HUNTER: July is National Parks & Recreation Month

Padre Island National Seashore is the longest stretch of Undeveloped Barrier Island in the world

By State Rep. Todd Hunter

AUSTIN Texas (Texas Insider Report)  This year the month of July has been designated as National Parks & Recreation Month. It is important to recognize the importance of parks and recreation in establishing and maintaining quality of life and in contributing to the physical economic and environmental well-being of communities.

In the United States the month of July has been recognized as National Parks & Recreation Month since 1985. During this month individuals and organizations work together to promote the benefits of local parks and recreation centers to communities and encourage people to get outside explore local parks and enjoy outdoor activities.

The state of Texas has 14 officially designated National Parks. Parks play an important role in environmental health by cleaning water preserving wildlife and offering a refuge to humans and animals throughout the seasons.

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Research suggests that exposure to nature improves creativity and reduces stress hormones in the brain. From Big Bend all the way down the Rio Grande River our state is home to some truly beautiful parks.

Our Coastal Bend area is home to one of the most visited national parks in the state the Padre Island National Seashore. Padre Island National Seashore is a national park located just outside of Corpus Christi and Port Aransas that includes about 70 miles of undeveloped beaches and natural habitat.

The longest stretch of Undeveloped Barrier Island in the world Padre Island National Seashore separates the Gulf of Mexico from the Laguna Madre one of a few hyper-saline lagoons in the world.

The park protects 70 miles of coastline dunes prairies and wind tidal flats teeming with life.

It is a safe nesting ground for the Kemps Ridley Sea Turtle and a haven for over 380 bird species.

It also has a rich history including the Spanish shipwrecks of 1554.

For almost its entire existence Padre Island has remained undeveloped wilderness. Because the National Seashore endeavors to preserve Padre Island in its natural state visiting the island is very much like stepping back into the past.

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With few exceptions visitors can now see Padre Island as it has existed throughout most of its history and how it is described in the few extant descriptions by the early explorers.

Padre Island National Seashore has a wide variety of activities for everyone to enjoy its natural beauty and wonder. The most popular activities include

  • Camping
  • Kayaking
  • Fishing
  • Birding and
  • Watching the release of Sea Turtle Hatchlings

Plan your visit learn about volunteering or discover more information about the Padre Island National Seashore HERE.

If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this article please dont hesitate to call my Capitol or District Offices. As always my offices are available at any time to assist with questions concerns or comments (Capitol Office: 512-463-0672; District Office: 361-949-4603).

And always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas State Agency or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services.

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Texas State Representative Todd Hunter represents Texas House District 32 covering Aransas Calhoun Nueces (Part) and San Patricio Counties. He can be emailed at todd.hunter@house.texas.gov

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