Sandhill Loop Trail are a distinct contrast to the dense hardwood forests and cypress sloughs seen on the nearby Kirby Nature Trail. Join a ranger to learn about the plants, animals, and overall ecology of this upland sandhill ecosystem. Bring water, a snack, and good walking shoes for this 4.5-mile hike. Meet at the Kirby Nature Trailhead on FM 420, 2.5 miles west of the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center.

Attendees: Open to public

BIG THICKET MUSHROOM WALK IN TEXAS

From Sat Nov 19 2011, 10 AM to Sat Nov 19 2011, 03 PM

Tags: ATBI Field Trip

Location: Field Research Station, 16890 FM 770, Saratoga, TX 77585

Contact: David & Patricia Lewis

Description: We will foray into the Lance Rosier Unit of the BTNP, collect and record species, and thereby assist with the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) species list for the BTNP.

Attendees: Open to public

BIG THICKET MUSHROOM WALK IN TEXAS
SATURDAY NOVEMBER 19, 2011

We will not cancel this Walk. If the drought continues and there are no fungi, come join us for a walk in the forest, and have your mushroom questions answered afterward.

We will meet at 10 AM at the Big Thicket National Preserve (BTNP) Field Research Station (FRS), located in Saratoga TX, on the west side of the highway. Saratoga is approx. 35 miles NW of Beaumont. The FRS is on FM 770, north off TX Hwy 105 between Beaumont and Cleveland. We will foray into the Lance Rosier Unit of the BTNP, collect and record species, and thereby assist with the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) species list for the BTNP.

After collecting, we will return to the FRS, have lunch, and discuss the morning’s finds. Jay Justice, President of the Arkansas Mycological Society and well-known amateur mycologist, will be attending. Bring collecting gear (basket, waxed or paper bags, knife to dig specimens), rainwear, water, bug spray, and a sack lunch. Please call or email with any questions: David & Patricia Lewis 409-423-3776 or email: dandplewis (@) gmail.com

Halloween Night Hike

From Mon Oct 31 2011, 06 PM to Mon Oct 31 2011, 08 PM

Tags: Hike NPS Event Field Trip

Location: Kirby Nature Trail at 6:30 pm, located on FM 420 two miles east of the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center

Description: If walking up and down the same neighborhood streets seems boring to you this year, we have a spine-tingling alternative. A little bit scary and whole lot of fun, the night life of Big Thicket National Preserve will leave you howling for more!

Attendees: Open to public

Things That Go BUMP In the Night!

Black Purseweb Spider

Halloween Night Hike

If walking up and down the same neighborhood streets seems boring to you this year, we have a spine-tingling alternative. A little bit scary and whole lot of fun, the night life of Big Thicket National Preserve will
leave you howling for more!

Please join Ranger Jessica Ward on our kid-friendly Halloween Night Hike on Monday, October 31st, where we will explore the darkest, spookiest, and perhaps the most exciting side of the Big Thicket. The mysterious forests and swamps, and the many secrets that they hold, will be the topic of the evening. If you’ve got scary stories to share, be sure to bring your best ghost voice. Bats, bears, spiders, the legend of Big Foot, and of course the history of the Dog People will set the scene. Some of the nocturnal creepy crawlers may even make an appearance!

Participants should wear comfortable closed-toe walking shoes. Bring a flashlight (with red LED for night vision if possible), warm clothing, bug spray and water. Costumes are optional. The leisurely hike is about 1.5
miles, and will last for approximately 2 hours including resting and story-telling time. Meet at the Kirby Nature Trail at 6:30 pm, located on FM 420 two miles east of the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center.

For more information, please contact the Visitor Center at 951-6700 or Jessica Ward at 951-6826. See you there, if you dare!

Village Creek Clean-up

From Sat Sep 17 2011, 08 AM to Sat Sep 17 2011, 12 PM

Tags: NPS Event

Description: Saturday, September 17, 2011 8:30 am. Join other caring citizens in this effort to clean Village Creek! Bring or rent your own canoe or kayak. Call (409) 951-6720 for more information.

Attendees: Open to public

Village Creek

Help keep Village Creek clean!

Kids’ Library Program

From Wed Sep 14 2011, 10 AM to Wed Sep 14 2011, 11 AM

Tags: NPS Event

Location: Elmo Willard Library‎ 3590 East Lucas Drive Beaumont, TX 77708-5639

Description: Wednesday September 14-10:30 am. Kids! Join a park ranger at this special library program to learn about nighttime in the Big Thicket. 1 hour. Meet at the Elmo Willard Library, 3590 East Lucas Str., Beaumont.

