AN&SC celebrates the culmination of 2012 Texas Nature Challenge.

Aug 15, 2012 - 1:38 pm

It was great way to celebrate the culmination of this year's Texas Nature Challenge. Family teams from the Central Texas/ Austin region gathered on a cool Saturday morning to receive their awards and share with the other proud teams this year's accomplishments.

exterior photo of Austin Nature & Science Center

It's always fun to visit the Austin Nature & Science Center.

2012 Texas nature chanllenge winnerS at culmination award event

Teams gathered for the award ceremony.

teams gathered at the AN&SC

All the thoughtfully prepared scrap books were presented for viewing. The great diversity of styles and themes reflected the creativity that makes Austin proud.

Scape book of teams


Texas nature Challenge scrapebooks


scarpe book


another scrape book

It was really rewarding to see the younger members of each team receive their prizes. Some prizes (a fishing pole kit) were even bigger than the winner!

one winner with prize bigger the him


another winner


another winner


Everyone  enjoyed their moment in the limelight. Each family was brimming with pride. Clearly, this great family experience will be fondly remembered by each team for years to come.

proud family

The Texas Nature Challenge is precisely designed to get families reconnected with nature — and each other. We combined the traditional family nature hike with a little challenge and adventure programmed in (like the "Amazing Race" TV show.)

boy with net


girl in stream

Family teams were encouraged to visit as many participating parks and nature sites as they can in their region. The teams completed fun, hands-on activities, or challenges, at each site, and then scrapbooked about their experiences together. Participating families had a chance to win prizes awarded in various categories (see below).

display at AN&SC

All participating agencies had information on display

Hands on display for making native grasses seed balls

There was a hands-on display for making native grasses seed balls which we use at the on-going restoration project at The Elisabet Ney Museum.

another display

This year, our region - Central Texas/Austin included both our Austin Parks & Recreation sites as well as Travis County's and several State parks.

AN&SC's live spider display

AN&SC's live spider display is always a hit.

This is how the state's regions were divided: • Bayou Region/Houston • North Texas/Dallas-Fort Worth • Central Texas/Austin • Alamo Region/San Antonio • Coastal Bend Region • Rio Grande Valley.

AN&SC stream

Austin Nature & Science Center's stream


Insde AN&SC

Inside or outside, what ever your age,  there's always something new to learn about nature.

Austin Parks & Recreation's participating sites included: • Austin Nature & Science Center • SPLASH! Sheffield Education Center • Zilker Botanical Garden • Elisabet Ney Museum • Umlauf Sculpture Garden.

The other participating sites in our region included: • Texas Memorial Museum • Inks Lake State Park • LBJ Wildflower Center • Aquarena Center • McKinney Falls State Park West Cave Preserve • Dinosaur Park • Lockhart State Park • REI Round Rock • REI Austin • REI Gateway • Pedernales Falls State Park.

live bee exhibit

Our live bee exhibit.

Texas Nature Challenge winner

There were winners of all ages!

The 2012 Texas Nature Challenge - Central Texas winners were:

• Most challenges accomplished: The Rolling Stones - Completed 14 challenges. They actually purchased a state park pass.

Their Prizes: a REI tent, Whole Earth big water bottle, 2 AN&SC kid t-shirts, Austin area hikes book, 3 compasses.

• Most Creative Scrapbook: Coles Creatures - They had the best journaling; they also added Wild Basin and Laguna Gloria.

Their Prizes: hiking book, bronze cast of starfish fossil, coffee thermos, plastic water bottles, one t-shirt-Green City Fest, 4 compasses, water conservation kit.

• Best Kid Generated Scrapbook: Elsass Family - Did a lot of online research and photos of challenges.

Their Prizes: T-shirt, baseball cap, Dino kit, bronze cast of starfish fossil, 2 plastic water bottles, 1 compass.

• Most Unique Team Name: Team Pravi : They had the funniest answers to challenges.

Their Prizes: T-shirt, Dino kit, Whole Earth gift certificate, Whole Earth small water bottle, water conservation kit.

• Best Returning Team: Team Becker- Good child participation. Took all photos required at Wildflower Center.

Their Prizes: T-shirt, Whole Earth cap, bronze cast of starfish fossil, kid fishing pole kit, Whole Earth water bottle.

• Best photos in scrapbook: Team Sheerluck - They Added Zilker Zephyr Train Ride.

Their Prizes: Austin area hiking book, Texas Rivers book, T-shirt, Whole Earth gift certificate, 4 plastic water bottles, water conservation kit.

• Honorable Mention Scrapbook: Explorers of Wonderland - They documented the public art at AN&SC.

Their Prizes: Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum family membership for 1 year, 3 dino hunter kits,  4 plastic water bottles, t-shirt.

birthday party

Don't forget! Austin Nature & Science Center is always a great place to celebrate some ones birthday party

logos of participating agencies

The Austin Nature & Science Center as well as all the other Austin Parks & Recreation facilities were proud to be able to participate with the other organizations involved in this effort and look forward to working together in 2013.

For more information about the 2013 Texas Nature Challenge visit: