Here you'll find full articles and information on events and current store happenings.

Chaco Gives Back to the Friends of Enchanted Rock!

Chaco Gives Back

Chaco Gives Back returns to Whole Earth Provision Co. starting June 18th and running 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. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is often short of water, so The Friends are planning to use the money raised this year to create a rainwater collection system for the landscaping around the headquarters building. In addition, our Austin North Lamar store will welcome the Chaco Z the World Tour on Friday, July 1st from 1 to 4 pm. Attractions include – free Kona Ice Snow Cones, swag giveaways, games, a chance to try the Chaco 360° virtual reality experience, and an opportunity to enter the Chaco Sweepstakes. The prize: $5000 in airline travel!

Chacos – photo by Johanna Schmidt

Chacos – photo by Johanna Schmidt

Chaco Footwear, known for their ‘go everywhere, do anything sandals,’ is a very generous contributor to local causes. Since 2008, they have contributed almost $30,000 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; purchasing recycling receptacles for the Park; and last year, adding Elkay filtered water stations that include taps for the easy filling of reusable water bottles.

Filtered water station at Enchanted Rock. Photo Friends of Enchanted Rock

Filtered water station at Enchanted Rock. Photo Friends of Enchanted Rock

The recycling stations around the park are doing a brisk business. During Spring Break 2016, in just two weeks, park staff and volunteers recycled 269 pounds of plastic bottles from the stations. The annual total has been over 3,000 pounds of plastic bottles. The filtered water stations purchased with Chaco’s 2015 donation have digital counters which show how many bottle fills have been made, and the number is huge: 19,345 fills by the first of May, and that is less than three months after installation! The Friends would like to get that plastic bottle recycling number down, so the park store carries refillable bottles, and they are hoping more and more Park visitors are buying them or bringing their own refillable bottles.

View from the top of Enchanted Rock – photo Sean Bibby

View from the top of Enchanted Rock – photo Sean Bibby

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.

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.

Dansko Days Check Presentation

Dansko Days Check Presentation

Many, many thanks to all of our customers who bought Dansko shoes during Dansko Days for the Texas Land Conservancy at Whole Earth Provision Co. Your purchases will help TLC to protect those special places that make us proud to call Texas home. From left to right: Stephen Ramirez and Amber Arseneaux of TLC, Adam Schiffman of Dansko, and Jack Jones of Whole Earth.

Texas State Parks Check Presentation

Texas State Parks Check Presentation

We’re sending out a great big Texas Thank You to all of our customers who made donations during April is Texas State Park Month and to everyone who attended the Banff Mountain Film Festival and Radical Reels in Austin back in February. Today, we presented a check for $30,259 to Texas State Parks. This brings the five year total to $148,507! Thank you so much for supporting our Texas State Parks. From left to right Brent Leisure, Director of State Parks, Jack Jones of Whole Earth, Ralph Duggins, Vice Chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, Joe Jones of Whole Earth, Holland Jones of Whole Earth, Bert Peeples of Whole Earth and Carter Smith, Executive Director of Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Merrel Gives Back supports the Big Bend Conservancy!

Merrel Gives Back supports the Big Bend Conservancy!

Some places on Earth are so beautiful that one can only stand in wonder and gratitude before them. Big Bend National Park is a place of such beauty… a place where the spirit of the land inspires and nourishes the lives of all who walk there…a place of solitude, serenity, and reflection…a place that changes lives through exploration and adventure…a beautiful, coherent, and sublime place that must be protected.
– from the Big Bend Conservancy Vision Statement

Big Bend. The name conjures up vast landscapes filled with mountains, deserts, canyons and a great river. For generations, Texans have loved the place, and sharing Big Bend memories is a surefire way to cement lifelong friendships. The Big Bend Conservancy, formerly known as the Friends of Big Bend National Park, is an organization devoted to preserving the Park, enhancing educational opportunities, and providing hospitality for visitors. Whole Earth Provision Co. has had the pleasure of working with the group for many years, so we are proud to announce that Merrell will be sponsoring Merrell Gives Back in support of the Big Bend Conservancy.

