Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary
Texas Attractions: Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary
Address: 1 Nature Place, McKinney, TX 75069
About the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary:
Set on 289 acres in the northern reaches of the DFW Metroplex, the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary - or "The Heard" as the locals call it - is a natural science education center that includes both natural settings in the form of a wildlife sanctuary and a more traditional museum building.
The facility, started in 1967, includes four miles of hiking trails, a two-acre native plant garden, live animals, and indoor and outdoor exhibits that include fossils, Native American artifacts, rocks, minerals and seashells.
The sanctuary includes prairie habitat, woodlands/forest and wetlands habitat, and the trails through these areas offer great opportunities for birders, not to mention wildlife watching that gets better all the time as more animals find refuge here. The refuge also boasts many wild-growing berries and fruits.
The Texas Native Plant Garden displays trees, shrubs, grasses, vines, ground covers and perennials native to the state, and demonstrates how native plants can be used in an urban garden setting.
The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary is open to the public Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, 1-5 p.m., but is closed on major holidays. An admission fee is charged.
Guided nature trail walks are available at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from September through mid-July, on a first-come basis. A Self Guided Nature Trail is available Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and Sunday, 1-4 p.m. Group tours are available by reservation.
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