Neches River

Big Thicket Association

An organization formed 50 years ago to preserve one of the most biodiverse lands in the world -- the Big Thicket of southwest Texas -- is holding its first kayaking and canoeing event Saturday in Beaumont.

The executive director of the Big Thicket Association, Bruce Walker, says paddlers will go upstream on the lower Neches River to explore oxbow lakes during the Neches River Rally.

Adrian Van Dellen

The Museum of East Texas in Lufkin will host a discussion Sunday about preserving the Neches River. The five authors on the panel have an intimate knowledge of the Neches, which flows more than 400 miles through East Texas. 

Stephen F. Austin State emeritus professor of English, Francis Abernethy, has penned a new book, “Let the River Run Wild!” Abernethy collaborated with Woodville, Texas, photographer and conservationist Adrian Van Dellen. The 88-year-old Abernethy says they spent nights on the Neches River to produce the book.

The late commentator Archie McDonald contributed to our Friday morning airwaves for a better part of a decade. Now we're taking some Fridays to remember the commentaries that touched us in the past. This commentary about the "watery element" is one of them.