|Birding is taking wing||History is coming alive||Trails are being marked||Kayaking is paddling forward|
What are your Pathways in Rockport, Fulton and Aransas County?
Click on the pictures to see what we have for your next adventure.
Aransas County and the Cities of Rockport and Fulton are rich in natural resources.
Our wealth of historic sites, birding opportunities, water-based recreational opportunities and the dedication of the community to their preservation are self evident in the many organizations that have been established to preserve and enjoy them.
As the work progresses on the Aransas Pathways Project we are frequently in the news. Watch for highlights here. We are making an investment in the future of Aransas County, Rockport and Fulton.
Good things are happening. Fall planting time is going on at two of the Aransas Pathways Birding Sites. The native demonstration garden at Tule Marsh East has been refurbished and replanted with hummingbird and butterfly attracting plants. The irrigation is in and soon there will be plant signs. Over at the Linda S. Castro site seeds balls consisting of native wildflowers and grasses have been planted behind the slab in order to establish a hummingbird and butterfly garden there as well. Native grasses have been transplanted along the slope to control erosion and landscaping plans have been drawn up for both sides of the entryway. Soon this will be planted in anticipation of our April Grand Opening Ceremony.
Tour proceeds will benefit the new History Center for Aransas County (pictured at right) at 801 E. Cedar St. The History Center will showcase regional history for visitors of all ages.
December 7 and December 8, 2013
Sat. 1–5 p.m., Sun. 1–5 p.m.
If you would like to volunteer to be a docent, contact Francine Coxwell at FCoxwell@navyarmyccu.com. Vintage costumes are available for loan during the Tour.
Download flyer here.
The renovation of the History Center for Aransas County is progressing nicely.
|Workmen in the yard||Foundation for ADA restrooms|
|Interior gallery space from the front door||The forms for the driveway and ADA parking|
From the "Aransas Pass Progress" newspaper, August 21, 2013:
"A 25-year lease agreement was given to Aransas Pathways to develop the Fowler Lake Kayak launch site to be located on 9.9 acres of wetlands north of Conn Brown Harbor. The total project will include birding and nature trails with historical sites identified as well as the kayak launch areas.
"The funds for this project were approved by a bond election in Aransas County. It includes land in both counties and Aransas Pathways representative stated that they were committed to long-term maintenance."
To read the full article, click here.
Taking the first step on the Pathway
A Grand Opening of the Ivy Lane Birding and Nature Site will be held Friday, April 5, at 10:30 a.m. The opening will take place at the end of Ivy Lane, off Griffith Drive, in Rockport. Ivy Lane is the first completed site by Aransas Pathways, and will mark the first in a series of openings in Aransas County by the Aransas Pathways group.
Ivy Lane is situated on 28 wooded acres, developed in cooperation with the city of Rockport. It is strictly a birding and nature site. The site will include 3 trails, with one being ADA compliant. The two trails will be low impact, soft surface trails. According to Aransas Pathways Co-Chairman, Tom Callan, “The trails will have minimal effect on trees, vegetation and other life forms in the area and will be wide enough for pedestrians but narrow enough not to allow vehicular traffic.” The site will also include benches, signage and several low impact water drips.
According to Deb Corpora, Aransas Pathways Birding Expert, “The Coastal Live Oak forest is special because of the native shrubs and plants that make up the understory. The understory plant community, together with the Live Oaks, is called an oak motte. Some of the common plants are Red Bay, Youpon Holly, Wax Myrtle, Beauty Berry and Turk’s Cap. Oak mottes are a valuable stopover habitat for migrating songbirds. After flying for about 24 hours to cross the Gulf of Mexico, the birds often arrive completely exhausted. The oak motte provides food, shelter and a place for the birds to recover.” Corpora adds, “The water drips will be used by all wildlife in that area. Resident birds at Ivy Lane include Northern Cardinal, Carolina Wren, Ladder-backed Woodpecker and Black-crested Titmouse. In the Spring and Fall, migratory birds will shelter in the woodland. These birds include many species of warbler, Baltimore and Orchard Orioles, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.”
Directions to the Ivy Lane Birding and Nature Site can be found on the Aransas Pathways smartphone app, “Tour Rockport-Fulton.”
