Environmental Education Programs
Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge
Outreach Programs – We will come to your Cameron or Willacy County school free of charge. Includes hands-on experience with animal artifacts, adapted to age group and audience size.
- Endangered Species of South Texas – Discover the story of our local endangered animals including the Aplomado falcon, Kemp's ridley sea turtle and Ocelot. Find out why they are endangered, what the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is doing to help them and what citizens can do to help.
- Wild Cats of South Texas – Discover the stories of our wild cats including jaguar, mountain lion, bobcat, ocelot and jaguarundi. Compare and contrast their habitats, behaviors and pelts. Find out why some are surviving well and others are endangered or gone.
- South Texas Wildlife - Discover your local wildlife from Texas indigo snakes to green jays to armadillos. Find out where these species call home and their adaptations to live there.
- Sea Turtles of the Gulf of Mexico – Discover the habits and history of the five gulf sea turtles including Kemp's ridley, Atlantic green, leatherback, loggerhead and hawksbill. The Kemp's ridley is the most endangered sea turtle in the world and it nests on South Padre Island. Find out how you can make a difference for these turtles.
Field Trip Opportunities - Nothing compares to visiting this vast natural area in person!
• Any of the outreach programs listed above can be done on-site at our outdoor, covered amphitheater.
• Tram Tour – View wildlife in their natural habitats as you explore the refuge on our open-air tram. Discover how each habitat provides for the needs of wildlife. This 2 hour adventure takes you through thornscrub forest, coastal prairies, freshwater lakes and the saltwater Laguna Madre. Binoculars are available for loan. Tourdonation - $1.50 per person. Student Activity Sheets: Younger studentsOlder students
Teacher-led Activities including:
- Nature Journaling – Walk the trails and observe plants, animals and their interactions. Sit and use all your senses to experience nature as you sketch and take notes in your own personal nature journal. Use a magnifying glass to observe a leaf or flower. Watch birds take a bath or a lizard climb a tree. My Nature Journal booklet
- Native Plant Investigation - Introduce your students to the incredible plants of the thornscrub forest, including wildlife and human uses. Native Plant Guide, Student Activity Sheet, Teacher Key
- Bird Observations at Laguna Atascosa freshwater lake. Student Activity Sheet
More teacher-led activities are on their way!!!
In Your Classroom – Incorporate environmental education into your curriculum.
• We have many resources available to help you plan curriculum. Call the Ranger for more information.
• Ocelot Curriculum Contest – Each school year we sponsor a curriculum contest focused on the endangered ocelot. If your school participates and submits an entry you could win a LIVE OCELOT Assembly Program. Details may be found below.
Project WILD Workshops - Certified facilitators are available to present wokshops to your group of educators, at your site or ours. Call for more information.
• Call and discuss your program needs with the Ranger and reserve your date(s) -- 956-748-3607 ext 119
Download a flyer for Environmental Education
Other Helpful Resources
Download (pdf): Target Field Trip Grant info flyer
Download a fact sheet on the Texas Ocelot(in pdf format): Texas Ocelot Fact Sheet
Attention Brownsville Public and Private Schools: Enter the Laguna Atascosa Ocelot Curriculum Contest and you may win a LIVE ocelot assembly for your school.
All schools are invited to participate in the Art for Ocelots! contest.
Learn more about the Great Backyard Bird Count (powerpoint presentation about this citizen science activity). A great project for schools!