Life at the center

Limited Re-Opening of the Nature Discovery Center

The Center’s two Discovery Rooms will be reopening slowly, with added precautions in place, as we continue to heed the health and safety advice of City, County, and State officials. We know that each family has to weight their own personal risks in deciding whether or not to visit the Center during this transition time, but we want you to know our re-opening plans so that you can make the best decision for your family.

Our rooms will be touch free until it is safe to add interactive elements back. All hand lenses, binoculars, puzzles, books, toys, and loose specimens have been removed. But we encourage you to come in and visit our live animals and see the specimens we have on display in enclosures. The Discovery Rooms will be disinfected throughout the day with CDC recommended cleaning products for the safety of our guests, volunteers, and staff.

For now, our plan includes the following additional precautions:

  • Restricted Hours: Saturday’s ONLY beginning May 16 from 12 pm – 3 pm (possibly switching to Sundays ONLY after May 30)
  • Limited Attendance: 12 visitors at a time will be allowed inside the Center. Kids must be supervised by an adult at all times.
  • Masks will be required inside the Center.
  • One Way Flow in and out of the Center (please observe directional signs on-site)
  • Hand washing will be required in the upstairs bathroom before entry to the Discovery Rooms.
  • Individuals and groups should practice social distancing from unrelated visitors, whether inside in the Discovery Rooms, or outside waiting on the porch.

We hope to see your family when you feel comfortable returning to the Center!

Please know that we are happy to continue to welcome you and your family to the Center’s Discovery Rooms free of charge. We do welcome donations to help cover our operating costs, including staff time and animal care, and the additional costs we now face in protecting visitors, volunteers, and staff from the virus.

Touch-free donations may be made online here, or in person at the Center via the credit card “Dip Jar” located on our entry information table just inside the front door. We appreciate your support during these difficult times!

Read more

NDC Presents Online Content for April

The Nature Discovery Center presents weekly online content you can count on during these unusual times. Here is our schedule for the remainder of April.

For those of you not on Facebook, you can find our Facebook Live Videos embedded here on at our website at the following links:

Animal Encounter and Feeding Time Videos: https://naturediscoverycenter.org/feeding-time-videos/

Virtual Story Time Videos: https://naturediscoverycenter.org/virtual-nature-story-time/

Park Walk Videos: https://naturediscoverycenter.org/park-walk-videos/

Read more

NDC Temporary Closure Extended – Again

Our temporary closure due to COVID-19 has now been extended to April 30. We will continue to monitor the guidelines of the CDC and the policies and recommendations of Harris County, the City of Bellaire, the City of Houston, and the State of Texas. And we will make further modifications to our closure schedule if and when it becomes necessary.

Center Staff will be contacting program participants and those who had events scheduled during the extended closure window about refunds and any attempts to reschedule programs and events to later dates.

Take care, and please enjoy some time in nature while social distancing (if it is possible) until we see you again!

~ NDC Staff

Read more

NDC Offers Virtual Experiences during COVID Closure

During our COVID-19 closure, NDC Staff have been making Facebook Live videos of animal encounters, feeding times, walks in the park, and Nature Story Time. Teachers, scout leaders, and parents, we realize that sharing Facebook videos with the kiddos in your world isn’t ideal (not everyone has access to Facebook), so we’ve set up some pages on our website with the videos embedded so that you can more easily use and share these resources.

Animal Encounter and Feeding Time Videos: https://naturediscoverycenter.org/feeding-time-videos/

Virtual Story Time Videos: https://naturediscoverycenter.org/virtual-nature-story-time/

Park Walk Videos: https://naturediscoverycenter.org/park-walk-videos/

Nature Journaling Video: https://www.facebook.com/NatureDiscoveryCenter/videos/2683136501812953

Read more

NDC Temporary Closure Extended

Our temporary closure due to COVID-19 has now been extended to April 10. We will continue to monitor the guidelines of the CDC and WHO and the policies and recommendations of Harris County, the City of Bellaire, and the City of Houston. And we will make further modifications to our closure schedule if and when it becomes necessary.

Center Staff will be contacting program participants and those who had events scheduled during the extended closure window about refunds and any attempts to reschedule programs and events to later dates.

As you may have seen during our recent Facebook Live Feeding Time videos, we are continuing to provide quality care for our resident ambassador animals in the Discovery Rooms and in our outdoor Critter Classroom. We are currently working on plans for their future care at our own homes should there be a stay home order from city officials. If this were to happen, we would continue to provide updates on our animals via Facebook and Instagram during their “vacations” away from the Center.

Take care, and please enjoy some time in nature while social distancing (if it is possible) until we see you again!

~ NDC Staff

Read more

NDC Temporarily CLOSED

Hello Friends and Neighbors,

As a public health precaution to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Nature Discovery Center is temporarily closing, effective March 17 until further notice. The health and safety of our staff, volunteers, visitors, and their loved ones is our top priority. We appreciate your understanding as we do our part to keep our community safe.

