South Texas 24-7 is where active seniors and  those reveling in life after kids share an inspirational space. It is a website designed to enrich our lives through a variety of leisure activities and events available throughout the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

Archive for September, 2012

Our Solar System at the Edinburg World Birding Center

Our Solar System at the Edinburg World Birding Center!

Do you ever wonder what outer space is all about? Are you interested in learning and experiencing what’s far and beyond? EWBC welcomes all astronomical enthusiasts of all ages to visit us and explore Our Solar System. This program offers families an opportunity to marvel at the magical masses seen in our galaxy and beyond. Let your imagination take you on a journey to a far off place throughout space. View the stars and planets through microslide viewers and learn about what you can find in space!

Our Solar System starts at 11 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Fee for this program is FREE with paid admission. General admission is $3, children and seniors are $2. Bring out the family and learn something new while experiencing our wonderful park. Doors will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Edinburg Scenic Wetlands & World Birding Center is located at 714 S. Raul Longoria Rd. (in the Edinburg Municipal Park), Edinburg Texas. For more information about this program, please call us at (956)381-9922 or visit us on the web at

In this picture a young boy discovers tiny creatures found in our ponds.

Backyard Habitat Steward Program

Birding 101

Frontera Audubon and Weslaco Public Library present “Getting Started Photographing Birds” with Ruth Hoyt next week

Ruth Hoyt shares nature photography tips for Fall Nature Talks in Weslaco

WESLACO, TX—Nature is often best enjoyed through the camera lens. Whether you’re a backyard nature photographer, tote your equipment to one of the Valley’s many nature parks, or are just getting started, Professional Nature Photographer Ruth Hoyt will offer tools and tips to help refine and improve your skills.

Hoyt will present “Getting Started Photographing Birds” on Tuesday, September 25th at 6 p.m. at the Braught Theater (505 S. Kansas) in Weslaco. The presentation is the first of a series of presentations dealing with nature and wildlife appreciation, Frontera Fall Nature Talks sponsored by Frontera Audubon Society and the Mayor Joe V. Sanchez Public Library. For more information, contact Frontera Audubon Society at 956-968-3275 or email

Hoyt said the discussion is geared toward the novice and experienced photographer alike.

“Come prepared to be inspired, entertained and educated about getting started in nature photography,” she said.

With more than 20 years experience teaching photography, Hoyt also leads photo tours, conducts workshops, guides groups and individual photographers on professional photo ranches and does professional speaking engagements and consulting work.

As a Certified Texas Master Naturalist and Certified Interpretive Guide with extensive knowledge of the unique flora and fauna of South Texas, Hoyt teaches about minimizing the environmental impact and respecting nature as part of one’s nature photography practice.

“My main theme in teaching comes from a conservationist perspective, and I like to show people how I practice low impact techniques to the places and wildlife I photograph,” she said. “That message is always clear.”

Hoyt often conducts classes, workshops and nature photo camps for children across the Rio Grande Valley, the most notable in Weslaco at the Valley Nature Center for the past six years. She is actively involved with the Leadership in Nature program for 14-18 year olds, conducted through the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands wing of the World Birding Center.

Kiskadee photo by Ruth Hoyt - Ruth Hoyt captures the ubiquitous Great Kiskadee in an unexpected way. Hoyt will offer a discussion on how to refine and polish photography skills for the novice and experienced alike at the Weslaco Braught Theater this Tuesday, September 25th at 6pm.

Photo by John Pickles - Ruth Hoyt is a local professional nature photographer with 20 years experience teaching others about appreciating nature through the lens. She offers classes and workshops throughout the Rio Grande Valley and can be contacted through her website:

(All events will be held at the Weslaco Braught Theater next to the Public Library at 505 S. Kansas)

Tuesday, October 9th at 6 pm – All About Winter Birds – with Roy Rodriguez
Tuesday, October 23rd at 6 pm –Up Close and Personal with Nature in the RGV – with Seth Patterson
Tuesday, November 27th at 6 pm – Beautiful Butterflies – with John Yochum

Visit for more information or follow us on Twitter: @FronteraAudubon or Facebook:

Rio Reforestation Event & Art Contest

Lower Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge
James R Matz – Trash to Treasure Art Contest The Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge and Valley Proud Environmental Council are hosting the 2nd annual “James R Matz Trash to Treasure Art Contest” celebrating the 21st Rio Reforestation!

