3rd Quarter 2019 * Volume 27, Issue 3
A Quarterly Newsletter Sponsored by the Friends in Support of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
Dear Friends,

The summer has gotten off to an exciting start!

We have been working on many projects that are now coming to fruition, and we want to share the news!

I am pleased to announce that the Friends received the MOST votes for REI's “Loving Our Local Outdoors” event. We are receiving a $13,000 grant from the Dallas market REI stores to support trail bridges at the Nature Center as well as funding for summer interns. Thank you to all the REI Members who voted for us!
As our organization grows, I want to create a strong technical foundation to better serve you, our members, and position ourselves to support a growing organization. We must create a strategy that supports the upgrade of our technology as it relates to internal communications as well as integrate as many of our technical services as possible. So, how does one do this when you are the only full-time employee? You ask for help. I was excited and relieved when we got the news that Common Impact and Fidelity Investments chose the Friends for the Fidelity El Program. This is a skills-based volunteer program, and we have been assigned a team of experts who will be helping us build a strong technical foundation. The partnership has just begun, so more updates to come!

And that's not all! Several more exciting projects are mentioned in the articles below, including our Texas Parks and Wildlife Recreation grant for Greer Island area improvements, a new amphitheater, and the development of a new educational program.

It is important to note that none of this would be possible without your membership support.

Thanks to YOU, we are growing and able to support the Nature Center in more ways than ever.

I hope you have a super summer. Be sure to come see our FIVE bison calves. They grow fast!

Your friend,
Haily Summerford, MBA
Behind the Scenes at the Refuge
As most are now aware, both of our maintenance workers moved on to advance their careers. We were fortunate enough to be able to reclassify those positions and hire the Nature Center’s first natural resource technicians. Both of our technicians come to us from slightly drier climates, just in time to experience one of the main purposes of the Nature Center: to hold floodwaters that prevent downtown Fort Worth from flooding.
What's Blooming?
Dotting the landscape of the Fort Worth Nature Center is the recognizable and adaptable Texas State Plant: the prickly pear cactus. Designated the official plant symbol of Texas in 1995, the prickly pear cactus shares its recognition with other familiar Texas flora such as bluebonnets, pecan trees, and Texas sage.
Friends News
The Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center and Nature Center staff have been working to identify ways to expand educational opportunities that can take full advantage of the Refuge’s 3,600 acres.
With science journals and pencils in hand, students in the "Trails to Nature" program explored the Refuge, conducting outdoor, hands-on, science-based activities and conservation problem-solving. They developed scientific questions, conducted experiments, and found answers through the scientific method.
The Friends were recently awarded a $200,000 Texas Parks and Wildlife Trails Grant to improve and restore the trails at Greer Island, raising more than $100,000 in matching funds in the process. Improvements are currently in the design and permitting stage, with completion anticipated by the end of the year.
Staff and Volunteer Spotlights
Since assuming the role of volunteer coordinator, I have met many amazing people. Working at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge has given me great insight into just how vital volunteers are in this field.
In May, 300 people began following the Fort Worth Nature Center on Facebook, and more than 2,000 used Google Maps to locate us. I assume most of these people are new to the Refuge and have either recently made their first visit or are planning to visit in the near future. In many ways, I envy them.
Conservation on the Refuge
A mission is essential to conveying a message to a community. A critical component of our mission at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is “educating our community in the preservation and protection of natural areas.” This spring, we wanted to host an event where Fort Worth and surrounding communities could learn about conservation and enjoy recreating in nature.
Upcoming Events
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