We will continue to monitor the recommendations of the CDC, WHO, City of Bellaire and the City of Houston. The exact length of our closure will be determined as we learn more from these organizations and government entities in the days and weeks ahead. Please keep an eye on our social media accounts while we’re closed for further updates. Russ Pitman Park remains open, and we encourage you to enjoy time outdoors during this stressful time.

The Nature Discovery Center building is now closed, and all programs and events through March 31 have been cancelled, suspended, or postponed. If you registered for a program, or booked a program with the Center during this closure period, we will reach out to you separately if you haven’t already heard from us. For more information email mail@naturediscoverycenter.org or call 713-667-6550. Note that we will continue to update our cancellations and postponements as this public health crisis continues and the length of our closure is more certain.

During the closure, our animals will remain under the continued care of our Animal Care Coordinator and other trained staff. With our position on the Texas Gulf Coast, we have weathered many emergency closures with animal care contingencies in place, and we are ready to provide our animals with quality care throughout the anticipated closure period. Though this virus is believed to have originated in a non-human animal host, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not received any reports of wildlife or animals in human care becoming sick with COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus.

Please stay healthy, spend some quality time in nature, and we’ll see you again soon!

~ NDC Staff

Read more

NEW Covid 19 Update 3/13

After we released our Covid19 Update for the Nature Discovery Center last night, we became aware that HISD was cancelling their Spring Break Camp programs next week and suspending classes through March 30.

The WHO and CDC have indicated that community-wide measures to increase social distancing will be a key element in the fight against the spread of this pandemic and in the protection of our healthcare systems. Closing schools and cancelling programs and events where people are gathered in close proximity is now a priority.

Out of an abundance of caution, and in keeping with our policy of following HISD closure schedules in times of emergency, we have decided to cancel the Spring Break Camps we had scheduled for March 16 – 20. Center staff will be contacting program participants regarding refunds today.

The Center itself will remain open to the public during our normal operating hours of 12 to 5:30 Monday – Friday and 10 – 5:30 on Saturday and Sunday.

*************************************
From our earlier statement:

For visitors’ health and safety, we have increased the frequency with which we disinfect surfaces throughout the building. Please assist us in this endeavor with thorough hand washing. Hand Soap and Hand Sanitizer are readily available.

In addition, we respectfully request that visitors be courteous to other guests and delay their visit to the Center and participation in Center programs if they or their children are experiencing possible illness, or if they have recently traveled overseas.

Thanks to all of you for helping us keep the Center clean and safe for all visitors.

We encourage you to enjoy the great outdoors during this time, as nature is always good for our health!

Be well! And, we look forward to seeing you soon!

~ NDC Staff

Read more

Covid-19 Update from the Center

The Nature Discovery Center staff recognize the importance of our community’s health and safety.

During this time, we are following recommendations by the CDC and WHO. Our Center also follows the schedule and recommendations of HISD and the City of Bellaire. We are currently following the HISD recommendation of cancelling large gatherings only. We are still holding our regularly scheduled programs, and the center is still open to the public at this time. We will update our site and social media with any changes as the local public health strategy evolves.

If you would like to cancel your participation in any of our programs, we are happy to reschedule or offer you a full refund during this time. Please email us at mail@naturediscoverycenter.org to let us know of your cancellation in writing.

For visitors’ health and safety, we have increased the frequency with which we disinfect surfaces throughout the building. Please assist us in this endeavor with thorough hand washing. Hand Soap and Hand Sanitizer are readily available.

In addition, we respectfully request that visitors be courteous to other guests and delay their visit to the Center and participation in Center programs if they or their children are experiencing possible illness, or if they have recently traveled overseas.

Thanks to all of you for helping us keep the Center clean and safe for all visitors.

We encourage you to enjoy the great outdoors during this time, as nature is always good for our health!

Be well! And, we look forward to seeing you soon!

~ NDC Staff

Read more

New NDC Programs Featured in Chon.com Piece

Our new, monthly Mess Makers classes for kids ages 3 to 7 and our monthly Interactive Nature Table program were featured in this morning’s Houston Chonicle. Check out the article by Chron.com Correspondent Allison Bagley here and learn more about these programs by following these links:

Mess Makers – 1st Mondays from 10:30 – 11:45 am

Interactive Nature Table – 2nd Sundays from 1 – 3 pm

Read more

Pursue your Passion with a Year End Gift



#MG_2224
IMG_7325
Processed with VSCO with au5 preset


As you head into the New Year, pursue your passion with us!

Pick one…

Nature Play  •  Mindfulness  •  Gardening  •  Nature Art  •  Science and Nature Classes  •  Birding  •  Camping  •  Nature Hikes •  Volunteer Service


These meaningful pursuits would not be possible without the support of our local community and donors like you! With your generous donation, you will help others pursue a passion for nature that will influence our city for years to come.

Wishing you health, happiness, and nature pursuits in 2020!

Sincerely,

Bethany Foshée
Executive Director

Does your company match donations?  If so, please email us at  mail@naturediscoverycenter.org so we can help facilitate the match.

submit donation button

Or Pay via PayPal





Read more