Students of all ages (kindergarten through 12th grade) are invited to submit a piece of artwork made from 100% recycled materials that highlights wildlife habitat (natural or man-made).
The top 12 pieces of art will be on display at the Rio Reforestation Planting Event held October 13th, 2012 at the Garza-Cavazos Tract FM 1421 in Cameron County. Prizes for top winners will be given on the day of the planting event (Saturday, October 13th, 2012).
Deadline for all artwork to be submitted is September 30, 2012.
Artwork should include: 100% recycled materials and should demonstrate wildlife habitat (either natural ex. tree or man-made ex. bird house)

Things You Should Know:
• Art work must be submitted no later than September 30, 2012 to be considered.
• Art work can be mailed to the address below or dropped off at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge in Alamo between the hours of 8am to 4pm.
• Be sure to include your full name, grade, address, daytime phone #, and the school you attend.
• Please include a list of all the materials used for the piece of artwork.
• A panel of judges will determine the winners. The top 12 winning images will be announced at the Rio Reforestation planting event held Saturday, October 13th, 2012 in Cameron County, Texas.
• Only winners will be contacted
• Art will not be returned to the artist.

For more information about the contest or the planting event, call 956-784-7500 or 956-412-8004
To learn more about Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge and the Rio Reforestation Event, visit

Mail artwork to: Lower Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge
Trash to Treasure Art Contest
3325 Green Jay Road
Alamo, Texas 78516


Help Restore Habitat in the Lower Rio Grande Valley!

To: Teachers, students, parents, scouting organizations and the general public.

What: Rio Reforestation XXI: 1,000 volunteers are needed to plant seedlings at the Garza-Cavazos tract of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge outside of Brownsville in Cameron County. Please bring your own shovel, work clothes, gloves and sun screen. Food and refreshments will be provided.

When: Saturday, October 13, 2012, from 8:00am until noon. In the event of rain, the planting will be rescheduled for Saturday, October 27, 2012.

Why: Volunteers will plant tree and shrub seedlings on 14 acres of Refuge land. This will restore valuable wildlife habitat and create green space that contributes to the quality of life in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Where: From Brownsville, take US Highway 281 (Military Hwy) west to the intersection of FM1421. Turn left at the water tower and follow the dirt road 0.7 miles to the site. From other Valley locations, take US Hwy 83 to San Benito and exit at FM 732. Turn south and go 5.8 miles to Military Hwy in the town of La Paloma. Turn left (east) onto Military Hwy and go 5.8 miles to the junction of FM1421. Turn right just past the water tower.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service at (956)784-7500,
or Valley Proud Environmental Council at 956-412-8804,

Brownie Girl Scout Series at the Edinburg World Birding Center

Brownie Girl Scout Series at the Edinburg World Birding Center

Brownie troops are welcome to begin their amazing journey learning the importance of water and ways to conserve it and educate their peers in this three part series of WOW! Wonders of Water. Session 1: Loving Water is all about the girl scouts beginning to express what they love about water and they will start to understand and experience water’s importance in the world. Session 2: “Green” Tea for a Blue Planet continues to explore what Brownies love about water; they will expand their knowledge of the water cycle and consider what promise they’ll make to protect water. Session 3: Water for All will deepen their understanding of why it’s so important that people’s right to water is respected and honored around the world through access to clean water. Brownie Girl Scouts are invited to come and experience what this journey has to offer.

Session 1 will be held Saturday, September 22nd, Session 2 will be held Saturday, October 27th, and Session 3 will be held Saturday, December 8th. All sessions will be from 1 pm to 3 pm. Fees for each session are $4 per participating Brownie, $3 per attending family member, and children 5 years and younger are free. Girl Scout WOW! Journey books are not included in the program. Registration is required two weeks in advance.

The Edinburg Scenic Wetlands & World Birding Center is located at 714 S. Raul Longoria Rd. (in the Edinburg Municipal Park), Edinburg Texas. For more information about any of these programs, please call us at (956)381-9922 or visit us on the web at

Girl Scouts observing a family of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks.

Girl Scouts making little garden pots out of recycled newspaper.

Join us for an elegant wine tasting fundraiser at Frontera Audubon Society

Get your tickets now for an elegant wine tasting on the lawn

–Tickets are now available for Frontera Audubon’s Second Annual Autumn on the Lawn wine tasting event at Frontera Audubon Society on Saturday, November 10th at 7 p.m. Festivities will take place behind Frontera Audubon Society’s Skaggs House at 1101 S. Texas Blvd. Tickets are $30. The evening will include: a broad wine selection, a silent auction in the Skaggs House, lively Jazz music, and good company! Proceeds will go to benefit Frontera Audubon Society’s mission of providing habitat for birds and wildlife of the Thicket habitat.

