AUSTIN— Park rangers from around Texas, including the Buffalo Soldier Heritage Outreach Program and the Texas Outdoor Family staff, are debuting a new series of virtual programs celebrating Black History throughout the month of February. The series will culminate in a live, interactive Black History Trivia Challenge for the public at 6 p.m. on Feb. 27.
“Black history is really everyone’s history, and our rangers want to support Black History Month by bringing more diverse stories to the forefront of Texas State Parks for our visitors,” said Jessica Lagalo, Outdoor Education and Outreach Manager for Texas State Parks. “The awareness that African Americans were some of the first Park Rangers, the first Forest Firefighters, the first Mountain Bikers is so incredibly relevant to the history and stewardship of Texas State Parks. Without the efforts of Black Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Companies, much of the infrastructure of Texas State Parks would not be here today.”
This month-long online initiative encourages Texans of all ages to learn more about the contributions and achievements of African Americans in conservation, the great outdoors, and within our state and national parks.
The online series consists of 15 different programs to be broadcast live from the Buffalo Soldier Heritage Outreach Program Facebook page at 6 p.m. on select weekdays. Saturday programs will be live streamed at 1 p.m. from various Texas State Parks across the state, including Ray Roberts Lake State Park, Cedar Hill State Park, Brazos Bend State Park, and Tyler State Park.
Programs will feature segments on living history with the Buffalo Soldiers, outdoor education with park rangers, on-site tours and storytelling including:
- The Iron Riders: Blazing A Trail for Modern Mountain Bikers
- A State Park is Born: The CCC at Huntsville State Park
- Spotlight on Black Stories: Anansi the Spider
- Spotlight on Black Stories: Fly High! The Story of Bessie Coleman
- Knowledge is Power: Educating Black Soldiers Post Civil War
- The Legacy of the CCC in Texas State Parks, Part 1
- The Legacy of the CCC in Texas State Parks, Part 2
- Leading the Charge: Buffalo Soldiers Tales
- Stewards of Yosemite: The First Black Park Rangers
- A Modern Trailblazer: Thru-Hiker Robert Taylor and Backpacking 101
- Tragedy to Triumph: A Texas History of the Black Seminole Scouts
- Medal of Honor: The Bravest African Americans
- The Legend of Juneteenth at Galveston Island State Park
- Courage Has No Color: Black Firefighters and the Big Burn
Families can find a full calendar of upcoming program on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Buffalo Soldier Heritage Outreach Program Facebook page and join as many free programs as they like.
The series will culminate in a free live Black History Month Trivia Challenge for the public at 6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27, on the Kahoot App. Instructions to sign up a Trivia Team will be posted on the Buffalo Soldier’s Facebook page.
For more information about the Buffalo Soldier program or this series, contact the Texas State Parks Outdoor Education and Outreach Manager Jessica Lagalo at Jessica.Lagalo@ tpwd.texas.gov or Buffalo Solider Heritage Outreach Program Coordinator Luis Padilla at Luis.Padilla@tpwd.texas. gov.