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Partners in the Parks: Big Thicket National Preserve
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Partners in the Parks: Big Thicket National Preserve

Explore Big Thicket National Preserve as well as surrounding wilderness areas through various hikes, an educational boat ride along the Neches River, and a canoe trip along the Village Creek Paddling Trail.

1/4/2020 to 1/11/2020
When: January 4-11, 2020
Where: Big Thicket National Preserve
United States
Contact: NCHC Office
(402) 472-9150

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Please read the following before registering:

Affiliating yourself with your institution

If you are not the director of your program, or you do not hold a current NCHC Institutional, Professional, or Student Membership, and/or have not attended an NCHC program in the past year, you may not be in our new software system yet!

You must sign up as a "Contact" prior to registering for any NCHC program. 

Sign up as a Contact!

Be sure to select “Contact” when creating a username for our website. If your institution has an Institutional Membership, signing up as a "Contact" will affiliate you with your institution, and you'll receive the member discount. If you sign up for any membership aside from "Contact," you will be asked to pay for that membership fee.

You'll receive an email notification, and THEN you may start registration for the intended institute.

(If your institution is not a member of NCHC, please proceed as a "Guest.")

*Members receive a 50% discount on NCHC Partners in the Parks registration pricing!

Questions? Contact the NCHC office at (402) 472-9150 or


Institution Limitation for Participants

At the maximum, only two students from any one institution will be allowed to participate on an individual trip. If you are unsure if other students from your institution are signed up for the trip, please check with your school's honors office, or send an e-mail to 


Mandatory Documentation

This year, when you register, you will be required to turn in 3 forms stating your acknowledgement of different NCHC policies while you are a participant on your potential trip. To save you some time while registering, we recommend downloading these files now, digitally or physically signing them, and have them ready to be uploaded with your application.



The Big Thicket has been described as one of the most biodiverse areas in the world outside the tropics. Educational topics will include the biological diversity of the area, the cultural influences of East Texas in relation to Louisiana, and economic drivers including the Neches River.

The unique variety of vegetation in the Big Thicket area will be explored. According to the Big Thicket National Preserve website, “the area is home to more than 200 tree species, 47 mammals, 300 birds and many reptiles and amphibians.” The ecological, cultural, and economic significance of the Neches River will also be discussed throughout the program.

The Big Thicket National Preserve has a visitor center and various interpreters that we plan to utilize during the project. Additionally, the Big Thicket Association has resources and educators to assist in leading workshops and educational programs.



Airport Information
Preferred Airport: Beaumont Airport (BPT)

Plan to arrive on Saturday January 4th, and depart Saturday January 11th. Registration cost includes a hotel stay on Saturday the 4th and Friday the 10th (shared room).

If participants choose to fly into Houston, transportation will be provided on January 4 & 11 only.


Proposed Itinerary
Saturday 4-Jan-20
Participants arrive in Beaumont (or can fly into Houston)

Sunday 5-Jan-20
Ivory Bill boat tour and Travel to Big Thicket

Monday 6-Jan-20
Big Thicket NP Welcome/Introduction to the national preserve @ Visitor Center: Welcome to the park, Presentation on the preserve, Park Film, Time to explore the visitor exhibits

Tuesday 7-Jan-20
All day Canoe trip and service project

Wednesday 8-Jan-20
Big Thicket NP Hike with Park Ranger and Longleaf Fine Restoration

Thursday 9-Jan-20
Long hike

Friday 10-Jan-20
Breakdown campsite / Reflections in the afternoon / Travel back to Beaumont

Saturday 11-Jan-20
Students fly out of Beaumont or Houston airport


Program Size 12 Students
NCHC Member Price $750 (does not include airfare)
NCHC Nonmember Price $1500 (does not include airfare)
Deadline to Register December 13, 2019









If you have any questions regarding your trip specifically, please contact your trip facilitator listed below. They will be sending you more information regarding what to pack, and any supplies you may need for your trip.


Trip Facilitators

Rebekah Maxwell, Lamar University

Jared Richards, Lamar University




All requests for refunds MUST be submitted in writing to the national office and RECEIVED no later than thirty days in advance of the trip departure date.

  • Received prior to 30 days before trip departure:          Full refund, less a $50 per person administrative fee
  • Received within 30 days before trip departure:            No refunds granted

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