There are often projects that come up annually that are sponsored by TPWD, AgriLife, NRCS, or non-government organizations related to outdoor activities. The Brenham ISD Outdoor Learning Project is one of the leaders in youth education outdoors. All the programs require volunteer support to make them happen. By helping with these programs, you will learn the facts and concepts being presented as well as provide an example of how adults work to improve their community.
BISD Outdoor Education – The mission of the Outdoor Education is to support and enhance the classroom curriculum through outdoor learning experiences. Natalie James is the Outdoor Learning Specialist that coordinates this effort, including coordination of volunteers for the various programs. WCWS VP, Dave Redden, works closely with BISD to find volunteers from the Society as well as from the local Texas Master Naturalist chapter. If you are interested in helping with these projects, contact Natalie James or Dave Redden to get your name on a list of potential helpers. As opportunities come up you will be contacted by email to see if you would like to help. Natalie James and Dave Redden are also involved in the Texas Wildlife Association L.A.N.D.S. programs which are intensive day-long programs in support of BISD Outdoor Education.
TPWD Staff Support – Our county biologist for TPWD is Stephanie Damron. She has various programs throughout the year that can benefit from volunteer helpers. Here are a few:
September – Washington County Fair. TPWD has a regular booth that they use to display various animals found in this area. It is usually a big hit with young visitors. Volunteers usually staff the booth in shifts on weekday evenings and most of the weekend days. Contact Stephanie Damron in August if you would like to help.
October – TPWD conducts a Youth Shooting Day for Washington and Lee Counties. The event is held at Lake Somerville, Nails Creek State Park, when it is not flooded. Students are provided a chance to shoot a variety of firearms, bows and arrows, and get training in hunter ethics and safety. Contact Stephanie Damron if you would like to help.
December – Challenged Hunter Program – This event is usually held annually the first weekend in December on Corps of Engineers property at Lake Somerville. Physically challenged hunters from around the state are provided an opportunity to harvest a doe with assistance from volunteers from Burleson and Washington Counties Wildlife Societies/WMAs. The TPWD biologist from Burleson and Washington Counties are there to help coordinate the event and to make sure all game harvest is inspected, aged, and sampled for CWD. Volunteers assist the hunters in getting to their blinds, retrieving any game harvested, and butchering the meat back at the CoE office. Contact Stephanie Damron if you would like to help.
November - Wildlife Appraisal for Property Taxes Workshop – Near year end each year, Stephanie Damron conducts a workshop on how to manage your land to comply with the state requirements for 1-D-1 Agricultural Appraisal as a Wildlife Management activity. This program is conducted in cooperation with the Washington County Appraisal District staff. Volunteers from WCAD normally provide snacks and help serve a lunch. If you would like to assist with this effort, please contact Stephanie.
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service – Our AgriLife County Agent for Agriculture & Natural Resources is Kara Matheney. She conducts and supports educational programs throughout the year. Although most are related to production agriculture, some are more closely associated with wildlife and natural resources. The series of programs for new landowners is especially useful for all aspects of land stewardship. Get involved and learn how to manage your land better as well as help others learn.