From May 14th through May 31st, for each pair of Merrell Shoes purchased at Whole Earth, Merrell will donate five dollars to the Big Bend Conservancy. Merrell makes classic outdoor shoes. The company was founded in 1981 with the goal of providing high performance, affordable hiking boots. Today, their line includes shoes for hiking and trail running as well as everyday shoes, like the ever popular Moab and Jungle Mocs.

Fossil skull from Big Bend   NPS photo/ Big Bend National Park

Fossil skull from Big Bend NPS photo/ Big Bend National Park

The Big Bend Conservancy will be using the funds to prepare for their new Fossil Discovery Exhibit. The Park has over 1200 fossils including more than 30 Cretaceous era species as well as super crocodiles, T-rex and sabre tooth tigers. Opening in January 2017, the exhibit will focus specifically on the fossils of Big Bend and feature “The Boneyard,” Big Bend’s first ever dedicated children’s interpretive area.

We hope you’ll stop by your favorite Whole Earth store and check out our selection of Merrell shoes. You just may find the perfect shoe for everyday or on the trail, and your purchase will help support the Big Bend Conservancy.

Big Bend – photo by Emre Erdener

Big Bend – photo by Emre Erdener

Dansko Days benefitting the Texas Land Conservancy

Dansko Days benefitting the Texas Land Conservancy

May 6th – 15th
All Stores

In the past 10 years, Texas has lost a staggering 3,000,000 acres of open land to growth and development. Did you have a special place in the woods or along a creek where you played as a child? Does it still exist as you remember it? For many of us, the answer sadly is no. But, thanks to the Texas Land Conservancy, the answer for some is yes.

The Texas Land Conservancy was founded in 1982 by Ned Fritz, known as the father of Texas conservation. Responding to the encroachment of development on natural areas in Texas, Fritz decided that there was a need for a land trust that would take on the preservation of small but important properties that were not large enough to be saved by other organizations. Using conservation easements the Texas Land Conservancy has preserved the physical and ecological integrity of wildlife habitat, native plant communities and scenic landscapes across the state for the benefit of present and future generations of Texans.

The Ferguson Ranch in Gillespie County

The Ferguson Ranch in Gillespie County

Dansko, through their Texas area rep, has become a big supporter of the Texas Land Conservancy. For each pair of full price Dansko shoes sold at Whole Earth Provision Co. during Dansko Days, from May 6th through May 15th, our Dansko rep will donate $5 to the Texas Land Conservancy! Dansko Shoes are loved by folks who spend many hours of the day on their feet: teachers, nurses, sales clerks, chefs and their kitchen staff. Dansko shoes are comfortable and they have style. We hope you’ll stop by your favorite Whole Earth and take a look at our Dansko shoes. You’ll find so much more than a basic clog. You may find your new favorite pair of shoes, and you’ll be supporting the Texas Land Conservancy with your purchase.

Most of the property protected by the Texas Land Conservancy is not open to the public. Conservation easements limit development and provide for restoration and land management, but the land still remains in private hands. However, there are nine sites open to the public. Two are in major Texas cities: Oak Cliff Nature Preserve in Dallas and Cibolo Creek Preserve in San Antonio. Throughout the year, some of the other protected properties are open to the public. You can learn about these special days by signing for the group’s emails or social media posts on their website. The Texas Land Conservancy also has a great Instagram feed that celebrates Texas landscapes and wildlife.

Learn more about the National Parks of Texas

Learn more about the National Parks of Texas

May 10th National Parks of Texas
San Antonio at 7 pm

May 18th National Parks of Texas
Austin North Lamar at 7 pm

May 20th The Big Thicket National Preserve
Houston Post Oak at 7 pm

The National Park Service turns 100 this year! Many Texans might be surprised to learn that Texas is home to 16 National Parks, Monuments, Historic sites and Preserves. Whole Earth Provision Co. is pleased to host several events during the month of May where you can learn more about these very special places.

Big Bend photo by Emre Erdener

Big Bend photo by Emre Erdener

On May 10th at our San Antonio store and May 18th at our Austin North Lamar store, we welcome Mike Ryan of the LBJ National Historic Park for a presentation on the National Park sites in Texas. The events begin at 7 pm.

