AUSTIN, Texas (press release) – The following is a press release from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department:
After a two-year hiatus, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) is proud to announce that the Texas State Parks Ambassador Program will be relaunched in early 2022. The program will begin accepting Ambassador applications for Central and West Texas State Parks on December. 15.
Texas State Parks Ambassadors are a diverse group of conservation-minded young volunteers aged 18-30 who are paired with a Texas State Park to help foster a new generation of outdoor stewards. . The program seeks to attract a younger audience to Texas State Parks in order to continue conserving Texas wild things and places for years to come.
âConnecting a young and diverse audience with service and recreation opportunities in our state parks is more crucial than ever,â said Samantha Toback, Texas State Parks Ambassador Program Coordinator. “This is especially important given the recent substantial increase in the number of visits to our state parks and the impending centennial of Texas state parks in 2023.”
Those interested in joining the program must first complete their application, indicate the parks with which they wish to be matched, and then the best candidates will be selected for an interview. The final group selected as Texas State Parks Ambassadors will then need to complete Ambassador Leadership Training before starting their six-month Ambassadorial tenure. During this time, Ambassadors will perform 40 hours of hands-on service, community outreach and social media projects for their parks.
The five-day Ambassadorial Leadership Training for the New Cohort of Central and West Texas Ambassadors will take place in March 2022. During the training, the new Ambassadors will be introduced to the interpretation of parks, to from outdoor education programs like Project Wild, to tips on how to be a successful ambassador, and also get to participate in activities like kayaking, hiking, mountain biking and more.
While prior outdoor experience and a desire for a career in natural resources is not required, the Texas State Parks Ambassador Program has led to 27 former Ambassadors pursuing careers at TPWD.
âUpon entering the Ambassador program, I had no idea how much it would change my outlook on life or that I would end up where I am today,â said Steven Simmons, former Ambassador and current operations intern at park in Tyler State. To park. âFor young adults who wish to have enriching and valuable experiences with TPWD, the Ambassador program offers vast opportunities for networking, support and allows you to form lasting friendships that help you grow personally and professionally. “
Applications for Central and West Texas Ambassadors open December 15 and close January 26 and must be submitted in line. The six-month term for new ambassadors will begin on April 1 and end on October 1. Applications for the Panhandle and North Texas area will open in February, as will applications for South and East Texas in August. Those interested in applying must be between 18 and 30 years old and have a high school diploma. Applications from anyone who turned 30 in 2020 and 2021, during the two-year break from the program, will also be accepted.
(Texas Parks & Wildlife Department press release)