Posts tagged “Lick Creek Nature Center

Lick Creek programs encourage kids to explore

By Brooke Littlefield, Assistant Recreation Supervisor

It’s hard to believe summer is coming to a close, and school is underway. We hope your summer was full of adventure as you hiked our trails, observed wildlife, and participated in the self-guided activities at Lick Creek Nature Center.

Our Parks and Recreation family enjoyed engaging with the community this summer and is looking forward to seeing you again for our fall programs. The self-guided activities continue and can be found at the Nature Center or by visiting with our staff.

Beginning next Thursday, Lick Creek Nature Center offers two programs to encourage children to engage with their environment. Explorers can choose a program based on their age and must register to reserve a spot. A new nature theme will be introduced each week that challenges participants to observe and explore the world around them.


WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
Ages 3-6
Thursdays, Sept. 10-Dec. 17 • 9:30-10:30 a.m. 
$3 per class

Walk on the wild side as we enjoy a short story, hike, and playtime at the outdoor classroom. The program is designed for preschoolers and caretakers. Daily classes are $3 per participant, and one caretaker is free. Spots are limited, and we won’t have class on Nov. 26.

Registration ends at 5 p.m. the day before each class. 


EXPLORING EXPERIMENTS
Ages 7-13
Fridays, Sept. 11-Dec. 11 • 10-11:30 a.m.
$3 per class

Explore nature in an exciting and enriching hands-on environment. Each week, we’ll discover a new topic through experiments and exploration at the amphitheater. The program is designed for ages 7-13. Daily classes are $3 per person, and spots are limited. We won’t have class on Nov. 27.


The COVID-19 pandemic has led us to restructure programs and devise protocols to keep our youth safe, active, and engaged. Measures include maintaining smaller groups, wearing face masks, and social distancing. Staff will clean and plan based on CDC guidelines and recommendations by county and local health officials.

For more information, go to cstx.gov/lickcreek or call 979-764-6216.

 


About the Blogger

Brooke Littlefield is in second first year as an assistant recreation supervisor. A College Station native, she earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Texas A&M in 2017.


 

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Celebrate your child’s B’Earthday at Lick Creek

By Kelli Nesbitt, Parks & Recreation Marketing Coordinator

Are you looking for a unique birthday experience for your young explorers to celebrate their special day? The Lick Creek Nature Center has the solution.

This fall, the Lick Creek Nature Center is offering B’EARTHday Packages that can be purchased for $75 when you rent a meeting room, outdoor classroom, or the amphitheater. Rentals range from $25-$120 depending on the facility and your residency status. B’EARTHday Packages also include an hour-long activity and hike led by staff.

The package costs cover parties of 10 kids and must be booked at least two weeks in advance. Up to five additional children can be added for $10 each. The birthday child and siblings under three years old are free and don’t count toward the party.

Renters are required to supervise the party and ensure that educational items are used properly and put away. At least two adult chaperones are required at all times, including the hike. Renters must also follow rental policies regarding set-up and clean-up.

We offer three categories based on your child’s interests and age group:

BUGGIN’ OUT • Ages 3-8 • March 1-Nov. 22

Discover the insects that call Lick Creek Park home. Our hike includes a scavenger hunt as we explore the habitats and food sources of local bugs. Activities include crafts and exhibits showcasing our many-legged friends.

DIGGIN’ FOR DINOS • Ages 4-8 • All Seasons 

Calling all explorers! We need your expertise as we explore what makes dinosaurs so great. Activities include digging for dinosaurs, creating our own fossils, and observing dinosaur characteristics. Kids enjoy a fun lesson in an exciting, enriching hands-on environment.

GROW AS WE GO • Ages 7-12 • All Seasons

Sharpen your horticulture skills as we take a look at the plants around us. We’ll discover what plants need to survive and the importance of our interactions with the environment. Activities include crafts, a hike, and planting your own seeds.

With a variety of packages to choose from, the Lick Creek Nature Center has something for every young nature enthusiast’s birthday celebration.

The Parks and Recreation Department follows federal, state, city, and county guidelines to help avoid exposure and transmission of COVID-19 at events, programs, and facilities. Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms with a temperature above 99.5 F degrees, or has come in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, is prohibited from participating or attending events or programs.