Mike Ryan grew up enjoying visits to the National Parks. His favorites were the historic sites. Even as a boy he was intrigued by the culture of the National Park Service – the brown signs, the Mission 66 visitor centers (created for the Park Service’s 50th anniversary), and the park rangers with their Stetson flat hats. He wanted to be a Park Ranger.

“After serving in the US Army and then graduating with a Master’s Degree in History, the rest, as they say, is ‘history.’ I have been lucky to work at some fun places, like the Dry Tortugas, Fort Sumter and Fort Pulaski. I have even worked in Washington D.C. and New York City. My last three parks have been presidential homes: Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, and Lyndon Johnson. There are currently 411 units of the National Park Service, so there is always an adventure out there somewhere!”

On the water in the Big Thicket – a USDA photo by Larry Rana

On the water in the Big Thicket – a USDA photo by Larry Rana

On May 20th at our Houston Post Oak store, Josh Stringer of the Big Thicket National Preserve will give a presentation at 7 pm on the Preserve, one of the most biodiverse areas in the world outside of the tropics. In 1981, it was declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The Preserve includes nine uniquely diverse ecosystems as well as six water corridors where nature flourishes. Centered around Hardin County, Texas, it extends into parts of surrounding Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Orange, Polk, and Tyler counties and offers hiking and biking trails as well as waterways for paddling.

Josh Stringer is the Centennial Coordinator at Big Thicket National Preserve and will be providing special events throughout the Preserve. He retired from the Army in 2015 after 21 years of service. He too dreamed of being a Park Ranger and hopes to inspire us to visit our National Parks.

We hope you will join us for these special National Park Centennial events.

Meet Climber Dan Mirsky at our Austin North Lamar Store!

Meet Climber Dan Mirsky at our Austin North Lamar Store!

Austin North Lamar Store
May 3rd at 4pm

Whole Earth Provision Co. is excited to welcome climber Dan Mirsky to our North Lamar store in Austin on May 3rd at 4 pm. Mirsky’s visit precedes his evening appearance at the Austin Bouldering Project where he will present a slide show and host several Black Diamond videos.

Mirsky originally hails from New York but now calls Colorado home when he’s not traveling in his Airstream trailer in search of warm weather and great climbing. A gifted athlete, he played team sports 12 months of the year for over 10 years. As his interest in competitive team sports waned, he turned to climbing. Mirsky was hooked by the interplay of strength, technique and strategy the sport required and the endless opportunities for practice and improvement.

“One of my favorite things about climbing is problem solving. I love approaching a new route/potential project and going through the process of turning something that seems impossible into something I believe I can achieve. Do you know that moment when your project goes from feeling impossible to doable? I like that part a lot!”

Dan Mirsky

~ Instagram @danmirsky

“My success in climbing is a result of continual hard work, a dedication to training, and an eternal obsession to be better tomorrow than I was today. I have improved each year as I continue to train myself indoors and outdoors. An integral part of my philosophy when it comes to training for climbing is that the most important thing for us to train is weakness.” Mirsky believes that “We have the most to be gained by trying to improve the things we’re worst at, and then using a variety of tools and techniques to turn those weaknesses into strengths.”

Mental training is also important to Mirsky. “Learning to climb with confidence in the face of repeated failure, fatigue, frustration, and pain is not easily accomplished. I have dedicated more time and energy to improving my climbing confidence than any other form of training, and it has brought more success than any other form of training. This is especially true in recent years.”

Have questions about climbing and training? Here’s your chance to ask a pro. Please stop by our North Lamar store on May 3rd at 4 pm to meet Dan Mirsky. And oh, by the way, he’s also a fan of the TV show “Friday Night Lights!”

Dan Mirsky

~ Instagram @danmirsky

Texas State Park Rangers in store April 10th

Texas State Park Ranger Day is Sunday, April 10th from 2-4pm. As part of our April is Texas State Parks Month at Whole Earth, A representative from Texas Parks & Wildlife will be at each of our stores to chat with folks, give pointers on where to go and what activities you can do at our Parks, and pass out literature to help guide you on your next outing. With 90+ Texas State Parks, there is something out there for everyone!Texas Park Rangers will be in our stores as part of our April is Texas State Parks Month. To learn more about the Ranger visit and April is Texas State Parks Month, Click Here.

