Texas Children in Nature Network Summit: Opening the Doors to Nature For All

Join us for our Texas Children in Nature Network Summit and Reception December 7-9, 2022

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Texas Children in Nature Network Summit: Opening the Doors to Nature For All December 7-9, 2022 at the AT&T Conference Center, University of Texas at Austin

Presented by H-E-B.

Location: 1900 University Ave, Austin, TX 78705

During this three-day Summit, TCiNN will bring together health, education, built environment, faith, conservation, and community leaders to shape an even brighter future for the children of Texas. Over 250 community leaders from across the state will gather to strengthen the network and develop opportunities and policies that will connect more children and families in nature. New this year: special, private film screening of Deep in the Heart and informative half-day workshops are included in your registration.

Conference at a Glance - A Full PDF of Program is Below

Download our Conference App: https://tcinnsummit2022.sched.com/

Wednesday

  • 12-4: Workshops around Austin
  • 6:30-10: Screening of Deep in the Heart Film

Thursday

  • 8-4: Concurrent Sessions
  • 4-5: Keynote: Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant
  • 5-6: Poster Sessions
  • 6-10: Champions Awards Dinner (Additional Ticket)

Friday

  • 8-10: Regional Meetings
  • 10-11: Keynote: TBA
  • 11-12:30: Health and Nature Panel
  • 2-4: Optional Post Conference Workshops

Keynote Speakers:

  • Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant: is a wildlife ecologist and National Geographic Explorer who researches how human activity influences the movement and behavior of wild animals. A native Californian, Wynn-Grant attributes her interest in wildlife and conservation to the nature shows she watched on television as a child, and today she uses media to increase representation of Black scientists and explorers. She is a scientist, conservationist, equity and justice advocate and consummate story teller.
  • Jesus Aguirre is the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of Waterloo Greenway Conservancy, an Austin organization committed to ensuring that all communities have meaningful access to all aspects of the park, including workforce opportunities, programmatic engagement, and community partnerships. He brings experience from the Children in Nature Network Board of Directors, where he chairs their equity program, as well as the City of Seattle and the District of Columbia Departments of Parks and Recreation.

Deep in the Heart Film

On the evening of Wednesday, Dec 7, 2022, we will host a special, private screening at the Stateside at the Paramount Theater of the Texas documentary film, Deep in the Heart, directed by Ben Masters and narrated by Matthew McConaughey. A question-and-answer session with the filmmakers will follow the movie screening. This special event is included with your Summit registration.

Deep in the Heart is a visually stunning celebration of what makes Texas unique — its diverse landscapes and remarkable wildlife behavior that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Told through the eyes of wildlife species ranging from the mysterious blind catfish to the elusive mountain lion, the story follows our ever-changing relationship with the natural world and showcases our ability to destroy, conserve, and recover wildlife and the habitat we mutually depend on.

For more information about the movie please visit: https://deepintheheartwildlife.com/.

Transportation to the Stateside Theater is NOT provided. The theater is located approximately one mile from the University of Texas at Austin AT&T Hotel and Conference Center. Walking, carpooling and the use of public transportation, ride sharing (Uber, Lyft), and E-scooter/E-bike rentals are encouraged. There is a public parking area across from the theater.

Champions Awards Dinner - SOLD OUT

Every year Texas Children in Nature Network honors individuals or organizations that have gone above and beyond to improve the lives of children through strengthening their connection with nature. The awards ceremony will be hosted as part of a special dinner at the AT&T Conference Center on December 8, 2022. Tickets for this event will be available with purchase of Summit Registrations for $100. If you are not attending the Summit a separate separate ticket is available for $175, or tables for 8 at $1400. Our dinner is sold out.

New this year! Half-day workshops are included with your registration. These workshops will feature some great programs our partners are doing and highlight wonderful nature spaces across the Austin Metro-Area. You will be asked to choose a workshop upon registration. A full listing of the workshops with descriptions can be found here. Space is limited on all Wednesday Workshops, so register soon to be sure you get your first choice. Our Wednesday workshops are:

1. Community Engagement in Providing Access to and Creating Nature-Based Playground

Asakura Robinson Design

Location: Waterloo Park, 1-4pm

2. Bridging the Great Divide: Breaking Down Barriers to Nature Access

Austin Sunshine Camps

Location: Zilker Park, 1-4pm

3. Community Forestry and Parkland Stewardship

Austin Youth River Watch & Ecology Action of Texas

Location: Roy G. Guerrero Park (Playground), 1-4pm

4. Breaking Down the Barriers. Kayaking is not “for” certain groups, it is for everyone!

Black Women Who Kayak + and Austin Parks & Recreation Department

Location: City of Austin Lorraine "Grandma" Camacho Activity Center, 1-4pm

5. Green School Parks Tour

Cities Connecting Children to Nature-Austin & Austin ISD

Location: University of Texas at Austin AT&T Hotel & Conference Center, 12-3pm

6. Get Down Underground! - SOLD OUT

City of Austin - Watershed Protection Department, Education Program

Location: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin, 1-4pm

7. Clearing the Slums: A History of Downtown Austin’s Waterloo Park

Katherine Pace

Location: Waterloo Park & Waller Creek, 1-4pm

8. Plants for Play & Loose Parts Play - SOLD OUT

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin

Location: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas at Austin 1-4pm

9. Park Rx and Access to Being Active in Nature

Texas A&M School of Public Health

Location: Pease Park, 1-4pm

10. Nature Connection Techniques: From Indigenous Ceremonies, Place-based Learning, To a New Virtual World

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University

Location: The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University, San Marcos, 12-3pm

