San Antonio Express News
Sunday, February 1, 2004
By Lynn Rawe, County Extension Agent, Bexar County
It’s Rodeo time again! Bring your favorite cowboy or cowgirl and join us at the Texas Trail building in the Family Fair area of the Rodeo. The Texas Trail building is located on the Rodeo grounds right off of Houston Street, left of the main entrance to the Freeman Coliseum.
Texas Trail offers fun for people of all ages. Texas Trail is designed and built by Texas Cooperative Extension and Bexar County Master Gardeners. Volunteers devote about 2,000 hours to the construction and operation of the building each year.
This year Texas Trail offers lots of hands-on activities and interactive computer programs for children.
KIDzANTS is a brand new children’s curriculum on fire ants which is available from Texas Cooperative Extension. One of the more popular activities is the “Be An Ant Detective” game where children can become “Certified Ant Detectives.”
The 4-H booth will offer games and puzzle activities for kids. Learn what 4-H has to offer to youth and adults alike!
City Critters is a new interactive computer program offered by the Texas Wildlife Association. Children can learn about wildlife and the important role they play.
The Bexar County Master Gardeners will be having plant sales on February 14 & 21. A brand new tomato will make its debut during these weekends. “Amalia” is the new variety that is being released after several years of research by Drs. Jerry Parsons and Larry Stein, Extension Horticulturists. Get a head start by buying maroon bluebonnets at the Rodeo this year.
Experts will be on hand this year to discuss many topics concerning your family and home. Dr. Jerry Parsons and Dr. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Water System’s Conservation Director, will be on hand on Saturday, February 7 from 12 pm – 2:00 pm to answer questions. Get answers to your financial management needs from Dr. Nancy Granovsky, Extension Family Economics Specialist. Dr. Peggy Van Laanen, Extension Program Leader for Food & Nutrition, will discuss food safety. Aging issues will be addressed by Andrew Crocker, Extension Program Specialist – Gerontology Health. Other experts will be on hand to answer questions about home safety and seatbelt safety.
Walk through the Edwards Aquifer into San Antonio Water System’s (SAWS) booth. Children can see Wendy Weather, Walter Works and Will Saver. On weekends, children can register to become an H2O Hero. SAWS offers information on water conservation and quality.
Texas Cooperative Extension and Texas Department of Public Safety are exhibiting a Rollover Convincer Model. A pick-up truck cab mounted on a trailer will utilize crash dummies to demonstrate seatbelt safety. Children and adults can also learn about different types of safety seats.
The San Antonio Audubon Society is celebrating their 50th anniversary. Whether you’re a bird watcher or not, you’ll find this booth fun and informative. Learn more about Texas songbirds and rare bird sightings in Bexar County and across the state.
The Children’s Gardens offer plenty of themes this year:
· Tropical Garden – features flora and fauna indigenous to tropical forests.
· Veggie Garden – features raised beds and displays of vegetables that can be grown during the winter in our area.
· Barnyard Garden-features plants that have an animal, bird or insect in the plant name.
· Weather Garden-features the effects that sun, rain and wind have on plants.
· Critter Garden-features animals, insects and reptiles that you might find in a garden in Texas.
· Butterfly Garden-features butterflies indigenous to our area and are displayed in a fun, factual and fantasy way.
· Other gardens featured will be Tree Trail, ABC, Second Chance (recyclable ideas), and the Texas Garden.
Learn about the history and heritage of agriculture at the Texas Agriculture Education and Heritage Center’s exhibit. See how Texas agriculture has changed over the years.
Do you know what snakes there are in Texas? Learn to identify snakes in the region. See snakes up close and learn snake safety from the expert.
The Backyard Retreat is bigger and better than ever. Come by and get ideas on what you can do to create one for yourself!
The Schultze House will be displaying a wide variety of gardening items and Texana gifts available for purchase. Be sure to stop by to get that “something special” for that certain someone (Remember, Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it).
Don’t miss this year’s Texas Trail building. Whether you are into facts, fantasy, safety or science, there will be something there for you. See ya’ll on the Trail!