Concordia University Texas sits on 440 beautiful acres in Northwest Austin. The campus includes a 250-acre nature preserve that is home to a variety of plants and wildlife, including two endangered songbirds. CTX alumna (BBA, '16) Kassi Kincaid and her team featured the Concordia Preserve in Book Days' newest episode.
What Is Book Days?
Book Days is a program that brings books to life to foster a love of literacy in children. Beginning at Cornerstone Connection, a Christian preschool, Kassi Kincaid and her best friend, Ambria Bedgood, expanded the program and now produce engaging YouTube videos. Kincaid and her team visit the locations of Book Days' sponsors to read a book and to learn more about each sponsor's business.
Book Days features videos at the Sweet Berry Farm, Houston Zoo, Round Rock Donuts and other exciting places.
We're Going on a Bear Hunt
For the video at Concordia University Texas, Kincaid read "We're Going on a Bear Hunt," by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.
A family decides to go on a bear hunt, but they have to trudge through many obstacles on their journey, including long, wavy grass; a deep, cold river; thick, oozy mud; a big, dark forest; a swirling, whirling snowstorm; and a narrow, gloomy cave.
In the cave, the family is met by an angry bear, so they have to quickly run back through all of the obstacles to get to the safety of their house.
The Concordia Preserve provides the perfect setting for this story, except, of course, for the snowstorm. Zach Stark, the director of Environmental Stewardship, led the Book Days audience on a tour of the preserve.
The Concordia Preserve
The Concordia Preserve is part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, a federally protected refuge that encompasses more than 32,000 acres in Austin and the Texas Hill Country.
On the tour, viewers see almost all of the elements listed in the book. The first feature viewers are greeted with is a cave tucked behind branches. Although the canyon doesn't host many snowstorms, the temperature drops because the cool air settles in the canyon. Long, wavy grass appears on either side of the path, and bridges span natural waterways. A forest of trees — cottonwood, sycamore, walnut, pecan and Ashe juniper (aka cedar) — tower above, and much of the ground is dirt, which transforms into thick, oozy mud in the rain.
Thankfully, because of the hewn path, Concordia Preserve visitors don't have to walk through the challenging obstacles mentioned in the book, and the Book Days team didn't encounter a bear on the tour.
Kincaid and her team did get to see the beautiful pond that sits behind the CTX Library and is home to a variety of fish and birds, including wood ducks. A monarch butterfly also flitters across their path.
The Concordia University Texas Theatre's recent radio special earned the program accolades from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 6.
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