Get outside, Houston!

By Russell Kane / Photography By Hannah Buschert & Paul Deplant | April 06, 2016
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Yellow-crowned Night-heron hunting for food in the Houston Arboretum’s Meadow Pond (photo courtesy of Houston Arboretum & Nature Center)

A surprising list of green spaces, springtime events and volunteer opportunities can be found at Click the map and find the green spaces near you. Activities include birding and seed gathering at Katy Prairie; beachcombing on Galveston Island; kayaking on Armand Bayou; wildflower walks at Deer Park Prairie; and foraging classes and evening owl prowls at the Arboretum.

Brazos Bend State Park

Hiking, biking, picnicking, camping facilities and nature center available daily with ranger-led hikes, nature talks and wildlife demonstrations most weekends. The George Observatory is open Saturdays. Scheduled volunteer opportunities available. Adults $7 daily; children under 12 free.

Photo 1: Horseshoe Lake trail at Brazos Bend State Park (photo courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department)
Photo 2: A Texas Red-eared Slider lounging on a log in Sheldon Lake State Park

Sheldon Lake State Park & Environmental Learning Center

Hiking, biking, picnicking, catch-and-release family fishing, nature center and the 80-foot John Jacobs Observation Tower open daily. Ranger-led hikes, nature talks and wildlife demonstrations most weekends. Scheduled volunteer opportunities available. Free admission.

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center

Trails for walking and hiking. Extensive learning, volunteering, children’s and membership opportunities; adjacent 1,464 acre Memorial Park for jogging, biking, picnicking and other outdoor activities. Free access daily; day and evening programs at extra cost.

Gulf Coast prairie flowers blooming in Spring

Need a few more ideas?

Watch 250,000 Mexican free-tailed bats depart from under Waugh Drive Bridge at dusk to hunt for mosquitoes. Enjoy an after-work picnic and walk in Hermann Park and stay for an evening performance at Miller Outdoor Theater. Take a stroll around Mercer Arboretum and see an endangered species garden and a cypress swamp, or take a t’ai chi class at Jesse Jones State Park.

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