Attendees: Open to public

 

Leigh Stuemke-Bat

Nighttime inhabitant of the Big Thicket National Preserve

 

Big Thicket Neighborhoods

From Sun Sep 11 2011, 09 AM to Sun Sep 11 2011, 11 AM

Tags: NPS Event Field Trip

Description: Do plants live in communities? Come explore the wonders of the Big Thicket with ranger Paula Rivers. Meet the Ranger 9a.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011 at the Kirby Nature Trail on FM 420. Bring water, a snack, and insect repellent.

Attendees: Open to public

Cardinal Cruise on the Neches River 9-3-2011

From Sat Sep 03 2011, 10 AM to Sat Sep 03 2011, 12 PM

Tags: NPS Event Field Trip

Description: Saturday September 3-10:00 am. $15 for adults, under 6 yrs $5 Join park ranger Mary Kay Manning on the Lamar University pontoon boat for a 2 hour exploration of the river, sloughs, and history of the Neches River. For information and group reservations call (409) 880-8907.

Attendees: Open to public; $15 for adults, under 6 yrs $5

Neches River Panorama

Photo(s) by Crystal Brindle (photos "stitched" by Mona A. Halvorsen)

 

Science Cafe--Freshwater Mussels

From Thu Sep 01 2011, 06 PM to Thu Sep 01 2011, 07 PM

Tags: ATBI Social Event Seminar

Location: Logon Cafe, 3805 Calder Avenue Beaumont, TX 77706

Description: Bob Boensch, Big Thicket TWIG Leader will be doing a presentation of Freshwater Mussels at the Logon Cafe, September, 1, 2011 at 6 pm. This event is open to the public.

Attendees: Open to public

Freshwater Mussels

The Big Thicket Science Café this fall will feature Bob Boensch.  Bob will present a program on freshwater mussels of the Neches River and Village Creek at 6 pm on Thursday, September 1, at the Logon Café, 3805 Calder Avenue, in Beaumont.  Mr. Boensch is the Preserve Manager of the Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary and a team leader in surveying mussels for the All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), an effort by scientists and land managers to identify all living organisms in the Big Thicket region. These surveys are vital in helping Texas Parks and Wildlife monitor the status of freshwater mussels and the overall health of our waterways.

No reservations or fees are required for the program.  

For more information, please call 409-951-6720. 

Seminar: Fish of the Big Thicket

From Sat Jul 30 2011, 10 AM to Sat Jul 30 2011, 12 PM

Location: Field Research Station, 16890 FM 770, Saratoga, TX 77585

Description: On July 30, Dr. Hargrave will lead a seminar on the fish of the Big Thicket at 10 am at the Field Research Station in Saratoga. Dr. Hargrave has conducted extensive research on fish and aquatic ecosystems in Big Thicket National Preserve as part of the All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), an effort to identify all living organisms in the preserve. No reservations or fees are required for either program. For more information, please call 409-951-6720.

Attendees: Open to public

Fish-Downstream Needlefish

Needlefish; Photo by Bruce Bodson

Science Cafe--Ecology of the Neches River

From Thu Jul 28 2011, 06 PM to Thu Jul 28 2011, 07 PM

Tags: ATBI NPS Event Social Event Seminar

Location: Logon Cafe, 3805 Calder Avenue, Beaumont TX 77706

Description: Presented by Dr. Chad Hargrave, an Assistant Professor of Biology at Sam Houston State University

Attendees: Open to Public

Neches River-Photo by Bruce Bodson

Neches River; Photo by Bruce Bodson

Science, Nature and You

From Sun Jul 17 2011, 11 AM to Sun Jul 17 2011, 02 PM

Tags: Hike NPS Event Field Trip

Location: Kirby Nature Trail, Big Thicket National Preserve, Kountze, TX

Description: Kids! Learn how science works by doing a study of your own “carbon footprint”. Learn to conduct scientific research and collect your own data. Meet at the Kirby Trailhead for a 2-mile hike. Bring 2 empty 2-liter bottles, water, lunch, good walking shoes, insect repellent, and sunscreen.

