Texas Rivers: Designing Curriculum for HEBFF Outdoor



“A mind that is stretched by a new idea can never go back to its old dimensions.”
—attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

One of the joys of volunteering with HEBFF Outdoor is seeing kids learning—actually learning some new fact—right there on the spot. One afternoon following a lunch break, I was there to witness such an event. A dozen or so school kids gathered around HEBFF Outdoor Curriculum Coordinator Daniel Lay as he set up an easel with a shopworn whiteboard containing a rough outline of the state of Texas. The drawing was crude, and the board was in bad repair. But Daniel conveyed the concept to the students: we’re all part of a local watershed; the runoff in the Frio River would, in a matter of days, drain into the Nueces, and then join the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico.

Talking to the Outdoor team after our volunteer days, we in the Comms team realized our private thoughts matched their departmental goals: the curricular materials for HEBFF Outdoor were barely sufficient for the task at hand. Geocaching units were mostly broken, empty, or missing. They needed new fauna and flora displays and especially a new whiteboard about the Texas Rivers.

We set to the task and, despite a few scheduling delays, designed and manufactured this Texas Rivers Map for Erik and his team. The 36-inch map is printed and laminated to clear acrylic so that the HEBFF Outdoor team can use it as a dry-erase board as well.