Over the past 30 years, many members, volunteers, businesses and area organizations have helped support the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center's mission of raising public awareness and involvement in nature through education, conservation and eco-tourism. We truly appreciate and extend a heart-felt Thank You to all of you who have shown us support in the past.
Today, the Nature Center is launching its 2022 membership drive. Memberships are an important source of funding for the Nature Center -- funding that we need to operate, make capital improvements, complete special projects and organize educational programs.
Memberships run for 12 months. Every contribution helps the Nature Center maintain its grounds and plan on future improvement projects that benefit the whole community.
Last year was challenging for everyone -- the ongoing pandemic combined with a historic weather event was unprecedented for most of us. But a team of dedicated members and volunteers worked hard and accomplished a great deal. Take a look...
Good-bye 2021 goodbye2021
During the pandemic, we are proud to say that we were able to keep our "gates" open at a time when people needed – more than ever – to get out of their houses and into nature. Because the kiosk couldn't be manned with volunteers, the Nature Center posted a QR code that allowed visitors to safely pay their entry or membership fee from their mobile phone while they stayed inside their car.
Freezes in late 2020 that were topped by Winter Storm Uri's historic hard freeze in 2021 killed many plants across the Nature Center, especially in the Hummingbird Garden. Board members Karen Kinard and Sara Huebner worked hard over a span of 14 months to fully restore the Hummingbird Garden and its gorgeous flowering plants. We owe a huge Thank You to them for bringing the Hummingbird Garden back to full bloom just in time to attract hundreds of hummingbirds and butterflies every day.
A couple of freezes this winter again damaged or killed several plants, but we are confident that with the help of our members and volunteers, we’ll be able to restore the Hummingbird and other gardens in time to bloom this spring.
Monarch Way Station monarch
We were recently contacted by a Certified Master Naturalist from our area to join an effort being implemented along the Texas Gulf Coast to help monarch butterflies survive their multi-generational migration from Canada to Mexico. Project participants are working to create way stations for the butterflies along the coast, and Matagorda County is a critical point in that chain. In order to participate in this important effort, the Nature Center committed to replanting the Butterfly Garden with milkweed and nectar plants that can attract monarch butterflies.
Each way station that is established helps support the migration by providing a breeding ground for female monarchs to lay eggs. Monarch caterpillars only eat milkweed, and it is essential that they find a variety of milkweed species available. In addition, young adult monarchs need nectar to eat to gather the strength they will need to begin their leg of the the journey between Canada and Mexico. This year, the Butterfly Garden plantings will be a small test run to see if our efforts will attract the monarchs. If successful, we will apply for certification through MonarchWatch.org and become a permanent way station for the beautiful monarchs.
Volunteer and Board Members Sara Huebner and Diana Frankson begin refurbishing work on the Butterfly Garden in an effort to attract monarch butterflies.
New Well NewWell
Photo of Meditation Swamp in the summer of 2021.
Over the years, it became apparent that the Nature Center’s water well was too small to adequately support the site's ponds and wetlands. In 2021, we dug a new and deeper well and installed a more powerful pump, all made possible by generous donations from James and Karen Kinard and the Trull Foundation. The new well is at 385 feet and runs intermittently using a firehose above the ground to the ponds as needed. We had planned to install an underground piping system, but we were forced to postpone that project due to a shortage of PVC pipe.
We look forward to completing the project soon. When the system begins running at full capacity, normal water levels in all our ponds and wetlands will be maintained year-round. In addition, the Covered Bridge waterfall and the Meditation Swamp fountain will be brought back to life.
New MCBNC.ORG website newsite
The homepage of the Nature Center's new website at mcbnc.org
We’re happy to announce that we have launched a new website in concurrence with our 2022 membership drive.
The new website tells visitors just about everything they would like to know about the Nature Center, including a new blog with the latest news and happenings.
The website features a downloadable map of the Nature Center’s trails, gardens and ponds; an event venue page where you can easily view a calendar for availability and then reserve the perfect spot for your next celebration; and a membership signup page that makes joining the Nature Center quick and easy.
King Fisher photo by wildlife photographer Greg McMullin posted to Facebook.
We also have launched new social media channels. In addition to following us on Facebook – where wildlife photographer Greg McMullin shares his incredible bird photos – you can also follow us on Instagram and YouTube.
Over the next several months, we plan to build a library of informative and educational videos on our YouTube channel about the impressively diverse flora and fauna found at the Nature Center. So stayed tuned!
Please take a minute to explore the new website, follow us on Instagram and Facebook and “like” and “subscribe” to our YouTube channel. When you see something interesting, please “share” the post. It helps us spread the word!
Join Us Today! JoinMembers
Would you please consider joining? Either for the first time or as a renewed member -- please use the link below sign up or renew your membership. Just fill out the short form, choose the type of membership you're interested in: Individual, Family, Patron or VIP Lifetime and then checkout -- all online!
As you may know, Matagorda County Birding Nature Center is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that is managed by volunteers and a working board of directors. Each 12-month membership to the Matagorda County Birding Nature Center helps support our operations, capital improvements and special projects.
For helping us kick off our membership drive, we’d love to offer you a special thank you, so watch your Facebook and Instagram feeds!
P.S. Here is a list of our newly elected 2022 Board of Directors