STC to host Earth Day event for children at Frontera Audubon




For Immediate Release
April 6, 2011

Dr. Debbie Villalon

South Texas College presents the Third Annual Environmental Education Fair at Frontera Audubon Society

Weslaco, TX—Music, fun, live animals and entertainment await children of all ages at South Texas College’s Third Annual Environmental Education Fair.  The Earth Day Celebration will feature Eco-friendly hands on arts and crafts as you walk through the woods on Saturday April 16, 2011 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Frontera Audubon Society, 1101 S. Texas Blvd. in Weslaco. The event is free to the public.

The Third Annual Environmental Education Fair: Celebrate Earth Day is generously sponsored by South Texas College (STC), Frontera Audubon Society, STC Mid-Valley Campus (MVC) Biology Club and Education Department, the Weslaco Lions Club, and Kohls.

“The goal of the event is to teach our younger generation to be aware of nature and to understand how humans and wildlife share the environment,” STC-MVC Biology Lead Instructor Dr. Debbie Villalon said. “We want to showcase local natural resources, such as Frontera’s 15 acres of natural habitat, through entertaining, educational activities.”

The fun-filled Earth Day Celebration will showcase environmental education participants with displays (including live animals) and activities at Frontera Audubon’s Historic Skaggs House and backyard. Eco-friendly Scavenger Hunt activities in Frontera Audubon’s Thicket Forest will provide hands on learning opportunities on topics such as recycling, sun protection, and environmental education.

“South Texas College has a strong commitment to outreach for younger generations, and the Environmental Education Fair is a great way to show children how they can take what they learn and apply it to their lives.

“The event stresses recycling and how to create, provide, and enhance wildlife habitat,” Villalon said.

A Bird House Competition, sponsored by the MVC Biology, will also be judged during the event, with the people’s choice award, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place trophies and ribbons in three categories. Entry forms, a $10 entrance fee, and bird houses must be submitted by April 11th. For more information and contest rules, email Dr. Villalon at

“The Bird House Competition is a great way to create a habitat for birds,” Villalon said. “This and other hands-on learning activities show how preserving and protecting our environment can easily be incorporated at home.”

Participants with Displays at Historic Skagg’s House and backyard:

  • Valley Nature Center (animals)
  • Estero Llano Grande (animals)
  • 2 Moon jumps
  • Moreno’s Pet Store (animals)
  • Weslaco Police Dept (children id)
  • Storybook Readings (Weslaco public Library and STC English Department) – design a bookmark
  • American Cancer Society (smoke free pledge and skin cancer awareness)
  • STC Chemistry Club (Go Green Chemistry)
  • STC Biology Club Bird House Displays and Contest
  • WEHS Environmental Club – Face Painting and tattoos
  • Master Gardener’s (water erosion display)
  • Green Mountain Energy
  • Texas A&M Extension – entomology display
  • Knapp Medical Cente r – several displays including skin cancer tests
  • UTPA Biology Dept – animal display
  • Volunteers from:
    • Kohls A Team (environmental grant that made this all financially possible)
    • Med High School and Science Academy- medical screenings performed by students
    • Lion’s Club – Youth Leo’s Club
    • WHS National Honors Society
    • STC Education Dept Students
    • Healthy Earth Day brown bag lunch from Mamma’s Garden Cottage in Weslaco

Scavenger Hunt Activities in the woods:

1.      Recycle paper cookies

2.      Recycle plastic bottle feeders

3.      Recycle paper flower pots and planting seeds

4.      Recycled bottle cap jewelry

5.      Sun Protection/Skin cancer display (QUIZ)

a.      decorate hats

b.      homemade lip gloss

6.      Build an Eco-food chain and webs, plus flower

7.      Finding Your Way through the Woods

8.      State bird pins (QUIZ)

9.      Build and paint a Bird House

10.    Paint Butterfly Sun catchers

11.    Create an Earth Day Photo frame- download images from Frontera website

12.   Coloring books – add to mural

For more information about the “Celebrate Earth Day” Third Annual Environmental Education Fair, email Dr. Villalon at


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