Big Thicket Area Information
The duty station of this position is in Village Mills, Texas, about 30 miles north of Beaumont, Texas. Beaumont lies in the southeast corner of Texas, along Interstate 10, about 80 miles east of Houston. With a current population of 115,570, Beaumont is the most populated city in the Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Hardin, Jefferson and Orange counties. Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange, are also referred to as the Golden Triangle. Beaumont is the county seat of Jefferson County and offers a range of housing, schools, medical care and other conveniences. The location provides excellent access to air, water, rail and interstate travel. The Cajun-influenced cuisine is part of what makes the region special, and Beaumont offers plentiful dining options and specialty food stores. Affordability of housing and a strong local economy has helped Beaumont-Port Arthur to be the top metro area in the US for gains in home values (as of the last quarter of 2008) according to the National Association of Realtors. Southeast Texas has a semi-tropical climate which draws residents and visitors year-round to enjoy a bounty of recreational opportunities including hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing, boating, birding, hunting, biking and a multitude of naturalist activities. The Preserve is ringed with additional public and protected lands including two state parks, four national forests (totaling 637,000 acres), five national wildlife refuges, and The Nature Conservancy Sandyland Sanctuary. There are also opportunities to enjoy coastal-related activities since Beaumont is only about 30 miles from the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. Towns and communities near the duty station at Village Mills include Kountze, Silsbee, Lumberton, Wildwood, and Woodville, to name a few. Area schools with biological and physical sciences programs include Lamar University in Beaumont, Steven F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, and Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. For more links to other sites offering area information click here.
Did You Know?
Lance Rosier, a self-taught naturalist from Saratoga, was known as "Mr. Big Thicket." He dedicated his life to the preservation of the Big Thicket.