For more information, visit cstx.gov/LickCreek or call 979-764-6216.

 


About the Blogger

Kelli Nesbitt (@kneztalk) has served the Parks & Recreation Department for 15 years, the last eight as marketing coordinator. A native of Bryan, Kelli earned a bachelor’s degree in health & kinesiology from Sam Houston State.


 

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Parks & Recreation: What’s open and what’s not?

EDITOR’S NOTE: The post was updated on June 18.  

By Kelly Kelbly, Assistant Parks & Recreation Director

As Gov. Greg Abbott continues his plans to open Texas, the College Station Parks and Recreation Department has been making plans for reopening spaces, facilities, and programs impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We base our discussions on federal, state, and local guidance to prioritize public health and safety.

Regrettably, budget reductions resulting from a significant decline in sales tax revenue are also a factor. Remember also that phased reopenings aren’t an immediate return to normal operations. They include necessary and appropriate measures to reduce the risks of community transmission.

Here’s a look at our current situation, including some answers to your most frequent questions.

Open Facilities

  • Basketball courts
  • Community and neighborhood parks (Directory)
  • Disc golf courses
  • Dog parks
  • Larry J. Ringer Library
  • Lick Creek Park
  • G. Hysmith Skate Park
  • Pavilions and shelters
  • Playgrounds (use is discouraged)
  • Sand volleyball courts
  • Stephen C. Beachy Central Park office
  • Tennis courts

Facility Reopening Schedule

  • Athletic Fields – June 1 for practices; June 15 for tournaments
  • Lick Creek Nature Center office and restrooms – June 1 (open Mon.-Sat. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 1-6 p.m.)
  • Park restrooms and water fountains – June 1
  • Veterans Park & Athletic Complex – May 23

Remaining Facility Closures

  • Adamson Lagoon
  • Cindy Hallaran Pool
  • Fun For All Playground and splash pad
  • Lincoln Recreation Center
  • Meyer Senior & Community Center
  • Southwood Community Center
  • W.A. Tarrow splash pad

Canceled Summer Programs

  • Tsunami Swim Team
  • American Red Cross Lifeguard Training
  • Water Safety Instructor Certification
  • Swim Lessons
  • 5V5 Basketball League
  • Summer Youth Basketball
  • Summer Softball & Kickball Leagues
  • Starlight Music Series
  • Challenger Bowling
  • Water Aerobics
  • Mini Summer Camps
  • College Station Senior Games (Sept. 25-27)

For your convenience, here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions:

Are playgrounds open?
Yes, but their use is discouraged. Citizens should stay six feet away from anyone who doesn’t live with them and follow other CDC guidelines.

Is Lick Creek Park open?
Yes, the trails are open. The office and restrooms will open on June 1. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m-5 p.m., and Sunday from 1-6 p.m.

Is Veterans Park & Athletic Complex open?
The park will open on May 23. The restrooms and athletic fields open on June 1.

When will the pools and splash pads open?
Adamson Lagoon and Cindy Hallaran Pool will remain closed for the 2020 season due to budgetary constraints, limited resources and continued health and welfare concerns regarding social distancing, sanitization, and staffing requirements. We will decide at the end of July regarding the possibility of opening splash pads.

Will you have swimming lessons this year?
Swim lessons have been canceled for the 2020 season. Click here for three water safety resources to help keep your family safe.

When will the Lincoln Recreation Center’s full-day summer camp open?
The summer camp has been canceled due to strict CDC guidelines regarding group sizes, activity restrictions, social distancing, sanitization, and staffing requirements. At this time, we are planning to offer the after-school program, beginning Aug. 13.

When will the Summer Parks Guide be published?
The summer guide will not be published. We are committed to providing updated information through our website.

Who will enforce minimum health protocols for non-city-sponsored youth sports and tournaments?
User groups and tournament organizers are responsible for developing, implementing, and enforcing minimum health protocols for their events at our facilities. The city is responsible for sanitizing restrooms, trash cans, and fields.

When will senior adult programming resume?
Senior programming won’t resume until the fall. People 65 years and older and those who live in nursing homes or long-term care facilities are encouraged to stay home as much as possible.

