Mission: "To provide educational opportunities and to foster appreciation and understanding of the Lower Rio Grande Valley's unique natural communities of flora and fauna."
The Valley Nature Center is the oldest nature center in the Rio Grande Valley, and the only non-profit center fully dedicated to environmental education south of San Antonio and east of Eagle Pass. It has been in operation as a non-profit organization dedicated to its mission since 1984.
Take a walk on the wild side of Weslaco, through a remnant of the unique Valley ecosystem.
Programs: The valley nature center conducts various programs and educational classes geared at teaching people more about nature and encouraging children to spend more time outside.
the valley nature center publishes a monthly newsletter and an internet website that includes a calendar of events for all environmental groups, plus birding notes, environmental articles, poems, and other similar articles. The newsletter is mailed to all members and other people or organizations that request the newsletter.
the valley nature center has a coooperative agreement with santa ana national wildlife refuge to operate a tram through the refuge seven days a week from december through april. The valley nature center hires naturalists who conduct the interpretive tours. The valley nature center also has a cooperative agreement with the us fish and wildlife service in which the valley nature center agreed to act as a trustee for funds paid by local farmers as rent for growing crops on land owned by the lower rio grande valley national wildlife refuge. These funds are invested and later used to pay local nursery growers for seedlings they produce to be used by the refuge in its reforestation program. The funds are held in trust by the valley nature center. The valley nature center receives the interest paid on the funds in return for this service.
While volunteering at the nature center I learned a great deal of information concerning the native animals such as the Indigo snake, Mexican Milksnake and the Texas Tortoise as well as the native plants and the birds and insects they attract. They have a great education program that allows kids of all ages to enjoy the beautiful environment that surrounds us while learning on how to take care of the animals that inhabit those areas. I am no longer scared of snakes because I would have to take care of the snakes they have there by cleaning there tanks and feeding them and make sure they are happy in their setting. I would also help with bird counts, education festivals and presentations at local schools. I have learned so much about my native environment all thanks to the nature center. I am currently still helping them out with field trips and school events. Having fun while learning.