Attendees: Open to public

Kirby Nature Trail, photo by Steve Schmorleitz

Kirby Nature Trail-Steve Schmorleitz

"Fire in the Forest" Learning Hike

From Sun Jun 26 2011, 09 AM to Sun Jun 26 2011, 11 AM

Tags: NPS Event Field Trip

Location: Pitcher Plant Trailhead on CR 4850

Contact: Mary Kay Manning

Description: "Fire in the Forest", Sunday, June 26, 9 am. Fire can be extremely damaging and dangerous, but it also plays a key role in shaping some of the plant communities in the Big Thicket. Join a ranger to learn about the ecology of fire in this area. Meet at the Pitcher Plant Trailhead on CR 4850. 1 mile. Bring water, insect repellent, and good walking shoes.

Attendees: Open to public

After Burn Effects

Village Creek Canoe Trip

From Sat Jun 25 2011, 10 AM to Sat Jun 25 2011, 03 PM

Tags: NPS Event Field Trip

Location: Village Creek Boat Launch, Hwy 327

Contact: Mary Kay Manning

Description: Village Creek Canoe Trip, Saturday, June 25, 10 am. Join park rangers for an easy 3-mile float trip down Village Creek from Hwy 327 to Baby Galvez. This tranquil, tree-lined stretch of the creek winds past many beautiful sand bars. Meet at the boat launch on Hwy 327 at 10 am. Participants must provide their own boats and shuttles. Bring water and sunscreen.

Attendees: Open to public

Canoe BITH-01

Village Creek Canoe Trip

From Sat Jun 25 2011, 10 AM to Sat Jun 25 2011, 03 PM

Tags: NPS Event Field Trip

Location: Village Creek Boat Launch, Hwy 327

Contact: Mary Kay Manning

Description: Village Creek Canoe Trip, Saturday, June 25, 10 am. Join park rangers for an easy 3-mile float trip down Village Creek from Hwy 327 to Baby Galvez. This tranquil, tree-lined stretch of the creek winds past many beautiful sand bars. Meet at the boat launch on Hwy 327 at 10 am. Participants must provide their own boats and shuttles. Bring water and sunscreen.

Attendees: Open to public

Tree ID Hike

From Sat Jun 25 2011, 09 AM to Sat Jun 25 2011, 10 AM

Tags: NPS Event Field Trip

Location: Kirby Trailhead

Contact: Mary Kay Manning

Description: “Tree I.D.”, 9 am. How well do you know the trees in the Big Thicket? Join a park ranger on a hike to learn how to identify the most common ones. Meet at the Kirby Trailhead at 9 am. 2 miles, 1.5 hours. Bring water, insect repellent, and good walking shoes.

Attendees: Open to public

BITH Tree

Sierra Club - “The Longest Day Hike”

From Sat Jun 25 2011, 08 AM to Sat Jun 25 2011, 05 PM

Tags: Field Trip

Location: Turkey Creek Trail-Meet at Gore Store Road trailhead

Contact: Kathryn Walker

Description: Join the “The Longest Day Hike” on Saturday to hike the entire Turkey Creek Trail in the Big Thicket, all 15 miles of it, with GT Sierrans & BTA members. Contact: Kathryn Walker—409-782-3485, or ktwalker@gt.rr.com

Attendees: Open to public

Mushroom Walk in Lance Rosier Unit

From Sat Jun 11 2011, 10 AM to Sat Jun 11 2011, 04 PM

Tags: ATBI Workshop Field Trip

Location: Field Research Station, 16890 FM 770, Saratoga, TX 77585

Contact: Mary Catherine Johnston

Description: Mycologist David Lewis will lead a walk in the Lance Rosier Unit of Big Thicket National Preserve on Saturday, June 11, 2011, to collect and document mushrooms.

Macro Fungi - 2010

Participants should meet at the Field Research Station in Saratoga at 10 am with water, a sack lunch, a basket for carrying specimens, paper bags, a small digging tool, and insect repellent.

Mr. Lewis is the president of the Gulf States Mycological Society. He has discovered mushrooms that are new to science, and several species have been named after him. This activity is part of the All-Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI), a project to identify every species of life within Big Thicket National Preserve. All mushroom specimens collected on this field trip will be identified and deposited in an herbarium in accordance with the scientific collection permit.

Please contact Mary Catherine Johnston at mathicket@aol.com if you are interested in attending this activity.