Are dog parks open?
Yes, Barracks, Steeplechase, and University Park are open.

Can you fish at College Station ponds?
Yes, you can fish at Brothers Pond, Cy Miller, John Crompton, and Stephen C. Beachy Central Park ponds. You must have a freshwater fishing stamp if you’re 17 or older. For information on pond stocking, harvest regulations, and license requirements, go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department website.

Are cemeteries open?
Yes, the Aggie Field of Honor and the College Station Cemetery are open for visitation. The hours are Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to sunset, and on Sunday from 6 a.m. to sunset.

We understand the vital role our department plays in our community’s quality of life, especially during these challenging times. We are faithfully working to create healthier, happier, and more connected communities while responsibly addressing the COVID-19 outbreak.

For more information, contact us at 979-764-3486 or parks@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Assistant Director Kelly Kelbly is in her 19th year with the College Station Parks & Recreation Department. A native of Gilmer, Kelly is a 1998 graduate of Texas A&M.


 

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Celebrate the monarch’s spring migration March 22

By Brooke Littlefield, Assistant Recreation Supervisor

As spring returns, it brings our favorite butterfly back with it.

You can expect to see more of the brilliant orange and black wings of the monarch in the next few weeks. We in the Brazos Valley are fortunate to witness the seasonal migration of the monarchs in the fall as they head south and in the spring as they return to the north.

To celebrate the spring return of our favorite winged friend, the Parks and Recreation Department hosts its annual Monarch March event on Sunday, March 22, at Lick Creek Nature Center. The free event will be from 1-4 p.m., and additional parking will be available in the Lick Creek equestrian lot.

Festivities include a walk through Lick Creek Park’s Monarch Waystation, photo and educational booths, tips on creating your waystation or butterfly garden, and much more.

Community organizations such as Butterflies in the Brazos, the Brazos Valley Master Naturalist, and Brazos County Master Gardeners will host booths and lead fun activities to help us learn how to support the amazing monarch.

Join us as we celebrate the monarchs at Lick Creek Park. For more information, visit cstx.gov/LickCreek or call 979-764-6216.

 


About the Blogger

Brooke Littlefield is in her first year as an assistant recreation supervisor. A College Station native, she earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Texas A&M in 2017.


 

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Lick Creek Star Party offers a relaxing escape

Silhouettes of people observing stars in night sky. Astronomy concept.

By Brooke Littlefield, Assistant Recreation Supervisor

The start of a new year typically means returning to busy schedules and beginning new ventures. Our fast-paced schedules can overtake the days, and we can’t seem to find time to pause and soak in the wonderful world around us.

A quiet evening in a serene, natural setting may be just what you need.

The Lick Creek Nature Center Star Party offers an ideal escape from your hectic lifestyle to explore the wonders of the nighttime sky. The free, family-friendly event is Friday, Feb. 21 from 7-10 p.m. and features space-themed crafts, activities, and stargazing.

We’ll learn about the phases of the moon, construct constellations, explore the night sky, and craft our way through the galaxy. Explorers can also enjoy galaxy-themed snacks, hot chocolate, and a photo booth.

Information booths about light pollution, constellations, nocturnal animals, and more will also enhance your understanding of the astronomical world. Additional parking is available at the Lick Creek equestrian entrance off Rock Prairie Road.

Grab your telescopes, friends, and family, and enjoy a night of stargazing and good company.

For more information, contact me at 979-764-6216 or blittlefield@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Brooke Littlefield is in her first year as an assistant recreation supervisor. A College Station native, she earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Texas A&M in 2017.


 

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Create fond family memories at Park in the Dark

By Brooke Littlefield, Assistant Recreation Supervisor

Thanks to Lick Creek Park in the Dark, you don’t have to travel far to create fun memories with your friends and family. The Lick Creek Nature Center family invites you to join us the night of Friday, Oct. 18.

You’ll enjoy campout favorites such as a hot dog dinner, storytelling, and a night hike. Our friends from Texas A&M’s Outdoor Adventures will also help you learn camping basics. The night concludes with a showing of the Disney-Pixar film “A Bug’s Life.”

