Big Thicket's Teacher-Ranger-Teacher program had a successful year.

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Date: August 14, 2015
Contact: Mary Kay Manning, 409-951-6720

For the tenth year in a row, Big Thicket National Preserve participated in the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher (TRT) program. Blanca Jones, a 1st grade teacher at Sam Houston Elementary School in Port Arthur, worked as TRT from late May into early August of 2015. In addition to creating and leading children’s programs in the preserve throughout the summer, she also developed a lesson plan based on the Big Thicket to use in her classroom and completed three credit hours of graduate coursework in place-based education. She took hundreds of photos throughout the preserve in order to share the scenery, plants, animals, fungi, and her experiences here with her students and colleagues, and has already arranged a field trip to bring many of her fellow teachers from the Port Arthur area to the preserve for a ranger-led hike.

“We greatly appreciate all of Ms. Jones’ hard work, energy, and creativity this summer. We hope that her experience here will lead to further collaboration between Big Thicket National Preserve, Sam Houston Elementary School, and other schools and families in the area,” said Chief of Interpretation and Education Jason Ginder. 

Funding for the TRT program was provided by a grant from the Washington Office of the National Park Service. National park sites throughout the country participate in this program, giving hundreds of teachers the opportunity to share their educational skills with parks, and their park experiences with their students. 

In the spring of each year, Big Thicket National Preserve and other park units around the country recruit teachers for this dynamic program. For more information, teachers are encouraged to go to the TRT website at 

For general information about Big Thicket National Preserve, visit or call the preserve visitor center at 409-951-6700. 

About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube 

The National Park Service will celebrate its centennial in 2016 and is using this opportunity to invite a new generation of Americans, and those who already know and love the parks, to discover what national parks and other public lands mean to them through the Find Your Park campaign. To learn more or get involved, visit

Last updated: August 14, 2015

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