11. An Afternoon of Nature Immersion: Join us for a Guided Forest Therapy Walk

Trinity University - Department of Education

Location: Pease Park, 1-4pm

12. Connecting Children to Mindfulness and Nature

University of Texas at Austin Longhorn Wellness Center (Healthy Horns)

Location: Meet at the University of Texas at Austin AT&T Conference Center (Walk-Shop), 1-4pm

Summit Session Strands

  • Access to Nature
  • Community Engagement and Partnerships
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Formal and Informal Education
  • Physical and Mental Health

Friday Post-Conference Workshops

We are also offering two workshops after the Summit on Friday afternoon, December 9th. These workshops are NOT included in the Summit registration fee. The cost per workshop is $25.00. Space is limited for these workshops, so be sure to register soon.

Beginning Birding with Travis Audubon Travis Audubon

Location: Blair Woods Nature Preserve5401 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Austin, 78721 (Free Parking)2-4pm

Birds are a ubiquitous part of the outdoors, making them the perfect gateway to getting folks interested in nature and conservation. In this workshop, Travis Audubon staff and volunteers will discuss techniques and best practices for getting both youth and adults acquainted with birding as a hobby. This workshop will take place at Travis Audubon’s Blair Woods Sanctuary, a 10-acre preserve in East Austin, and will be mostly hands-on with bird walks along the trails. Attendees should expect to walk approximately one mile. Trails are mostly mulched and fairly flat.

Conference Lodging Options

  • Texas Children in Nature Network has a conference block of 50 rooms at the AT&T Conference Center Hotel. 1900 University Ave, Austin, TX 78705. Room rate in the conference block is $190/night (plus tax) for either a single king or double queen room. Room block will be held until November 7, 2022. You can register with this link.
  • Other nearby hotels

Parking

Parking is available at the AT&T Conference Center for both hotel and day guests. The cost is $21/day.

Meals and Happy Hours

  • Movie snacks and beverages will be available for purchase at the Stateside at the Paramount Theater for the screening of Deep in the Heart.
  • Breakfast and Lunch on Thursday (December 8) is included with full registration.
  • Happy Hour on Thursday (December 8) is included with full registration.
  • Champions Awards Dinner Tickets (December 8) will be available for purchase with registration.
  • Breakfast on Friday (December 9) is included with full registration.
  • Lunch on Friday (December 9) is included with registration for post-conference workshops.
  • Dinner is not included and is on your own.

Thursday Tai Chi

Thursday, Dec.8th, 12:15-1:00pm

Lesa Walker, MD, MPH and 4th degree black sash in Tai Chi and 5th degree black belt in Kung Fu is offering a tai chi class focused on meditation and movement. Learn some fundamentals of tai chi and how we can use tai chi to relate to nature and improve our health and well-being. It is a wonderful way to find some calm and relaxation during your day!

Wear comfortable exercise clothing and shoes. No special equipment needed. Lesa is long-time student and teacher at the Austin Kung Fu and Tai Chi School, https://austinkungfu.com/, which offers kung fu and tai chi classes for children and adults.

2022 Champions Awards

Every year Texas Children in Nature Network honors individuals or organizations that have gone above and beyond to improve the lives of children through strengthening their connection with nature. The awards ceremony will be hosted at the AT&T Conference Center on December 8, 2022. We encourage you to nominate individuals and organizations in Texas who exemplify Opening the Doors to Nature for All.

This year's winners are:

  • Emerging Leader – Magaly Arrendondo Lopez for their leadership within the Austin community to engage youth in the outdoors.
  • Individual – Susana Cruz for her work with Chicana in Nature engaging families from Dallas in nature areas and creating an inclusive space for many who have not felt welcome in the outdoors.
  • Organization – San Antonio River Authority for their work in the San Antonio area engaging thousands of children in the natural spaces along the San Antonio River and serving as an innovative leader in the way municipal departments can work with children and families in the outdoors.
  • Business – Green Space Learning for their work across the state in designing outdoor learning environments for our youngest Texans.
  • Legacy - Shield-Ayres-Bowan Family for their multigenerational commitment to the conservation of their ranchlands in the Hill Country and Trans-Pecos region of West Texas; decades of financial support to conservation and environmental organizations through the Shield Ayres Foundation; the vision, execution and support of Camp El Ranchito, a program of the Shield Ranch Foundation now in its 16th year, having served more than 1,000 children in Central Texas; and, most recently, the completion of The Campsite at Shield Ranch, an artfully designed and sustainably built facility that serves as the new home for Camp El Ranchito and provides year-round nature-immersion experiences for people of all ages.

2022 Texas Children in Nature Network Champion Awards Dinner

Thank You to Our 2022 Summit Sponsors

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Presenting Sponsor: H-E-B

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

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Children and Nature Network

Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Logo

Harte Research Insitute for Gulf of Mexico Studies

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National Wildlife Federation

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Prosperity Bank

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Austin YMCA

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The PEA Group

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Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program

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Trust for Public Lands

The Winkler Family Foundation

Hayden and Lynn Brooks

Jennifer Vickers and Lee Walker

Kathleen Mack and John Blazier

YMCA of Austin

Melba and Ted Whatley

One Skye Foundation

Austin Together

AT&T Conference Center

Mike Cannatti and Ann Phipps