William Barton settled near a springs west of the mouth of Shoal Creek in the 1830’s. He left a canoe on the north bank of the Colorado River so that people in the new settlement of Austin could visit his namesake. Barton’s canoe remained the only transportation across the river until the establishment of ferries in the late 1840s.
John J. Grumbles set up a regular ferry at Shoal Creek, at the western edge of the city, where William Barton kept his canoe. Shoal Creek remained one of the most important river crossings until the construction of permanent bridges.
Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you…Satchel Paige
Looking back is a luxury that we can rarely afford. Fermata is a consultancy; we live from contract to contract. The good news is that we stay busy. The bad news is that we rarely get the opportunity to look back over our accomplishments.
With the year’s end approaching, perhaps we should take the time to consider our work. For example, I am currently helping Kansas develop an ecotourism strategy. Governor Brownback and Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KWPT) Secretary Robin Jennison brought me into the project to facilitate the development of the strategy. This coincides with our work on interpretive plans for the 11 Kansas byways, as well as the writing of an interpretive plan for the state byways as a whole.
Have you ever heard of Kenedy, Texas? What about Falls City, Helena, Runge, or Goliad? Surely you know of the San Antonio Riverwalk? The San Antonio River doesn’t suddenly halt once it passes the Alamo. The river flows south to San Antonio Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The spaces in between San Antonio and the Gulf, however, are relatively unknown even among Texans.
Ted joined a panel of nature tourism experts at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, West Virginia this week. The panel presented and discussed nature tourism and the implications for federal public lands. Joining Ted on the panel were Mike Carlo and Toni Westland of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Nancy Millar of the McAllen (Texas) Chamber of Commerce, with Nancy Zapotocki, Kevin Kilcullen, and Randy Robinson (all of the USFWS) providing behind-the-scenes support and guidance. This broadcast is the first presented in the USFWS Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Conservation series. Here is a link to this 90-minute broadcast. For those interested in additional information and resources related to Ted’s talk, we have added a page to our website with links to a broad collection of papers, reports, books, and presentations.
Fermata began working in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) of South Texas in the early 1990s. Our first project involved developing the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail for Texas Parks and Wildlife in that area. We followed that work with the feasibility study for the World Birding Center, the strategic plan for the World Birding Center, nature tourism strategies for several of the communities there such as Mission, Weslaco, and South Padre, a feasibility study for the new centers at Weslaco and South Padre Island, and interpretive enhancements at Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen.