I found the following information on the web:
Get Back to Nature at the Fort Worth Refuge Center
Travel back 150 years at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, a premier
nature reserve that strives to educate the public about wildlife while
preserving the native prairies and wetlands unique to North
Texas. Established as a wildlife refuge park in 1964 by the City of Fort
Worth, the Nature Center is only 10 miles from downtown. It encompasses
3,500 acres with 25 miles of trails. About 100 acres is fenced off because
of the old sand and gravel quarries that once operated there. Guided hikes
into the quarries are offered several times a year. The next quarry hike is
set for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the center. Cost is $2 per person.
The public is invited to hike with or without guides. The refuge park is
open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Maps are available for
self-guided hikes. The Visitor Center is open Tuesday through Saturday from
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4:30 p.m. Guided tours are
scheduled throughout the year; times and dates vary. Cost is $2 per person.
Call 237-1111 for a tour schedule.
The nature park offers visitors variety. It sits on a transition between
two soil-types common to Tarrant County: the Grand Prairie and the Western
Cross Timbers. In addition to the prairie lands, the refuge features
wetlands because of the Trinity River that runs through it. The Grand
Prairie is limestone-based with fossil shells. Prairie grass and
wildflowers grow best here. The Western Cross Timbers is very sandy and
slightly acidic. Post oak, jack black oak and grasslands with big trees do
well here. The refuge park is comprised of 800 acres of Grand Prairie and
2,000 acres of Western Cross Timbers soil. The rest is wetlands.
The refuge park is home to 213 migratory birds, including turkey and black
vultures that have a wing span of 4 feet and gray-blue herons. Other
wildlife such as egrets, ducks, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, bobcats, deer,
possum, squirrels, armadillos and beavers also reside at the refuge.
The seven full-time staff put out bird feeders in the center's courtyard
during winter but the larger mammals must fend for themselves. In addition
to the wildlife living there, the staff raises buffalo. Currently, there
are 11 buffaloes living at the refuge. The buffalo program began in the
early 1970s and has continued as an educational effort to introduce the
species to the public.
Staff offers educational programs for preschoolers up to adults. Family
activities, canoeing and wildflower and natural history classes are offered
throughout the year. About 150,000 visitors come to the park
annually. Maintaining and restoring the natural habitat is also a function
of the staff. This process is known as resource management. The Fort Worth
Nature Center & Refuge staff has won numerous awards for its efforts and
members are asked frequently for advice on the preservation of North Texas
The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is funded through public and private
dollars. As part of the Parks and Community Services system, the Nature
Center receives operating revenue from the City of Fort Worth. The Friends
and Supporters of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, which was formed
in 1972 as a nonprofit group, raises money for the center from private
donors. For more information about the Nature Center & Refuge or for a
listing of activities, call 237-1111.
-- Jay DeLong Olympia, WA
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