From memo to the Aransas Pathways Steering Committee:
If this property is developed properly it can be a spectacular addition to the many attractions the City and County have to offer, rivaling any development in surrounding communities such as Aransas Pass, Port Aransas and even Corpus Christi. Planning the development of this area must include all of the stakeholders which include the land owner (City of Rockport), the developer/financier (Aransas Pathways), the lodging industry, businesses profiting from eco-tourism and citizens of Rockport who can make significant recommendations in the development process.
Read the full memo here.
The history committee of the Aransas Pathways Steering Committee will hold a sign dedication on Monday, March 4, starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Big Blue Crab, located just west of the entrance to the Beach Park. The sign explains the history of the original crab, from its early years on top of the Del Mar Grill (1957) on Austin Street. The original crab finally deteriorated in 1976 and plans began in 2003 to “Bring Back the Big Blue Crab.” A small group of like-minded folks, spearheaded by Diana Harrington, David Herring, and Kam Wagert, sold crab novelties and solicited donations for erecting the big crab. Local artist David Allgood spent nine months creating the giant crustacean, this time with aluminum rods and tubing, screen, resin, and fiberglass. The crab is owned by the Aransas County Navigation District.
Signs commemorating historic places are on the trails for Aransas Pathways. On this site, go to History or get the free smart phone APP "Tour Rockport-Fulton" to locate all the signs and more (information on app below).
To read the program from the dedication, click here.
For more information, contact the Rockport Fulton Chamber of Commerce at 361-729-6445 or visit their website, www.rockport-fulton.org.
The Aransas Pathways Steering Committee is finding its workload shifting from plans to properties where work is being performed. The group met Friday, Feb. 15 at the AgriLife Building to hear about and approve work on several projects including the History Center and Ivy Lane birding trails.
So starts the article in the Rockport Pilot about Aransas Pathways -- Read More
A sign dedication will be held Saturday, Feb. 16 starting at 3 p.m. at the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary at the corner of Church and First streets in Rockport. The permanent sign is provided by the History Committee of the Aransas Pathways Project and recognizes Hagar’s work and legacy as a birder in Aransas County.
She and her husband, Jack, moved to Rockport in 1935. They purchased the cottages on Church Street where they would eventually host birding experts and ornithologists from throughout the U.S. This location is today the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary. Hagar passed away in 1973. The most common image of Connie Hagar is that of an older lady gazing upward and holding a pair of binoculars. This particular photo appeared in Life Magazine in 1954 and she was described as a “birdwatcher.”
Connie Hagar wasn’t just watching birds; she was studying their behavior, flight movement, calls, color and numbers. She did not keep her observations to herself. She wrote detailed notes of everything she saw during her daily birding treks. Her meticulous records and reports stirred the interest of ornithologists and birders everywhere. Birding experts, including Roger Tory Peterson, came to Rockport and Fulton to discover her writings were not exaggerations. Could there really be a place so full and diverse with bird species?
The “birdwatcher” shared her knowledge with more than the experts. Many long time Aransas County residents will recall Hagar visiting their classrooms to describe the bird species of the area. Hagar’s observations and notes put Aransas County on the map as one of the premiere birding locations in this hemisphere.
Directions to the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary can be found on the Aransas Pathways smartphone app, “Tour Rockport-Fulton" (see below).
For more information contact the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce at 361-729-6445 (http://www.rockport-fulton.org/).
Our new app, "Tour Rockport-Fulton", is your passport to GPS-guided Pathways to Birding, Hiking, Biking, History, Kayaking and our local attractions. Download this free application and you'll be ready to set off explore Rockport, Fulton and Aransas County.
|Get the iPhone, iPod, or iPad versions on iTunes||Get the Android version on Google Play|
A printed, 'take it with you' map of the Aransas Pathways project sites is available for your use now. the Birding and Kayak sites are over-laid on a map of the full Live Oak and Blackjack peninsulas with a legend. The inside of this folded 8½" by 11" map are aerial shots of the area with the Bike trails marked with their Ease of Use level. Expanded views of Downtown Rockport and Downtown Fulton with a legend of Historical sites is also included. Plan your custom tours with this valuable map.
Available FREE at most lodging front desks, RV parks and at the Rockport-Fulton Visitor Center at 319 Broadway in Rockport.
