Concordia University to focus on environmental stewardship: Nature Fest set for March 31


Concordia University Texas will host its first annual Nature Fest, a day set aside for learning about and celebrating the natural resources uniquely available and accessible to Concordia Texas.

On Friday, March 31 Nature Fest will include tours of the university’s federally protected preserve, as well as tours of the campus itself from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Preserve tours themed for specific interests, an outdoor speaker series, guided bird watching, a Concordia Sustainability Club gardening demonstration, a hands-on drone demonstration and local exhibitors will educate and entertain visitors

and students. 

Professors will hold many of their classes outdoors and invite the public to sit in, according to Dr. Sam Whitehead, assistant professor and director of Concordia’s Environmental Science and Conservation Program. He anticipates that people will also use the time to hammock among and take photos in the abundant wildflowers on campus. Lunch will be available; picnics are welcome. For more information, visit

Helping to organize this event is Zach Stark, Concordia’s new director of environmental stewardship. Stark’s duties will focus on building Concordia’s nature and outdoor brand. 

He serves as land manager and liaison with Travis County, working to protect the more than 250-acre preserve, which is part of the larger Balcones Canyonland Preserve. Stark will push initiatives to highlight environmental education, stewardship and sustainability. He will lead and coordinate projects with key faculty and staff in facilities management and environmental science. 

A native Austinite, Stark followed his passion for natural resource conservation and environmental management, working in land and wildlife management and environmental consulting. He has worked extensively with private landowners in Texas, collaborating with biologists, archaeologists, surveyors and engineers to achieve the best strategy for the clients’ needs. Additionally, Stark has gained a comprehensive background in his field by working with Geographic Information Systems