Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of work and responsibilities but its time to pause and enjoy nature. It’s practically free to enjoy one of these untouched gems in Corpus Christi. Disconnect from technology and reconnect with your families and friends and just enjoy nature the way it should be; calm, serene and in the case of Padre Island National Seashore, protected.
Padre Island National Seashore is one of the longest, undeveloped barrier islands in the world and one of the Coastal Bend’s greatest natural attractions. The park protects 70 miles of coastline, dunes, prairies, and wind tidal flats teeming with life. It is a safe nesting ground for the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, a haven for 380 bird species and it also contains one of the most hypersaline lagoons in the world. It also has a rich history, including the Spanish shipwrecks of 1554.
The National Park Service
The National Park Service was created to preserve the natural and cultural resources for the enjoyment and education of present and future generations. Yellowstone National Park was the very first national park signed into law in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant. The original protectors and administrators of the national parks were the U.S. Calvary; they carried on this tradition until just before World War I. On August 25, 1916 the National Park Service was officially created. One-hundred years after this agency got its start; there are now over 400 National Park sites which include parks, historic sites, memorials, recreation areas and seashores.
Here in South Texas, Padre Island National Seashore was created and signed into law in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy. Prior to the creation of the National Seashore, much of the island had been a cattle ranch for almost 200 years. In fact, this island was the site of the last open range cattle ranch in the United States of America.
The Kemp’s Ridley
This protection does not just apply to the plants but animals as well! The most endangered sea turtle species, the Kemp’s Ridley, nests on the beaches of the National Seashore. Jackrabbits, deer and coyotes can frequently be seen in the dunes. The seashore also is a central flyway for many migrating bird species. The park offers many programs to educate visitors about the natural world awaiting them at the Seashore. It’s always good to be aware of their presence and learn more. For casual learning opportunities, the park also offers beach walks, deck talks, winter bird tours and art classes.
Guests interested in visiting the park, please stop by the Malaquite Visitor Center 20420 Park Road 22 in Corpus Christi, Texas.
To further plan your itinerary, swing by the Corpus Christi Visitor Information Center to pick up a map and coupons for several local restaurants and attractions. Can't wait to see you in Corpus Christi!