Kids Hike – Learn about “Pollinators” in Big Thicket National Preserve

From Sun May 15 2011, 10 AM to Sun May 15 2011, 04 PM

Location: Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center

Description: Do you know what pollinates the flowers in the Big Thicket? Join a park ranger on a fun hike on the Sundew Trail on Sunday, May 15, to explore the world of pollinators and their plant partners. Special activities designed for kids will help them learn more about the important roles played by bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other animal pollinators.

Attendees: Open to public

Do you know what pollinates the flowers in the Big Thicket? Join a park ranger on a fun hike on the Sundew Trail on Sunday, May 15, to explore the world of pollinators and their plant partners. Special activities designed for kids will help them learn more about the important roles played by bees, hummingbirds, butterflies, and other animal pollinators.

The Sundew Trail makes a 1-mile loop beneath towering longleaf pine trees, through a small pitcher plant bog, and it is a great place to see birds and wildflowers in the spring and summer months.

No reservations or fees are required for this hike, which is being held in commemoration of International Migratory Bird Day. Meet at the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center at 10 a.m. on May 15; the group will then caravan to the Sundew Trailhead, approximately 8 miles away. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water, a snack, sunscreen, and insect repellent. For more information, please call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700.

WILD ORCHIDS IN TEXAS-GUIDED HIKE

From Sat May 07 2011, 10 AM to Sat May 07 2011, 01 PM

Location: Hickory Creek Savannah Sundew Trail

Contact: Mary C. Johnston

Description: Joe Liggio serves as Group Leader for Orchids in the Thicket of Diversity All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory. He is a Director of the Big Thicket Association, a member of the Field Trip committee and a periodic guide. His next field trip is scheduled for May 7, 2011 at 10 AM with participants meeting at the trailhead of the Hickory Creek Unit of the Preserve

Orchids are most often considered species of the tropics.  However a total of 54 types of wild orchids grow within the 267,000 square miles of Texas. Orchids in comparison with other plants are relatively rare. In Texas these unusual flowers can be found in diverse habitats from the swamps, ponds, bogs, and meadows of East Texas to the canyons of the Edwards Plateau and the mountains of the Trans-Pecos.  The majority, about 36 species, inhabit the moist Big Thicket forests.  Unlike the tropical varieties, most native North American orchids are terrestrial, growing with their roots firmly embedded in soil. Orchids are distinguished from other plants because of their mycorrhizal relationship with a symbiotic fungus or orchid-fungus partnership.

The Book Wild Orchids of Texas by Joe Liggio and Ann Orto Liggio provides a clear overview of the state’s orchids and information on taxonomy and distribution. Joe Liggio began photographing orchids in 1979 and approximately 90 of his photographs capture their exquisite beauty. The scientific accuracy and attention to detail make the book valuable to professional botanists.  It also provides a tool for weekend naturalists to identify wild orchids and to become alert to typical habitats where orchids may be found.

According to George M. Diggs, Jr., Department of Biology, Austin College in Sherman, Texas, “Among state and regional treatments of orchids or other plant families, this is the most detailed, aesthetically pleasing, and just plain enjoyable book I’ve seen.  From the beautiful dust jacket to the superb photography and details about orchid biology, it was clearly a labor of love for the authors.  This is a book that anyone interested in Texas plants definitely should not miss.” 

Wild orchids are fragile and precious.  Threats include loss of habitat and careless collecting. The author encourages for purposes of scientific documentation alternatives such as photographs, sketches, measurements and detailed notes.  He shares the words of Roger Terry Peterson, “In today’s world few orchids can afford the attrition imposed by the vasculum (carrying case) and the plant press.”

Joe Liggio serves as Group Leader for Orchids in the Thicket of Diversity All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory.  He is a Director of the Big Thicket Association, a member of the Field Trip committee and a periodic guide.  His next field trip is scheduled for May 7, 2011 at 10 AM with participants meeting at the trailhead of the Hickory Creek Unit of the Preserve. For details and reservation information, check out www.bigthicket.org or visit the Big Thicket National Preserve Visitor Center in Kountze.

Wild Orchids of Texas

By Joe Liggio and Ann Orto Liggio, 1999, 228 pp., University of Texas Press, PO Box 7819, Austin TX 78713-7819

ISBN 0-292-74712-8

 

Woodpecker Hill Guided Tour

From Sat Apr 02 2011, 09 AM to Sat Apr 02 2011, 02 PM

Tags: Field Trip

Location: Meet at the intersection of US 69 and FM 1013 (Between Woodville and Kountze)

Contact: Cathy Johnston, President of BTA

Description: Big Thicket Association offers tour with Ragan Bounds of Hancock Forest Management April 2, 2011

Attendees: Open to public

Woodpecker Hill Guided Tour

Woodpecker Hill Tour Photo

Big Thicket Association offers tour with Ragan Bounds of Hancock Forest Management

Bring a lunch and water.

