For Educators


The refuge’s environmental education programs are designed to take advantage of nature’s classrooms.

Teacher Resources

Free Outreach Programs
We will come to local schools free of charge(will obtain additional security clearance if required in regulation with your ISD). Includes hands-on experience with animal artifacts and is adapted for the 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 doing 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.

Wetland and Waterfowl - Discover the wetland habitats that provide the essential resources to meet the daily requirements of waterfowl and wetland birds to live and reproduce. Unfortunately, wetlands are declining in quantity and quality, and recent information suggests that the existing wetland resources may not be enough to sustain current population levels of some wetland bird species. Find out what can be done to help restore our wetlands and improve our waterfowl population! 

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. 
  • Habitat Tour – View wildlife in their natural habitats as you explore the refuge on our guided tour.   Discover how each habitat provides for the needs of wildlife. This 2-3 hour adventure takes you through thornscrub forest, coastal prairies, freshwater lakes and the saltwater Laguna Madre. Binoculars are available for loan. Tours are free for students, but require advance reservations. Tours will done on your school bus.  Best time to come to see wildlife is December - March.  Student Activity Sheets are available.

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.  Nature Journals can be emailed to the teacher in advance of the trip to prepare.
  • 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 and Teacher Keys are available.
  • Bird Observations at Laguna Atascosa freshwater lake. Student Activity Sheets are available.
  • 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.
  • Project WILD Workshops - Certified facilitators are available to present workshops 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) at 956-244-2019 or email