The family-friendly event begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 7 a.m. Saturday morning. Campers must bring a tent, supplies, snacks, and drinks. Electricity won’t be provided, and don’t forget to pack a sleeping bag, flashlights, tent lantern, bug spray, and folding chairs.

Limited spots are available, and registration ends Wednesday, Oct. 16. The cost is $8 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult (18+, and pets aren’t allowed.

If you don’t own camping gear, Outdoor Adventures can rent you some. For more information, call 979-845-7035.

Join us as we make camping memories for a lifetime!

 


About the Blogger

Brooke Littlefield is in her first year as an assistant recreation supervisor. A College Station native, she earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Texas A&M in 2017.


 

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Sunday’s Monarch March marks spring migration

UPDATE (3/2): Because of Sunday’s forecast of cold weather, Monarch March has been rescheduled for next Sunday (March 10) from 1-4 p.m.

By Hallie Hutchins, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

Hello spring, hello monarchs!

The brilliant orange-and-black monarchs are among the most recognizable butterflies that call the Americas home. Texas is fortunate to be among the first states to witness the monarchs’ spring pilgrimage back to their northern homeland.

The Lone Star State and the Brazos Valley are situated between the monarchs’ primary breeding grounds in the north and their wintering areas in the south. That means we get to witness the mesmerizing migration in the spring and fall.

To commemorate the butterflies’ spring journey, the College Station Parks & Recreation Department will host Monarch March on Sunday from 1-4 p.m. at Lick Creek Nature Center. Admission is free.

Monarch March is a fitting tribute to the winged creatures that graze our landscape each spring. The day will be full of interactive and educational activities with the help of community organizations such as Brazos County Master Gardeners, Brazos Valley Master Naturalists, Texas A&M Entomology Department, Urban Interface, A&M Garden Club, and Butterflies in the Brazos.

Experts from these groups will host a booth that instills an appreciation for wildlife through fun, educational activities. Events will include a march through Lick Creek Park’s premier monarch waystation, butterfly arts and crafts, learning about butterfly wings, a migration obstacle course, how to create a waystation or butterfly garden, and much more.

Monarch March celebrates this fascinating time of year while spreading the word about the importance of creating habitats to support these beautiful winged creatures.

Join us as we welcome the iconic black and orange butterflies back into Aggieland!

For more information, visit cstx.gov/monarchs or call 979-764-6216.


About the Blogger

Hallie Hutchins is in her fourth year as a marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


 

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Spots are going fast for Lick Creek Star Party

UPDATE (2/20): Since it might rain Friday night, we’ve closed registration so we can extend the Discovery Dome showings to last 30 minutes rather than 15. It will be the only activity if it rains. The Discovery Dome will be in the meeting room, and we’ll still have an RPTS booth with an activity and refreshments. We’ll contact registered participants to schedule their show time. If the weather is clear, we’ll still have the originally planned activities. 

By Emily Thornton, Lick Creek Nature Center Part-time Program Supervisor

Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered what constellations are visible, what that extra bright star is, or whether you see a planet, a moon, or a star? Maybe all that intergalactic information gets lost in, well, space.

Or, maybe you’re just looking for something fun and out of the ordinary to do on a Friday night.

Enter the inaugural Lick Creek Star Party on Friday, Feb. 22 from 7-10 p.m. The event takes place at the Lick Creek Nature Center at 13600 Rock Prairie Road. The City of College Station’s Parks and Recreation Department has partnered with Texas A&M’s Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences Department to bring this unique, star-studded event to area residents. (more…)


Park in the Dark like a backyard campout – only better

By Hallie Hutchins, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

You don’t have to travel hours this fall to enjoy camping out with your family. All you have to do is take advantage of the Parks & Recreation Department’s Lick Creek Park in the Dark the night of Friday, Oct. 19.

The family-friendly overnight campout gives you a chance to escape the city lights and take in terrific views of the nighttime sky in College Station’s largest nature preserve park.

After setting up your tent, you and your family can enjoy time-honored campground favorites such as a hot dog dinner, campfire storytelling, a night hike along the trails, and a movie (“The Parent Trap”) under the stars. The pros at Texas Primitive Outdoors will also be on hand to show you a variety of useful camping tips.