On hike we will look at the trailing phlox restoration site and explore some red cockaded woodpecker cavity trees.  Bob Boensch of The Nature Conservancy reports that purple coneflowers and birdsfoot violets are blooming and eastern gamma grass plus “healthy” longleaf can be seen on nearby Timberlake Preserve.
 
RSVP to mathicket@aol.com for info if weather cancellation

BTA Open House

From Thu Feb 17 2011, 01 PM to Thu Feb 17 2011, 05 PM

Tags: Social Event

Location: Field Research Station, 16890 FM 770, Saratoga, TX 77585

Description:

Attendees: Open to public

BTA OPEN HOUSE

FRS Lab-Student-Microscope

Learn about the Big Thicket Association established in 1964 and its role as one of the Big Thicket’s staunchest supporters.

Come see this exciting facility located in the heart of Southeast Texas.

Find out why universities from around the country have stopped here and what research they are conducting.

Did you know New Species to the Park, the State and the World are being identified?

Discover the Thicket of Diversity All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) and how you can become involved as Citizen Scientists.  www.thicketofdiversity.org

Act now!

Why?                

Special Designations:

  • Big Thicket- First National Preserve in US Park System, 1974
  • Man and Biosphere Reserve, United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 1981
  • Globally Important Birding Area, American Bird Conservancy, 2001
  • America’s Top 10 Most Endangered Parks, National Parks
  • Conservation Association 2003, 2004
  • The Neches River, the Preserve’s eastern boundary, in Top 10 Most Endangered Rivers by the American River Association, 2007.


Make a difference. Share knowledge of this unique treasure found in our backyard.
Join the Big Thicket Association! PO Box 198, Saratoga, TX 77585

VIEW AND PRINT FLYER - PDF

Meet our new Executive Director: Dr. Teresa Tomkins-Walsh

 

Preserve        Protect        Perpetuate

Support        Experience        Investigate

Field Research Station

 Field Research Station, Saratoga, TX

Night Hike-Pitcher Plant Trail

From Fri Jan 21 2011, 05 PM to Fri Jan 21 2011, 07 PM

Tags: Field Trip

Location: Pitcher Plant Trailhead; located on CR 4850 approximately 2 miles south of FM 1943

Contact: Mark Kay Manning

Description: Big Thicket National Preserve rangers will lead a short walk on the Pitcher Plant Trail to explore the night world of the Big Thicket on Friday, January 21.

Attendees: No reservations required-open to public

Night Hike on the Pitcher Plant Trail

Big Thicket National Preserve rangers will lead a short walk on the Pitcher Plant Trail to explore the night world of the Big Thicket on Friday, January 21. Participants should meet at the trailhead, located on CR 4850 approximately 2 miles south of FM 1943, at 5:45 pm and be prepared to spend an hour on the trail.

No reservations are required for this program. Participants are encouraged to bring water, binoculars, warm clothing, and flashlights or headlamps with red filters to preserve night vision.  For more information, call the Visitor Center at 409-951-6700.

Big Thicket Directors’ Retreat

From Sat Jan 08 2011, 09 AM to Sat Jan 08 2011, 03 PM

Tags: Meeting

Location: SE TX Nonprofit Development Center, 700 North Street, Suite D, Beaumont, TX 77701

Contact: Teresa Tomkins-Walsh

Description: Announcement for BTA Officers and Directors

Attendees: Big Thicket Association Officers and Directors

Big Thicket Directors’ Retreat

Host: Big Thicket Association

Phone: 936-274-5898

When: Saturday, January 8 from 9:15 AM to 3:15 PM

Where: SE TX Nonprofit Development Center

700 North Street, Suite D (Downtown)

Beaumont, TX 77701

To experience continued success in the future, BTA officers and directors must have a clear sense of focus and feel passion for our mission.  This retreat will mobilize our organization and help shape an action plan with active committees.

*Look for Retreat Agenda in future email from Ann.

RSVP’s are required.


Retreat sponsors: Bill Clark Pest Control and Brookshire Brothers.