Overview

Galveston Island State Park has two thousand acres of surf, beach, dunes, coastal prairie, fresh-water ponds, wetlands, bayous and bay shoreline. It is a richly diverse preserve with hundreds of species of wildlife — you may see roseate spoonbills resting in an oak mott, tree frogs croaking out their mating calls, skimmers nesting in terraced wetlands, egrets fishing the ponds, coyotes prowling the nighttime grassland, sandpipers skittering in the surf and pelicans surveying from high above.

For recreation, you can swim at the beach, hike or bike the miles of trails, kayak the wetlands and fish the bay or surf. The Park is also a science laboratory for naturalists and students of marsh ecology, bird migration, shoreline stability and wildlife habitat.

Even though a short visit can be refreshing, an overnight stay at campgrounds that front the beach or bay offers the promise of a star-filled night with the soothing sound of water meeting the shore.

Friends of Galveston Island State Park (FoGISP) is a non-profit corporation founded by a group of conservationists, naturalists and educators in February, 2001 in order to assist and promote the Park.

Read the blog entries below to keep up with our activities.

Friends of Galveston Island State Park (FoGISP) Photo Contest

 A picture is worth a thousand words!

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Friends of Galveston Island State Park (FoGISP)
Photo Contest
January 7 – March 31

FoGISP is sponsoring a photo contest that is open to all visitors, showcasing pictures you’ve taken at Galveston Island State Park.   Prizes will be awarded, including an overall grand prize.

Contest Info:

  • Contest starts January 7 – (Pix can be from 1/1/2015 on including Fun Run/Walk)
  • Ends  March 31
  • Pictures must be from calendar year 2015
  • Pictures must be taken at Galveston Island State Park
  • You can submit more than one picture per month – actually we encourage you to send more!
  • If you are 17 and under, you must have parental permission to participate
  • Pictures must be submitted in .jpg format
  • Ideally, rename your pictures to include your name, date, activity and age category; otherwise, provide this information in the email
  • E-mail pictures to:   fogisp@gmail.com

Photo Categories:

  • Digital
  • Cell phone
  • Age groups
    • 17 and over
    • 16 and under

Prizes Awarded:

  • January 7 – February 28
  • February 28  – March 31
  • Overall grand prize at end of contest

Usage:

The pictures you submit may be modified for later use for educational purposes, FoGISP publications or other outreach efforts. Every effort will be made to give you credit.

Prescribed burn at the Park

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently conducted a prescribed burn at the Park. Perhaps surprisingly, fire is very beneficial for the sustainability and manageability of the Park’s coastal prairie. It removes excess leaf litter, allowing plants to flower, produce seed and grow bigger; and it increases nutrient levels in the soil. Fire allows sunlight to warm the soil more quickly, extending the growing season for warm-season plants, while also suppressing weeds and non-native grasses and woody plants that might otherwise take over the prairie.

Pictures provided by Trey Goodman:

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Sunday morning bird walks resume at the Park

Doctor Richard Peake has resumed Sunday morning walks at the Park. Beginning at 8:00 am at the Nature Learning Center, the walks last until around 11:30 for those who can spare that much time. If you have less free time, you can drop out during convenient breaks in the morning’s schedule as walkers move between locations. Doctor Peake says recent walks have been very rewarding, though he would like more leaders to volunteer their time and knowledge to help with this activity.

Doctor Peake has been an active field ornithologist for over fifty years, starting out in Chesapeake, Virginia when his fifth-grade teacher started a junior Audubon Club in her class. When we was 13, Peake persuaded his parents to buy him a pair of WWII army-surplus 6×30 binoculars. Imagine his excitement when one of the first birds he found in his neighborhood was a Western Kingbird!

Though not primarily a “lister,” Doctor Peake has an ABA list of well over 700 and a world list of 4,500 species. He is a life member of the AOU, the Association of Field Ornithologists, the Carolina Bird Club, the Houston Audubon Society, KOS, TOS (both Tennessee and Texas), VSO, and the Wilson Ornithological Society. Now Professor Emeritus of English, Dick gives illustrated bird programs and does occasional volunteer and professional birding tours in Texas and Virginia.

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Accomplishments celebrated at Annual Meeting

On August 16, we conducted our Annual Meeting at the Galveston Country Club.

We celebrated a broad range of accomplishments for the year 2013/2014, including the following:

  • Doubled our membership
  • Launched a Facebook page; re-vamped the website; and reintroduced our newsletter
  • Hosted our fifth annual Fun Run in January, with more that 160 participants and volunteers
  • Hosted our first annual Beach and Bay Day, a resounding success that attracted more than 500 visitors to the Park, along with 80 volunteers
  • Hosted our thirteenth annual Camp Wild, with 59 campers and a lot of exciting, new activities
  • Created a new look-and-feel for the Nature Learning Center
  • Continued the popular beach and bay explorations, kayak adventures and field trips
  • Continued to grow plants to help restore the Park’s ecosystems
  • Donated money to the Park for a range of projects

We thanked a number of volunteers for their exemplary service — most notably Nathan Veatch — and welcomed three new board members: Rhonda Marshall, Jo Monday and Charli Rohack.