The river should be down by the 18th for our first Bat Float of the season – keep your fingers and toes crossed. Musical guest for the night will be Adam Johnson on guitar. You can purchase tickets on our website. Come out and join us, won’t you?


Several of our River Sense trips had to be cancelled this spring due to excessive rains and high waters, which has significantly reduced our numbers for the year. Please let us know if you have a connection with a teacher or school who would like to give their kids a unique opportunity to learn river etiquette, something they wouldn’t normally get in a classroom. We do groups of 30 kids at a time but can combine two groups of 15, and the kids we generally work with are underserved youth. Please call or email Anna Castillo at 512-865-1450 or anna@texasriverschool.org with information or questions. Learn more about Texas River School’s River Sense trips at www.texasriverschool.org/river-sense/


Hi KFF folks! Joe Kendall of Texas River School is keeping a close watch on the Guadalupe River water levels and is trying to come up with a Plan B so we can still take advantage of the water in a safe, fun way. He will arrive at the put-in site early Thursday morning to scout it out then determine if floating is doable for our group. This is a sticky situation and we’d rather not cancel with such beautiful weather, so he’ll make the decision as soon as possible to either go with a Plan B or cancel. Regardless, there are still eight (8) canoes available to rent. If this trip has to be cancelled, please know that refunds are available upon request. However, if you care to turn your prepayment into a tax-deductable donation, it would be most appreciated, and your tax-deductable letter for the IRS will be sent to you.


Kerrville Folk Festival folks, with this crazy wet weather we’re keeping an eye on the Guadalupe and whether or not the river will be floatable due to rain or high waters. We did have to cancel our first KFF Friday Float on May 27 because the river was flowing at a whopping 350 cfs, and it’s looking like this Friday’s float might have to be cancelled as well, if the waters don’t recede more. Generally speaking, the Guadalupe flows at about 50 cfs. We’ve safely floated at 100 cfs but anything above that we’re not comfortable with, especially since many are inexperienced paddlers. With that said, if your KFF Friday Float is cancelled, please know that refunds are available upon request. However, if you care to make your prepayment into a tax deductable donation, it will be most appreciated and you will receive that familiar letter for the IRS.


2nd Moonlight Bat Float – TRS focuses on river safety, which was the impetus behind our decision to postpone the May 21st Bat Float. River conditions should be better for our next Moonlight Bat Float on Saturday, June 18th, with special musical guest Adam Johnson. We hope to see you at our next scheduled Bat Float.


Kerrville Folk Festival Friday Floats – Each Friday of the festival we guide a group of festival-goers on the Guadalupe River for an afternoon of paddling, and playing music in the rapids. Our musical host for the first two Fridays is Mr. Habitat himself, Bill Oliver, who always brings fun and laughter to any party. Bill will not be available the third weekend – he has a wedding to attend (not his own) – but we have two special guests that we think you’ll enjoy. Butch Hancock and son Rory will take guitars and paddles in hand to host the last Friday float of the festival. We hope you’ll join us for all three festival floats.



This Saturday, May 21, 6pm at the docks of Texas Rowing Center, Texas River School will kick-off its 2016 season with musician Adam Johnson for another fun night on Lady Bird Lake. Now in its 11th year, this unique and fun water event supports Texas River School while highlighting Central Texas musicians and, of course, Austin’s incredible Mexican free tail bat population. Purchase ticket(s) online now, and join us as we see Austin from a different perspective. For more details, and to get last minute confirmation due to weather conditions, click here.



Join us this Saturday, May 21, 7am check-in at Texas River School’s River Camp (9909 Lorado Drive, 78725), for the first annual LoCol Trash Bash on the Lower Colorado River. Rain date is June 18. This is a community volunteer event to beautify the 3.5-mile section of river between Montopolis Bridge and Texas River School’s River Camp. Following the morning clean-up will be a celebration at the River Camp with BBQ, beer from Live Oak Brewing Co., games, and raffles to support Texas River School. Local contributors include: Orvis, Austin Canoe & Kayak, Whole Earth Provision Co., Patagonia Austin, Sportsman’s Finest, Living Waters Fly Fishing, Fly Geek Custom Flies, die Fische, Howler Bros., Hill Country Fly Fishers, and others. To register, and to learn more about this exciting new event, go to the LoCol Trash Bash website.



Our Friday river trips on the Guadalupe are one of the most popular events of the Folk Festival. Dates include May 27, June 3, and June 10, noon to 5pm. This is heart and soul authentic Folk Festival music where you can hear some of the finest Festival musicians up close and personal. Bring an instrument (dry bags provided) and join in, or be creative with river rocks or the side of your canoe to add percussion. Instead of music around the campfire, it’s music in the rapids. Musical hosts include Bill Oliver for the May 27 and June 3 trips, and Butch Hancock and son Rory for the June 10 trip. Availability is limited. We encourage you to buy your ticket(s) online now.



We grossed an amazing $7,918 with a net profit of over $4,000. Thirty-eight volunteers donated 104 hours of labor…and I mean it, they ROCKED! We grilled, cut, and rolled 350 lbs. of chicken; heated 1,500 flour tortillas and 480 corn tortillas; garnished with 36 lbs. of shredded cheese and 13 gallons of pico de gallo; and sold out of lemonade after 50 gallons.

If you want to get in on the fun for next year, contact us and we’ll get you on our mailing list. Eeyore’s is just TOO much fun!


Great news! Save Barton Creek Association (SBCA) is the recipient of a $48,800 grant from Texas Parks and Wildlife in partnership with Texas River School. This grant will allow us to take 240 kids through three different canoe trips – River Sense, Discover the Source, and Find & Capture – on three different dates for a total of 720 river days.

Discover the Source, our oldest program, is a canoeing experience that emphasizes the discovery and importance of ‘the source’ at Barton Springs Pool.

River Sense, now in its third year, was created to fulfill a need for more river safety in our fast-growing city. This program includes a short online quiz, called “River Sensibles,” that tests students’ recall of what they learned while on the river.

Find & Capture – an orienteering lesson, kayaking tutorial, and photo scavenger hunt along Barton Creek – is our newest program created to encourage teamwork, problem-solving, and creative photography.

For more details on all of our canoe trips, and to learn more about Texas River School events, click here.

British International School of Houston Floats our Boats

BISH, or British International School of Houston, floated the Lower Colorado River in early December outfitted by Texas River School (TRS). Seventeen students and three instructors took float on a 4-day 3-night adventure to prepare for a final excursion as part of their curriculum titled the Gold International Duke of Edinburgh Award and Expedition. The group consisted of mostly international students and teachers that hailed from such countries as United Kingdom, Pakistan, Germany, France, Scotland, Italy, and the U.S.

Guided by TRS trip leader Spider De Victoria, the group put-in on Wednesday, December 2nd under the Montopolis Street Bridge in the warmth of the afternoon sun. Their first night was spent at Texas River School’s River Camp, 5-miles south of Austin, with successive nights spent on sandy bars on the river. While two students had to drop out the first day due to illness, the remaining 15 students had a great trip with many learning experiences. When asked by Joe Kendall if they would do it again, they all responded positively.


The trip ended on Saturday, December 5th at Big Webberville Park, where all 10 canoes were unloaded and cleaned before boarding the bus back to Houston. All in all, a successful trip for both BISH and TRS; we hope to see them again.


Texas River School and Executive Director Joe Kendall were recognized on Monday, November 23, 2015, as SBCA’s Partner of the Year at the 36th Annual Save Barton Creek Association Awards Banquet. Olivia Hayden, Director of Development & Community Relations for SBCA, presented the award.

Recognition stemmed from the partnership Texas River School has had with SBCA over the last six years as recipient of the Community Outdoor Outreach Program (CO-OP) Grant. “This has been the necessary seed capital and one of the few unrestricted grants that provides us with the funds to actually go out and write grants,” Joe stated. “This partnership will gIMG_0935row because of new grant opportunities and the young people on our staff.”

Joe continued by saying, “I cut my teeth with SBCA. You were the first environmental organization I was associated with, and I want to thank all of you who went to the meetings every Monday night and to council meetings on Thursday nights, you all did the hard work. I found my niche in outfitting trips, and with the help of Wayne Gronquist I started doing trips and became SBCA’s outfitter, something I want to continue doing in the future.”

On-hand to help accept the award was the TRS staff and several members of the Board of Directors. Joe took particular pride in introducing his younger staff who “are a serious, enthusiastic, experienced group of young people ready to take over the program.” Congratulations Joe Kendall and Texas River School.


Texas Parks and Wildlife Grant Awarded to Texas River School

tpwdThe Texas Parks and Wildlife has just awarded a $38,000 grant to the Texas River School for Project PADDLE!

The Colorado River, an environmental resource underutilized by Austin area school children, becomes an exciting and exceptional outdoor classroom when made accessible through the cooperation and the canoes of the Texas River School.

By providing infrastructure, canoeing equipment, training and mentored outdoor experiences to underserved and at-risk youth in Central Texas, The Texas River School’s Project PADDLE creates opportunities for improving academic performance and appropriate social behaviors for students attending Austin Independent School District elementary schools. 

We teach specific skills in a proven manner: environmental awareness, cooperation, physical movement, team building, respect for natural resources, water bird and animal habitat identification, personal safety and project completion. And we have fun: canoeing, open swimming, underwater photography, orienteering/geocaching, camping and appreciation of the power of a song are some of the skills students develop in our curriculum.

Our Project PADDLE classes coincide with AISD school semesters and are offered in the seasons of early Fall and late Spring.

Project PADDLE places kids in canoeing education courses on Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Lady Bird Lake Paddling Trail as well as the Colorado River. Our classes are designed specifically for a variety of ages and experience levels:  

  • “River Sense” on Lady Bird Lake provides basic canoeing education with river safety education; 
  • “Discover the Source” combines the attributes of our River Sense program while instilling environmental awareness through an appreciation and discovery of the source of of Barton Springs; 
  • “Canoe Camping” on the Colorado River is offered to “River Sense” students who exhibit a willingness to serve the environmental good through participation in COOP Service Project;
  • TRS COOP Service Project:  students learn the values of biodiversity by identifying and remove invasive plant species along the Colorado River adjacent to the Texas River School’s River Camp. Students replace invasive plants with plants native to the Texas environment.

The Texas River School is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charitable organization. Along with the Austin Independent School District (AISD), Project Paddle is produced in cooperation and through the generosity of The Texas Rowing Center providing Lady Bird Lake access and donating canoes for classes, Austin songwriter and performer Bill Oliver, as well as many in-kind and generous donations from people and businesses of the Austin, Texas community.