Archive for June, 2015

Chaco Gives Back to Enchanted Rock for 2015

Chaco Gives Back to Enchanted Rock for 2015

Chaco Gives Back returns to Whole Earth Provision Co. from June 20th through July 5th. During these two weeks, for every full price pair of Chaco shoes and sandals purchased at Whole Earth stores, Chaco will donate $5 to the Friends of Enchanted Rock. The Friends are planning to use the money raised this year to purchase Elkay filtered water stations that include taps for the easy filling of reusable water bottles.

Chaco Footwear, known for their ‘go everywhere, do anything sandals,’ is a very generous contributor to local causes. Since 2008, they have contributed almost $25,000 to the Friends of Enchanted Rock in response to purchases made at Whole Earth Provision Co. stores. The Chaco Gives Back funds have been used for many projects including retrofitting antiquated plumbing fixtures in the Park to low-flow water saving systems; providing funding for visitor trail maps; improving the trail system by reclaiming areas where small game trails had turned into human ones, causing erosion; and, last year, purchasing recycling receptacles for the Park.

Enchanted Rock

photo by Alicia Sullivan

Enchanted Rock is a truly magical place. The exposed pink granite batholith reaches an elevation of 1,825 feet, offering a magnificent panoramic view of the surrounding Hill Country. The rock is ancient, perhaps a billion years old and has been called the Heart of Texas. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area covers over 600 acres and is host to over 500 species of plants that live on the rock itself. Wildlife found in the park includes birds, bats, lizards, squirrels and fox. Park visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, rock climbing, bird watching and stargazing. In 2014, Enchanted Rock was designated an International Dark Skies Park, one of the few in the nation.

The Friends of Enchanted Rock (FOER) is a volunteer, non-profit organization founded in 1999. Their mission is to work in partnership with Texas Parks & Wildlife to promote conservation of Enchanted Rock’s natural and cultural resources through preservation, education and improvement efforts. FOER is the first and only official support group dedicated to the conservation and protection of Enchanted Rock and has received support from other Whole Earth Community Partners – Central Texas Mountaineers and Texas Parks & Wildlife and through community events like the Granite Gripper Climbing Competition.

dusty chacos

photo by Sebastian Cancino

Chaco Footwear is ‘Fit for Adventure.’ Their signature adjustable nylon sandals put Chaco on the map for outdoor enthusiasts around the world. Their popularity has grown through the years and styles now include casual footwear and shoes, which you can find at Whole Earth stores. So if you have been thinking about purchasing a new pair of Chacos, now is the time! You’ll have a great pair of shoes or sandals, and you’ll help keep Enchanted Rock a magical place, today and for generations to come.

Texas State Parks Check Presentation

Texas State Parks Check Presentation

photo by Johanna Schmidt

A great big Texas Thank You to everyone who donated during our Texas State Parks Month fund drive during the month of April. Today we presented Texas Parks & Wildlife with a check for $29,176 at McKinney Falls State Park. This represents customer donations and the proceeds from the Banff Mountain Film Festival. This is the fourth year Whole Earth has raised funds for the parks making a grand total of $118,248 in donations. Thank you for supporting our Texas State Parks! From left to right Brent Leisure, Director of State Parks, Walter Wakefield and Joe Jones, of Whole Earth, Carter Smith, Executive Director of TP&W, and Bert Peeples, Whole Earth.

Meet Bill Steele in San Antonio

Bill Steele - Modern Explorer

photo courtesy of Bill Steele

Into the Deep at Sistema Huautla 2015 with Bill Steele

Tuesday June 16th Dallas Mockingbird at 7 pm ~ cancelled

Thursday June 18th San Antonio Quarry Market at 7 pm

Bill Steele is a genuine explorer. He truly goes where no one has gone before – into unexplored caves deep within the Earth. He’s co-leader of Proyecto Espeleológico de Sistema Huautla or PESH, a ten year project to map and explore the largest cave system in the Western Hemisphere, Sistema Huautla. The 2015 expedition ended in May, and Steele will be coming to the Mockingbird Dallas and San Antonio Whole Earth stores to share stories and spectacular photos from this year’s campaign.

First explored in the 1960s, Sistema Huautla is now known to have 22 entrances and over 40 miles of interconnecting passageways reaching a depth of 5,069 feet. This year’s expedition pushed into unexplored portions of the cave system, hoping to add to its record depth. But there was more to the expedition than the quest for new records. PESH has undertaken the ten year program of exploration to expand and refine the map of Sistema Huautla as well as study the geology, hydrology, archaeology and paleontology of the caverns and the biology of creatures and organisms living deep within the earth. This year Steele brought a group of outstanding photographers with him into the caves and their photos reveal a stunningly beautiful world hidden away in the depths of the Earth.

Just before he left for this year’s expedition, Bill Steele sat down with Whole Earth’s Reid Kinslow for a conversation on Steele’s career as a caver and a preview of this year’s campaign. We hope you’ll enjoy the interview and then come to Steele’s Huautla 2015 presentation at our Mockingbird or San Antonio stores. It’s a rare opportunity to meet a true explorer.

Read more about the 2015 Huautla expedition here

Oxfam America Check Presentation

Walter Wakefield of Whole Earth and Jessica Glidden of Oxfam America

Walter Wakefield of Whole Earth and Jessica Glidden of Oxfam America
~ photo by Jesse Reynolds

To everyone who took part in our Nepal Recovery Fund Drive – Oxfam America received the funds you contributed today – $17,763! This is the second largest donation that Oxfam America has received for relief work in Nepal in the wake of two devastating earthquakes. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your generous support.

Dansko Days Check Presentation – Texas Land Conservancy

Dansko Days Check Presentation

Jack Jones, Ashley Lovell and Rachael Garbowski ~ photo by Jesse Reynolds

Jack Jones of Whole Earth Provision Co. presents Ashley Lovell and Rachael Garbowski of the Texas Land Conservancy with a check from our Dansko rep, Adam Schiffman, for funds raised during Dansko Days for the Texas Land Conservancy. Many thanks to all of our customers who bought Dansko shoes during Dansko Days. Your purchases will help TLC to protect those special places that make us proud to call Texas home.

Modern Exploration – an Interview with Bill Steele

Bill Steele sits down with Reid Kinslow of Whole Earth Provision Co. to talk about his life and experiences as a world renowned Speleologist and Explorer as well as his current 2015 expedition to Sistema Huautla in San Agustín, Oaxaca, Mexico.

Luray Caverns photo:
By David Jones (Reflecting cavern lake) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Forbidden Caverns photo:
By Scott Oves (Forbidden caverns) [CC BY 2.0 (], via

Read more about the Huautla Expedition here.