We know that everyone has questions and concerns related to COVID-19 and how it impacts your use of the Center and the Center itself. We hope you will find the answers you are looking for here in our FAQ. If you have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 713.667.6550, understanding that we are short staffed right now and we may not be able to answer the phone right away.
Is the Center open to the public? What do we need to know if we come?
Though Center Staff are here during business hours and happy to take phone calls (713-667-6550), the Center building, including our Discovery Rooms, is currently CLOSED to the public as the Coronavirus pandemic has worsened in our area.
When we are able to re-open, we will be most likely be following the guidelines below:
- To comply with State of Texas COVID-19 guidelines, our Discovery Rooms will be “no touch”. All interactive elements have been removed.
- The Center capacity will be 12 people.
- Masks will be required inside the building for everyone’s safety, and everyone will be asked to keep safe social distances of 6 feet from non-related Center visitors and staff.
- You may only enter the building through the front door.
- You will be asked to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds in the bathroom at the top of the stairs before entering either of our Discovery Rooms.
- You must exit the building from the upstairs via the outside staircase on the side of the house. Alcohol based hand sanitizer is located throughout the building for your use during your visit.
The nature park, including all of the nature trails and our outdoor Critter Classroom, is open from dawn to dusk to visitors who maintain safe social distances of 6 feet from other non-related visitors. The playground, however, remains closed per orders from the State of Texas.
Are you holding summer camp at the center this summer?
Yes, are holding camp at the Center. Please see our Camps at the Center page for dates and topics of our camps. Modifications have been made to our camp’s size and daily activities and camp hygiene protocols to ensure camper and staff safety. Our new camp policies and protocols are detailed on our Camps at the Center page. In addition to these camps at the Center, we are also offering Camps on the Go! These “On the Go” camps are available for purchase at any time.
Will you still be having preschool science programs this summer?
This summer our Sneak-a-Peek program for preschoolers was a “To Go” program, with packets of take home materials for crafts and activities and a video lesson from Ms. Mo. These packets and class videos are still available for order. To learn more about the program visit our Sneak-a-Peek PreK Science To Go page.
What happened to Nature Story Time?
We suspended our Nature Story Time program on May 27 for the summer. Our plan is to pick back up again in mid September with a socially distanced, outdoor program on the front lawn if conditions in Houston/Bellaire allow for it. There are some Nature Story Time videos on our website that you might enjoy in the mean time. These videos were shot by Eric during our Spring 2020 COVID-19 closure.
How is the Center being cleaned for visitor safety?
The Center is cleaned two times a week by a professional cleaning crew following their company’s COVID-19 protocols. In between these professional cleanings, Center staff are disinfecting high-touch surfaces throughout the day with CDC recommended cleaners.
Is COVID-19 hurting the Center financially? What can we do to help?
The Center is taking a financial hit due to COVID-19. We are a small non-profit organization, and this spring we lost revenue from cancelled school field trips, birthday parties, outreach programs, and children’s classes and camps. And the changes we have had to make to our summer programs is also going to take a financial toll. We will have far fewer campers and preschool students this summer, and we are unable to offer summer group field trips or outreach programs to libraries and other organizations’ summer camps. Though the Center has benefited from a paycheck protection loan for current staff, that loan is expiring. This loss in revenue we have experienced is significant, and necessitates a hiring freeze and maintaining the Center with fewer than optimal staff.
You can help by:
- renewing your NDC membership or becoming a member
- participating in our paid on-site or to go programs this summer
- making a donation to the Center
- designating the Nature Discovery Center as your Amazon Smile beneficiary when you shop with Amazon