Passing The Paddle

After 27 years of taking Austin kids out on the river, Joe Kendall retires as the Executive Director of Texas River School. Joe founded Texas River School, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, in 1992 with the intention of sharing his love and knowledge of the river by combining outdoor education and canoeing skills with healthy nutritional reinforcement. Texas River School strives to connect children with nature, and abide by their motto: “Helping to keep our kids and rivers healthy!”

Under Joe’s guidance, Texas River School has conducted over 400 canoe trips and taken nearly 12,000 area youth on the river to experience canoeing, swimming, snorkeling, camping, and much more. The River School works with kids from all backgrounds, but the focus has always been on underserved youth who face challenges or lack the opportunity to experience Austin’s wonderful natural resources.

Joe has been more than instrumental in Texas River School programs – he is the reason for them. With a passion for experiential learning versus being “taught” in a classroom, Joe has been the catalyst for the River School’s success – from putting in long hours and days on the rivers and in the classroom to providing expertise and gear for trips, he has been involved with every aspect of the organization.

When asked about his success with the school, Joe was quick to pass the credit saying, “Over the years the Austin community has really stepped up and shown how much they value nature and how important it is to pass along this appreciation to community kids. That’s where our success has come from.” He’s right. The Austin community has supported Texas River School, but the driving force has always been Joe.

Although Joe may not admit it, he is a people person. He has really connected with the Austin community by building strong relationships with local schools, other non-profits, local businesses, and hundreds of individuals. With his quiet, kind demeanor, Joe has helped these groups realize their shared goals and values and the importance of passing these traits on to future generations.

Over the past couple of years, Joe has worked to prepare the organization for his retirement. With the help of Texas River School’s old guard, Joe has connected with a new generation of board members and staff in the same way he has connected with the Austin community. In keeping with this momentum, the baton will now be passed to incoming Executive Director Graham Daly of San Marcos, Texas. Under Graham’s direction, Texas River School looks forward to getting even more Austin youth on the river!

Texas River School will be celebrating Joe’s accomplishments and retirement at their annual Amplify Austin Party on Thursday, February 28th at The High Road On Dawson, 700 Dawson Road, 78704, from 5:30 to 9:00 PM. The community is invited to join the party. Enjoy hot food and cold drinks, meet the new Director, and dance to live music by The Jitterbug Vipers. It’s sure to be a good time!

For more information:
Graham Daly
Executive Director
Texas River School 512.947.5658

TRS Chicken Fajita Booth a Huge Success at Eeyore’s

Thank you to our fabulous volunteers for helping Texas River School raise an amazing $10,568. We grilled, rolled and sold 1,500 of our fabulous chicken fajitas, and 70 gallons of our tasty lemonade (made with pure lemon juice and stevia).

It was a beautiful day filled with laughter, fun, and colorful characters.

Texas River School is Now Hiring!

Earn $3,000-$5,000 by leading 32 Canoeing/Kayaking trips this summer


Position: Trip Leader  

Available: Immediately thru October

To Apply: Email your letter of interest to


Job Summary

The Trip Leader will be responsible for leading (and organizing) river trips for groups of 25-30 youth on Lady Bird Lake and Barton Creek. Trips are funded from a grant received from TPWD. Currently, we have funding for 32 river trips. This would be an ideal position for a college student or retired schoolteacher. Trips can also be team shared with another trip leader.


Responsibilities and Duties

  • Manages all aspects of four river trip programs: River Sense, Discover the Source, Find and Capture, and Canoe Camping.
  • Oversees river trips from start to finish.
  • Works with the Assistant Executive Director in the planning and organizing of all trips.



  • Flexible schedule preferred
  • Enjoys working with youth
  • Excellent references


Knowledge, Skills & Abilities

  • Demonstrates personal alignment with the mission of Texas River School
  • Thrives in an outdoor environment
  • Experienced paddler
  • Certified in First Aid/CPR and basic water safety a plus



  • Competitive shift pay (per trip)
  • Fees for any training classes


Physical Demands

  • Stamina for paddling long distances, potentially in strong winds
  • Able to lift/carry canoes or kayaks


About Texas River School

Texas River School teaches young people to love, protect, and safely enjoy Texas waterways through hands-on educational outings that include canoeing and camping.

We practice our motto – Helping to Keep Our Kids and Rivers Healthy – by continually working toward reducing the nature deficit in area youth through our river trip programs. Incorporated into these half-day, day-long, and overnight excursions are tools we use to inspire, educate, and nurture students’ experiences and imagination, such as environmental education, camping, canoeing, kayaking, orienteering/geocaching, nature photography, open-water swimming, and much more.

Amplify Austin results for Texas River School


Texas River School raised $14, 583 during Amplify Austin.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, to everyone who donated!
Thank you Amplify Austin, Rowing Dock, Texas Rowing Center, Save Barton Creek Association, Environmental Resources Management, Eloo Toilet Systems, The High Road on Dawson Charity, Colt Builders, Charlie’s Yard, GTown Lumber & Supply, Andrew Rincon (owner of CraigO’s Pizza & Pastaria in Lakeway) for the delicious food, volunteers Kathy Rowell and Alisa Michalzik, Altamesa for their great party music, and our Board for their hard work and dedication to making the event go smoothly.

If you were unable to make this year’s event, fear not, you can still make a donation. Just go to our website at and click on the DONATE button.

October 7 Moonlight Bat Float Cancelled

Due to the huge influx of people and cars coming in for ACL fest on October 7, parking will be a nightmare for our Moonlight Bat Float guests; therefore, we are cancelling the Moonlight Bat Float. We hope to see you all next May for our 2018 kick off float. Take care, friends!

Moonlight Bat Float – Saturday, September 9th

We’re expecting a lovely evening for the next Moonlight Bat Float on Saturday, September 9th. Same time: sign-in at 6pm, push-off at 7pm. Same place: on the docks of Texas Rowing Center. This month you’ll be paddling to the sounds of The Flyin’ A’s…you won’t want to miss this show. Tell your friends and family to join you at Texas River School’s Moonlight Bat Float for another spectacular evening of music, fun, and bats.

Seeking sharecropper/renter

Seeking sharecropper/renter to garden on a compost-rich, sandy soil, no-till, ¼-acre permaculture lot adjoining Texas River School’s River Camp. The plot has contoured beds with distribution lines for easy watering and access to water. The previous sharecropper produced garlic, tomatoes, lettuce, peppers, okra, cukes, and small watermelons. This plot has been part of demonstrations for Texas River School’s sustainable living organic garden.

This is a unique opportunity for someone who would like to sharecrop or rent garden space down river on the Colorado, twenty minutes from downtown…three miles east of 183 off of MLK (Hwy 969)…9909 Lorado Drive, 78726…Please spread the word.

Interested in learning more? Contact Joe Kendall at or phone 512-289-0750.

Volunteers Needed for Eeyore’s 2017

Hi Friends!

Volunteers are still needed for the Chicken Fajita booth at Eeyore’s 54th Birthday Party on Saturday, April 29th (rain date, Saturday, May 6th), one of Texas River School’s biggest FUNdraising events of the year.

Currently, we have 45 shifts that have not been covered. Click (here) to view the schedule. Our 2-4pm shift is the busiest when things get really crazy in a fun kind of way, and a great way to see our production in full-scale action.

If you’re new to our organization and/or have never volunteered with us before, this is your opportunity to come see our FUNny side. We have a blast!

Sign up today and bring a friend!

For those of you already signed up, we thank you and look forward to another successful event!

Eeyore’s Birthday Party website: