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Wild Times May 2024

Erika Thompson is the founder and owner of Texas Beeworks. As a child, she was fascinated with insects and spent nights and weekends collecting every bug she could find. She grew up, went off to college and started a career. But she never lost her interest in bugs.

About ten years ago she took a beekeeping class with no intention of becoming a beekeeper. She walked away fascinated, wanting to learn more. She started her first hive the following spring and launched Texas Beeworks in 2014 while still working full-time. In 2019, she quit her office job to focus on her business.

The mission of Texas Beeworks is to preserve, protect and increase bee populations by helping bees and beekeepers thrive. She wants to get the message across that we can all do something to help by planting more pollinator-friendly plants.

Erika is thrilled to join the ranks of Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation’s (TPWF) We Will Not Be Tamed ambassadors. We Will Not Be Tamed calls us to appreciate the wildness of Texas, the vastness of our Texas spirit and why we should be inspired to conserve it.

"I love Texas. It's been my home my entire life, and I will do whatever I can to help preserve and protect wild species, wild places, and the habitats of Texas not only for future generations of people but also future generations of bees."

Find out more

  Story #2: Learn About Bees with Erika Thompson!  

Erika loves sharing her knowledge of bees and beekeeping with others. And now she wants to share a special bee experience with one lucky TPWF member. If you join or renew your membership by May 10, you will be entered in a TPWF drawing* for a chance to win a beekeeping experience and apiary tour with Erika Thompson. She’ll provide the safety gear you and your plus-one will need, and she’ll show you how she takes care of the 50 hives she tends to at her home in Elgin. The experience will be available on a mutually agreeable date between May 1 and December 31, 2021.

BEE-come a TPWF member today for your chance to win!

Join Now

*The price of membership pays for TPWF membership only and not for the chance to win the beekeeping experience and apiary tour with Erika Thompson. Members who join or renew between January 1 and May 10 are automatically entered in the drawing.
  Story #3: Wanted: More Women in Conservation Careers  

There’s a new scholarship available through Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation that targets young women who are interested in pursuing careers in conservation. The Women in Conservation Science Scholarship Program advances conservation by encouraging and supporting female undergraduate and graduate students pursuing studies related to natural resource conservation. The scholarship is open to female students who are interested in a career in the fields of range science, forestry, biology, botany, earth science, wildlife management and other majors related to conservation science. The scholarship application period opened up on April 1.

The scholarship was set up thanks to a planned gift to TPWF by a retired Texas Parks and Wildlife Department employee and his wife. Steve Boles and Vicki Giere hope the scholarship will result in more women in the ranks of conservation agencies and organizations.

Read more about the back story of this new scholarship. 

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  Story #4: Help us help the Wild Things and Wild Places of Texas  

Thanks to the generosity of thousands of Texans, TPWF has invested over $215 million since 1991 to ensure the future of Texas’ lands, waters and wildlife.

The Texas Conservation Hall of Fame is a critical component of TPWF’s conservation efforts. In addition to celebrating the people and organizations who are keeping Texas wild, funds raised by this (usually) annual event allow TPWF to pursue transformational projects like the acquisition of Powderhorn Ranch, the creation of Palo Pinto Mountains State Park and the restoration of tens of thousands of acres of grassland habitat.

After thoughtful consideration, the TPWF Board of Trustees made the difficult decision not to hold the 2021 Texas Conservation Hall of Fame this spring to protect the well-being of our guests as COVID-19 continues. Canceling this year’s Texas Conservation Hall of Fame presents a significant financial challenge in an already difficult year. Like many other nonprofits, we’ve made operational adjustments and we’re working leaner than ever in pursuit of our conservation goals.

The past year has caused many of us to place even greater value on our wild things and wild places, and we hope that we can count on your continued support.

Find out more

  Story #5: Cheers to our Texas Trailblazing Partner, Karbach!  

With a bitter winter storm behind us, and bluebonnets and other beloved wildflowers at the forefront, it’s time to ponder the joys of spring and summertime ahead. Thanks to Karbach and its commitment to giving back, a portion of proceeds from every Southern Wheat purchase benefits Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. As a Texas Trailblazing Partner, Karbach is helping TPWF conserve the wild things and wild places of Texas. That’s something to cheer about!

  Story #6: Camping at Powderhorn Ranch with Dan & Ursula Oko  


We Will Not Be Tamed ambassador Dan Oko loves to go camping. When he was invited to join the Stewards of the Wild for a camping trip to Powderhorn Ranch recently, he jumped at the chance. Stewards of the Wild is TPWF’s young professionals organization that offers outdoor experiences for its members to special places in Texas. Dan’s intrepid daughter Ursula joined him for the trip, and Dan chronicled their Powderhorn Ranch adventure in a recent blog post.

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  Story #7: Stewarding the Future of Hunting  


One of the newest initiatives undertaken by Stewards of the Wild is a mentored hunting program for first-time hunters. Paired with seasoned hunters, the new hunters learn everything there is to know about the hunting experience, from hunter safety to field dressing an animal. The program is made possible by many generous supporters, including the Houston Safari Club, the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Private landowners across the state are also helping make this initiative possible by hosting mentored hunts on their properties. Houston Safari Club’s Hunter’s Horn magazine published a story in their spring issue about a recent hunt at Powderhorn Ranch.

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