It’s almost time for Beach and Bay Day


Trying out one of the Park’s tandem kayaks

We’re getting ready for this year’s Beach and Bay Day, which will be held at the Park on April 7, from 10am to 4pm. You’ll be able to experience beach and bay adventures, complete a Turtle Obstacle Course, see live sea creatures and a glass-enclosed beehive, try a kayak, go on a nature and birding walk, and more.

This event is free to the public. We provide bottled water but you’ll need to bring a picnic lunch.

Your first stop will be registration, which is on the beach-side, near Park Headquarters. From there you can either take part in activities on the beach or take a bus to one of five stations we’ve set up for you to experience all the Park’s different ecosystems.


Part of the turtle obstacle course

Great day for a run/walk

Almost 100 runners and walkers took part in this year’s Fun Run/Walk and were treated to beautiful weather (as well as taquitos from Whataburger). Thanks to all our volunteers and sponsors.

And they’re off …


In case you were wondering which way to go …


The race wouldn’t be complete without Dr. Fistein and her trusty companion


First place, 5k


First place, 10k


The Park’s 5k and 10k courses are now certified

Dave Bary, lead for this Saturday’s Fun Run/Walk, thought FoGISP might be able to attract more participants if the 5k and 10k courses were certified by USA Track & Field (USAT&F), so he kicked off the rather arduous process that eventually resulted in certification.

The first step was to set up a short calibration course.

Dave and Debra marking out the calibration course

Debra Pence then used her bicycle, which was fitted with a special counter, to determine how many “clicks” it took to cover 300m, the length of the calibration course. To ensure accuracy, she had to travel the calibration course in each direction, multiple times.

The counter

The last stage was for Debra to ride the 5k and 10k courses designed by Dave. She had to ride both courses in each direction, noting the setting on the counter at the beginning and end of each run. During these rides, Lynn Smith and Alan Wilde were on duty stopping traffic, since Debra had to use the wrong side of the road in places (USAT&F insists that you use the shortest line between any two points).

Debra grinding it out

Dave knew with a high degree of accuracy the number of “clicks” it took for Debra to travel 300m. Now he also knew the total number of “clicks” required to travel each course and, from these, he was able to calculate the exact distances Debra had traveled. After ensuring that each course was within the limits specified by USAT&F, he submitted the paperwork for approval.

Kudos to Dave and Debra for a job well done!

They’re back ….

The new kayak shed is operational, with only a few minor jobs to complete.

The kayaks are in place – and were used by Ranger Lisa and Kim to lead a party of hardy souls on January 1. Brrrr!

Here are the FoGISP volunteers who helped load up the new shed.


Demonstrating renewable energy at the Park?

Have you ever wondered why the wind turbine situated behind the Nature Learning Center never turns? And why there is a lean-to next to the turbine?

It turns out that the wind turbine and five solar cells – yes, those are solar cells on top of the “lean-to” – were installed in 2009 to create a live demonstration of renewable energy. Time and neglect caused the turbine to stop turning (bad bearings) and the solar cells to stop creating energy (a bad inverter); however, thanks to Wayne and Root, the solar cells are back online.

FoGISP is investigating the possibility of restoring the wind turbine so that we can again demonstrate the generation of renewable energy. Wish us luck – the company that made the turbine is out of business, though parts are still available.