Stop by Frontera Audubon at 1101 S. Texas Blvd. to purchase tickets, or go to to purchase online.

The Autumn on the Lawn silent auction always has surprising items, including a stay in the Hill Country of Texas, exclusive nature and birding excursions, spa packages, and more. If you would like to donate a silent auction item or be an event sponsor, call Sarah at 956-968-3275.

“Beyond the lawn lies a precious little urban forest—The Thicket—and our goal is to keep that preserved and maintained for all to enjoy,” says Maurie Haas, Frontera Audubon’s vice president.

Frontera Audubon Society sits on 15 acres of natural beauty that includes trails, wetlands, butterfly gardens, a visitors’ center, gift shop, and an historic orchard and home. The 501©3 nonprofit organization has been in existence for over 30 years and offers opportunities for all people to enjoy nature and birding.

For more information, call Frontera Audubon Society at 956-968-3275.

Upcoming programs from the Edinburg World Birding Center

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In This Issue:

FNWN: Butterflies

ECG: Planting Day!

Family Wetland Club

Sept. 13th, 2012

Upcoming Programs & Events at EWBC


Fall (Sept.-Oct.) 2012

Monday – Friday

8 am to 5 pm


10 am to 4 pm




Fall (Sept.-Oct.) 2012

Monday – Thursday, Saturday

8 am to 6 pm


8 am to 8 pm




714 Raul Longoria Rd

Edinburg TX 78539

(On the northwest corner of the Edinburg Municipal Park)


PH: (956) 381-9922

FAX: (956) 381-0715

Friday Night with a Naturalist-Butterflies: Javier De Leon

Date: Sept. 21st, 2012

Time: 6:00-7:00 p.m.

Fee: FREE!

the butterfly season approaches, we start noticing various
new butterfly species fluttering around with their beautiful
colors and different sizes. Some species can be easily
identified while others can be a real challenge!

Join Javier De Leon, Natural Resource Specialist for Bentsen
Rio Grande Valley State Park, as he teaches us about the
variety of butterflies that migrate through the Valley as
well the the resident species! Learn tips on how to identify
the different butterfly species, from the Malachite to the
Fiery Skipper!

Friday Night with a Naturalist is a free, family-friendly
program. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Space is limited, so please call our center to reserve your
seat(s). Visit our website for more information.

ECG: Planting Day!

Date: Sept. 22nd, 2012

Time: 8:30-11:00 a.m.

Fee: Season or year bed rental fee

($35 one season, $50 yearly)

you ever wanted to grow organic fruits and vegetables but
didn’t have the space, time or knowledge? The Edinburg
Community Garden provides a wonderful opportunity for you
and your family to learn in a fun, friendly, hands-on way.

The Fall season starts this September with the Edinburg
Community Garden Planting Day held at the Edinburg Scenic
Wetlands and World Birding Center. There’s still time to
sign-up! Community Gardeners will have full access to a 4’ x
8’ raised bed, a communal shed, drip irrigation system,
mulch, and tools as well as discounts on upcoming gardening
and landscaping classes!

During planting day, gardeners will get tips and
recomendations on how to plant their vegetable plants and
which plants are best for the current season! Texas Master
Gardener Sylvia Casselman will guide participants on the
right path towards succesfully growing their own vegetables!

Space is limited, so please call our center to reserve your
seat(s). Visit our website for more information.

Family Wetland Club

Dates: Sept. 1st & 22nd, Oct. 6th & 20th, Nov. 4th & Dec.

Time: Classes: 10:30am-12:00pm

Trips: Varies. Please call ahead

Fee: Varies. Please call ahead

you looking to break the monotony of every Saturday morning
during the school year? Do you want your family to explore the
outdoors instead of exploring the TV guide? Well then the
Edinburg Scenic Wetlands has the thing just for you!

As the Valley loses more and more of its wild habitat to
development, it is important to teach the children about the
importance of conservation, especially in an area as
biologically diverse as the Rio Grande Valley. Please join EWBC
naturalist and biologist Gilbert Martinez as he hosts “The
Family Wetland Club”. This is a 6 session club that will
highlight the importance of our local ecosystem, and bring
valley families closer to nature.

There will be 3 in-class sessions at the EWBC and 3 field
sessions at some of our local state parks and federal areas.
Seats are limited, so please call to register at least 3 days in
advanced for all 6 sessions or 1 week in advanced for an
individual session.

Space is limited, so please call our center to reserve your
seat(s). Visit our website for more information.