Whole Earth Celebrates Earth Day 2016

Earth Day 2016

This year marks the 46th anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970. Traditionally, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd, but here in Texas Earth Day events are scattered throughout the month. Given our name and our love for the planet, Earth Day and Whole Earth Provision Co. are a perfect match. Here are the ways we’ll be celebrating in 2016!


Earth Day Houston 2016

Houston

First up – Earth Day Houston on April 16th at a new location, Sam Houston Park, from 11 am to 5 pm. The focus is on the merits of mindful, sustainable living and encouraging Houstonians to do their part to preserve, conserve and enhance the city and the Earth. Live music begins at 11 am with Danza Azteca Taxcayolotl. The event is free and Whole Earth will be there, so please stop by and say hello!


Give 5 to Mother Earth

Austin

On Earth Day, Wednesday April 22nd, Whole Earth will donate 5% of the day’s Austin sales to the Give 5% to Mother Earth campaign. The funds will go toward the support of the Hill Country Conservancy, Shoal Creek Conservancy, Austin Parks Foundation, Sustainable Food Center, Pease Park Conservancy, Waller Creek Conservancy, TreeFolks, Texas Campaign for the Environment, and the Friends of Barton Springs Pool. Our North Lamar store will be hosting the kick off for this city-wide event.

Earth Day ATX

Join us at Mueller Lake Park on Saturday, April 23rd, for Earth Day Austin. The event runs from Noon to 7 pm. There will be presentations on greening your home, recycling, climate change, Austin’s green tech future, and the impact of what we eat on the planet. There will also be exhibitors, hands-on activities and, as you would expect in Austin, great music, including Asleep at the Wheel and Ruby Jane. Please stop by our booth for a visit!


Milkweed Seeds for Monarch Butterflies

Southlake & San Antonio

On April 22nd, to celebrate Earth Day at our San Antonio and Southlake stores, we’ll be giving away our Whole Earth reusable blue shopping bags to help you cut down on plastic bags and Milkweed seeds to help make your yard friendly for Monarch butterflies. You’ll find these items at the register, while supplies last.


Earth Day TX

Dallas

Dallas is home to the largest Earth Day celebration in the state: Earth Day Texas. Running for three days, April 22nd through the 24th, 10 am to 6 pm daily, it has something for everyone and it’s free. NOAA’s Science on a Sphere is back again this year. It’s an animated globe showing Earth’s atmosphere, weather, oceans, and land demonstrating environmental trends and human impacts as well as super storms and today’s weather. We’re also looking forward to the Green Library, Lego Build for Change, a Tiny House village and so much more. There’ll be exhibits, speakers, films, the Eco-Expo and lots and lots of music including an appearance by Michael Martin Murphy. The National Park Service will be celebrating their Centennial year with special events throughout the weekend. We’ll be there too. Hope to see you!

Cuba: The Road Less Traveled at San Antonio

Cuba: The Road Less Traveled at San Antonio

Tuesday, April 5th at 7pm – Quarry Market store

Travel restrictions to Cuba have been eased. While it’s still not possible to visit the island solely for the beaches, food, music and cars, with planning, you’ll be able to experience them first-hand. Hostelling International’s Al Martinez will tell you how to plan your adventure to this special place in his talk Cuba: The Road Less Traveled at our San Antonio store on Tuesday April 5th at 7pm.

Taxi stand in Havana Cuba. Photo courtesy Holland Jones

Taxi stand in Havana Cuba. Photo ~ Holland Jones

Al Martinez was born in Havana, Cuba. In 1962, his parents sent him to live in the US and arrived themselves, three years later. Al has lived in a handful of US cities as well as Puerto Rico before becoming a Texas resident of 36 years. He received a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from the University of Miami and a Bachelor in Arts in Photojournalism from the University of Texas in Arlington. Now retired, Al has traveled for business or pleasure to 55 nations, territories, and dependencies as well as 38 US states and 5 Canadian provinces. He first returned to Cuba to visit family in 2002 after a 40 year absence and has since visited again in 2008 and 2012. He is excited to share insights and travel tips through his presentation Cuba: The Road Less Traveled.

We hope you’ll join us for this timely presentation on travel in Cuba and take the first steps on a great adventure.