News

Heather Sullivan Brings New Mindfulness Classes to Center

We’re pleased to announce a new “Mindfulness in Nature” class series being offered by Heather Sullivan at the Nature Discovery Center this spring. Practicing mindfulness in nature allows you to focus your awareness on the present moment, your thoughts and feelings, and your environment, and can help you reduce the stress that comes from leading a hectic life.

Heather, a trained Mindfulness Educator, is passionate about teaching kids and adults the tools to cope with stress and develop a more mindful approach to life in order to nurture a positive state of mind. She currently teaches a mindfulness class at Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary and is working with schools in Spring Branch ISD to teach mindfulness to teachers.

Heather’s Mindfulness in Nature series here in Russ Pitman Park will start on Friday, April 26 and will run for 4 weeks as a pilot program. Classes will start at 12:30 pm and will last for about an hour. You are welcome to sign up for individual dates or for the whole series.

Learn more and register online here.

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March 2019 Wired to Nature

Duran, E. (3/2019) Look! Up in the sky! Our spring bird migration has begun.  Essentials, p. 15

Wired to Nature is the Nature Discovery Center’s regular column in Essentials, a monthly magazine published by InstantNewsNetwork that covers the Bellaire and West University communities. Essentials may be read online at https://current.essentialsmagazines.com/

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Center Welcomes Ranger to Staff

Ranger (pictured at right) with a group of Spring Break Campers at Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary.

NDC staff are pleased to welcome a new team member to the Center. Ranger has joined us to help with the day to day management of Russ Pitman Park, our nature park and outdoor classroom, as Park Steward Apprentice. Ranger will be working closely in this role with Mary Ann Beauchemin, our Park Steward and Senior Naturalist. In addition to her work with park maintenance, Ranger will also draw on her experience in environmental education to assist with programs at the Center from time to time. In fact, Ranger just taught our Wild Weather Spring Break Camp last Friday.

Her whole life, Ranger hoped to work at a nature center. She grew up on the outskirts of Kalamazoo, Michigan, next door to corn fields and sheep pasture, making frequent trips to the local nature center. Ranger studied biology (BA) and entomology (MS) as well as animal behavior (PhD work) and Library and Information Science (MLIS), so as a naturalist she is always ready to research and learn more about plants and animals. She worked as the birthday party naturalist and camp teacher at the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary for six years and has many more years of experience teaching, both in the classroom and in outdoor settings. She is excited to continue her study of native plants and to add to her knowledge of Houston insects and other fauna. Ranger has a fondness for wasps and all creatures buzzy and slithery. She enjoys running, walking her dogs, gardening, reading, and playing board games.

Please join us in welcoming Ranger to the Center!

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Rainforest Exhibit – Now Open in Discovery Rooms

Visit the Central American rainforest at the Nature Discovery Center! Discover the diversity of plants and animals in the rainforest, relate rainforest plants to products we use, and learn about indigenous neo-tropical rainforest peoples. Large painted panels, twisty vines and tropical plants will transport you to a tropical oasis full of fun learning opportunities!

Participate in fun activities including :

  • Starting your own tropical band
  • Put on a puppet show
  • Build a Mayan temple
  • Learn about rainforest layers
  • Investigate rainforest products
  • Discover rainforest plants and animals
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The Gateway Project

  • The Gateway Project is committed to preserving the character of the historic Henshaw House and surrounding grounds while providing for its current function as a premier science and nature education facility. By creating a more open and inviting physical presence for the center and making needed repairs, Gateway renovations will enhance our ability to serve the needs of all visitors. 

In November 2013, City of Bellaire residents voted for a bond referendum for $500,000 to be used for improvements to the Henshaw House and Russ Pitman Park, operated by the Nature Discovery Center. Generous funding from community groups and foundations totaling $760,000 also transformed the Gateway Project dream into a reality. 

DONOR BRICK CAMPAIGN
To purchase an engraved brick, check out the Donor Brick Campaign page.

Gateway Phase One – Complete

Phase One of the Gateway Project, the renovation of the 1925 Henshaw House that serves as the nature center, was successfully completed in spring 2014. This included new interior and exterior paint, new wall coverings, new blinds, new office furnishings, refinished floors, and much, much more!

Gateway Phase Two – Underway Now

Phase Two will create a bright, fresh, and welcoming feeling in the one acre surrounding the Center by renovating animal enclosures, adding a new outside restroom, redesigning the native landscaping, and building new sensory gardens.

The redesigned animal enclosures will provide enlarged space for our outdoor animals in a more natural environment making viewing more accessible for kids of all ages. The new restroom will help us better accommodate large groups. The deck of the new outdoor bathroom will feature a trough sink at child height that will allow 4 kids to wash their hands at the same time, and added bathrooms will reduce strain and wait time for our three current restrooms.

The Center will remain *OPEN* to visitors throughout the project, which is expected to be complete in March 2017. Save the date for our renovation reveal event “Gateway to Nature” on Saturday May 6th at 10am.

Thank you for your patience as we make exciting changes to serve you better!

Landscape Architects: SWA Group
Contractors: Horizon International Group, LLC.

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