Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Has Sprung

The signs of spring are popping up all over the mountain from hints of purple Lyreleaf Twistflowers and yellow Desert Evening Primrose, to colorful butterflies fluttering over the hills and slithering lizards darting across the trails.  It’s a beautiful transition period to another season in our Chihuahuan Desert!


Lyreleaf Twistflower
Photo taken by: Benny Pol



Desert Evening Primrose
Photo taken by: Benny Pol

The park is also experiencing transitions as we prepare to welcome back one of our own from his nearly year-long absence while attending police academy.  Jonathan Murphy will be back on the mountain soon and will bring with him passion and enthusiasm.  He will not only be protecting and serving the park and visitors, but also be integrated into leading additional park programs.  And as we eagerly welcome one ranger back, we are also preparing to say goodbye to another; Richie Sanchez has infused this park with positive energy and given it a tune up with the monthly mountain bike rides that he’s led over the past year.  We are overjoyed, though, for this new chapter in Ranger Richie’s life as he will soon embark on the journey of marriage and school.  Congratulations to both Jonathan and Richie on your accomplishments!
Another transition that comes with the spring season is the more frequent migrations of your rangers down from the mountains and into the city.  The park presence will begin being noticed more and more throughout the community during spring and into summer as schools continue to invite your rangers out to career fairs, science project contests and science fairs, and summer camps.  We also will be participating in many of the Earth Day festivities throughout El Paso during the month of April. 
The park programs are also preparing to transition to our warm weather and summer fun activities like mine tours, astronomy programs and mysteries of the night hikes.  You can find the calendar of events on our Texas Parks and Wildlife website by visiting this link.  Our annual “National Kids to Parks” event is also around the bend on May 17, 2014 – mark your calendars, you don’t want to miss it!

Barrel Cactus and blooms
Photo taken by:  Adrianna Weickhardt 

For all of our guided park programs, one must have a reservation to participate.  Make your reservations by calling:  (915) 566-6441.  You can also share your photographs and keep up with the daily activity at our park by visiting the Franklin Mountains State Park facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/FranklinMountainsSP?ref=hl.

If you are interested in being added to the email list to receive the monthly park event flyers, please contact:  Adrianna.weickhardt@tpwd.texas.gov

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Franklin Mountains State Park Update

The month of shamrocks and greenery is upon us ~ we’ll be celebrating its start on March 1st with a “Green Tea on the Peak” hike where we’ll enjoy a cup of green tea along Upper Sunset Trail and we encourage you all to deck yourself out in green!  Below is a quick list of all of the fun activities to look forward to and attached please find the flyers which include detailed descriptions of each program.


Also, the highlighted activities of the month during March are:  “Photography” and “Arts in the Parks”.  The department is having a great contest as well and the prize up for grabs is a new HERO3+ Silver Edition GoPro®.  Read more details at:  http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/parks/things-to-do/photography-in-state-parks

For folks interested in viewing details online, they can visit: Franklin Mountains State Park website or follow us on facebook.

Sat., March 1: 8:30 a.m. “Green Tea at the Peak” – Upper Sunset
Sun., March 2:  9:00 a.m. “Bark in the Park” hike
Sat., March 15:  9:00 a.m.  St. Patty’s Beginner’s MTB ride
Sun., March 16:  8:00 a.m.  Jack Rabbit Foot Race
Thurs., March 20:  9:00 a.m. “Spring Fever Hike” - West Cottonwood Springs
Sat., March 29:   2014  Franklin Mountains Poppies Fest