Check-in begins at 6 p.m., and the event ends at sunrise on Saturday. Campers must bring a tent, supplies, snacks, and drinks. Electricity will not be available. Don’t forget to pack a sleeping bag, flashlights, tent lantern, bug spray, and folding chairs. An adult must accompany children, and pets are not permitted.

If you register by Friday, Oct. 12, the cost is $6 for kids 2-12 and $8 for anyone 13 and older. After that, you’ll have to add a $5 late fee.  For more information or to register, visit rectrac.cstx.gov or call 979-764-3486.

Gather your family and friends for this fun-filled, affordable camping experience.

 


About the Blogger

Hallie Hutchins is in her fourth year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


 

Photo Copyright: gsagi / 123RF Stock Photo

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Share your love of nature as a Lick Creek volunteer

By Hallie Hutchins, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant

If you enjoy the great outdoors and love to talk about it, you have what it takes to be a volunteer guide – or docent – at the Lick Creek Nature Center.

The Parks and Recreation Department is training a cadre of park lovers to be program leaders, tour guides and docents to enhance the overall guest experience by creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere. A free orientation will be Saturday, Aug. 18 from noon-3 p.m. at the Lick Creek Nature Center at 13600 Rock Prairie Road – and we’ll provide lunch.

Docents must be at least 18 years old and able to volunteer eight hours a semester.

The orientation will explore how a nature center operates, including environmental education, customer service, programming, exhibits and outdoor activities. Recreation Supervisor Virginia Godwin and the Lick Creek Nature Center staff will lead the session.

Regardless of your background, we’ll equip you with all you need. Take advantage of the opportunity to help provide quality outdoor science education to our community while sharing your knowledge and appreciation of Lick Creek Park.

To register, call 979-764-6216 or stop by the Lick Creek Nature Center.

 


About the Blogger

Hallie Hutchins is in her fourth year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


 

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Explore with Dinosaur George Saturday at Lick Creek

By Hallie Hutchins, Parks & Recreation Marketing Assistant 

Few ideas get kids — and former Aggie turned Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett — more excited than dinosaurs. Children have a seemingly endless fascination with these dangerous yet majestic, fierce yet lovable prehistoric creatures.

Maybe it’s never actually encountering a dinosaur that makes them so intriguing, or their legendary size, or even the illustrated stories that so vividly bring them to life. A child’s natural curiosity about dinosaurs creates an ideal opening to teach them about biology, history, and scientific thinking.

On Saturday, the City of College Station Parks & Recreation Department invites dinomaniacs to spend the day at Lick Creek Nature Center with the Dinosaur George Traveling Museum. Dinosaur George treks back to the Jurassic to experience enormous, prehistoric dinosaurs and other epic creatures.

The first performance is from 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m., followed by a second show from 1-2:25 p.m. Each show is $5 per person, and registration is required.

For more than two decades, Dinosaur George has been teaching elementary, intermediate and middle school students about the amazing creatures that once ruled our planet. George Blasing is a self-taught paleontologist and animal behaviorist with more than 40 years of study and research.

With his vast knowledge of prehistoric life, expertise in animal behaviors, and powerful on-camera presence, Dinosaur George is a highly respected and sought-after expert who shares his love of all things prehistoric with throngs of enthusiastic fans.

The program displays dinosaur relics of all kinds from around the world with more than 150 museum-quality exhibit pieces from the earliest life on Earth.  From giant Texas reptiles to dinosaurs and Ice Age mammals, you’ll see firsthand some of the creatures that once roamed our state — and maybe even your backyard!

Bring your entire family to experience an energetic, fun, dino-mite performance by Dinosaur George.

For more information, contact us at 979.764.3486 or vgodwin@cstx.gov.

 


About the Blogger

Hallie Hutchins is in her third year as marketing staff assistant in the Parks & Recreation Department after graduating from Texas A&M in 2014 with a degree in sports management. She has previously worked with the Dallas Sidekicks professional soccer team and Texas Team Junior Golf. Originally from White Oak, Hallie also attended Kilgore College and was a member of the famed Kilgore Rangerettes dance team.


 

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