This monthly publication is publishing a series of articles about Aransas Pathways and our projects. Texas Now Magazine publishes monthly distributing 25,000 copies to their readers in over 400 locations statewide.
Part Five - Hiking and Cycling in Rockport-Fulton by Earl Matthew & Randy Kemper is in the November, 2012 Coastal Bend issue of Texas Now Magazine.
Part Four - Kayaking in Aransas County by Debra Copora is in the October, 2012 Coastal Bend issue of Texas Now Magazine.
Part Three - Flocking to Aransas County by Debra Copora is in the August, 2012 Coastal Bend issue of Texas Now Magazine.
Part Two - Historic Sites Open Windows to the Past by Pam Stranahan is in the July, 2012 Coastal Bend issue of Texas Now Magazine.
Part One - Adventures on Aransas Pathways by Pam Stranahan is in the June, 2012 Coastal Bend issue of Texas Now Magazine.
On Friday Aug. 17 the historic Bruhl-Paul-Johnson house was moved by Ram House Movers from 910 Concho Street to 801 E. Cedar Street. The move was one of the major projects that Aransas Pathways initiated this year.
Supporters gathered at 910 Concho at 8:45 AM to witness the start of the nine block journey that will take the house across state highway 35. Movers cannot estimate how long the move will take.
The project began when the County Commissioner’s Court bought the property with the historic home as part of future courthouse expansion. Development of the structure as the History Center for Aransas County is part of the master plan for Aransas Pathways with the Friends of the History Center as managing partner. The next phase will be stabilization of the building after the move then renovation as the History Center.
From News sources:
Historic home gets new location
Corpus Christi Caller Times
The need to move the house arose after the Aransas County Commissioners Court purchased ... The project will be paid through the Aransas Pathways project, ...
Historic home makes ‘historic’ move
The Rockport Pilot
Supporters of the historic Bruhl-Paul-Johnson house gathered Friday, Aug. 17 for a brief ceremony before the 127-ton house was raised by RAM House Movers and moved to its new home.
Find out more about the History Center by visiting - www.aransashistorycenter.org
Rockport’s original Big Blue Crab started out on the Del Mar Grill on Austin Street. In 1957, the Grill was run by Dorothy and Sal Silverman, and the speciality was Dorothy’s famous crab cakes. The Big Crab was 18 feet wide and 22 feet deep and was made of rebar, chicken wire, and papier mache’.
The Crab weathered both hur ricanes Carla in 1961 and Beulah in 1967. In 1965, the Grill closed and the Chamber of Commerce bought the Crab for $200. It was to be used as a background for photographs and put on at trailer for parades (to promote Rockport).
In October 1966, the Crab was moved to Veterans Memorial Park by the harbor. In 1969, a winter Texan repainted the Crab, and the Crab became a female as the tips of the pinchers were painted red. The Crab survived hurricane Celia in 1970, but it had deteriorated and finally had to be taken down in 1976.
From October 2011 to August 2012, local artist David Allgood constructed a new crab, using aluminum rods and tubing, screen, resin, and matting. It is bigger than the original, at 25 feet wide (side legs) by 27 feet deep.
This marker erected in 2012 through support from these entities: Aransas pathways and Aransas County Navigation District.
From News sources:
BREAKING NEWS New Blue Crab being installed
The Rockport Pilot
The long-awaited revival of the Big Blue Crab is here as it is being installed near the entrance to the Rockport beach right now. Complete details will be featured in The Rockport Pilot's Saturday edition....
It s back!
The Rockport Pilot
The all-new Big Blue Crab, complete with male markings and female colors, is being assembled, top photo, at its permanent berth on the south end of the Rockport Ski Basin. Work was halted Thursday afternoon due to high winds. Local artist David All...
From News sources:
Draft agreement approved for Pathways project
The Rockport Pilot
A birding and nature trail around the City of Rockport s Ivy Lane water storage facilities will be the first project of Aransas Pathways if the City and County can approve an interlocal agreement. The City approved a draft agreement during its Tuesda...
From News sources:
County buys acreage for Aransas Pathways
The Rockport Pilot
The Aransas County commissioners court approved the purchase of approximately four acres of property which will be used for Project No. 23 on the Aransas Pathways (AP) project list. The action was taken after a closed session was held during the Mond...