Are you wondering how to explore Houston’s nature scene? Suzanne Simpson co-authored “Wild Houston,” which offers field trip ideas for our outdoor spaces. The book also highlights more than 100 local species you can find in Houston. Let’s go explore!
Q: Growing up, what did you enjoy most about being in nature?
“I grew up in the suburb of Kingwood. My most memorable experiences were in those large pine forests and those hardwood forests in the northeast section of Kingwood. Hanging out at East End park, going on the bike trails there. That is really where I realized that I love the creatures that may not have the most sparkling personalities. I love snakes. I think reptiles are awesome.”
Q: How did you get the idea for your book?
“My self and my co-author John Williams, we felt really passionate about removing some of the barriers Houstonians might feel to accessing their natural spaces. Some of those main barriers are where do I go? What can I expect when I get there? What should I bring with me? So, part of the book is a guide to 25 field trips that you can take within the greater Houston-area. Because we’re so passionate about the incredible wealth of Houston’s nature, we want to share that with people.”
Q: Houston is home to tons of species. Which one is the most Houstonian-like?
“Alligator snapping turtle. They were long overlooked, but were really only recently discovered in Buffalo Bayou. Just like Houston, I feel like they’re a little bit underestimated, but these turtles can withstand a lot. Obviously, they’re living in one of the most urban areas, so they’re really resilient – just like Houstonians. They love the water. They love the bayou and it’s a key part of their identity, and I think it’s a core part of our identities as Houstonians.”
Are you still skeptical about Houston’s nature scene? Here’s more on why our city is a hotspot for biodiversity. [City Cast Houston 🎧]