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I-20 Wildlife Preserve

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The I-20 Wildlife Preserve is an opportunity to protect more than 87 acres of playa habitat that are critical to the survival of local bird populations, native wildlife, and thousands of migratory birds along the West Central Flyway. Farming and ranching practices in West Texas are rapidly destroying these integral refuges and water sources for migratory birds and other wildlife. Even in the earliest stages of conservation efforts, the preserve teems with bird life from the Canada Goose and the American Wigeon to the Great Horned Owl and Peregrine Falcon. Butterflies, toads, deer, fox, and other wildlife take refuge within the playa boundaries. This preserve is also a rare opportunity to conserve a federally designated wetland-the twelfth largest and only playa protected by public title in Midland County.

General Information

The I-20 Wildlife Preserve is currently undergoing a huge construction phase which includes the installation of bird blinds, teaching platforms, boardwalks, and 3.4 miles of hike-and-bike trails. Construction should be finished in December 2011, and until then the public will be granted access only on a permit basis. Thank you to our community for helping us succeed in the 2011 Capital Campaign-- this never would have been possible without you.

Our Mission: To ensure conservation of and provide access to Midland's wildlife preserve for the use and enjoyment by present and future generations.

Background: In the late 1960's, the property was donated to the City of Midland with the intention of creating a park. However, the city was never able to budget the money for the park. The Midland Naturalists, a cadre of nature enthusiasts, voluntarily tracked migratory bird and butterfly activity, and conducted basic trail maintenance and habitat cleanup for 20-plus years. In 2006, Paul Davis, Jr. and Elaine Magruder came together to establish The Friends of I-20 Wildlife Preserve to fund a Master Plan developed by The Rivers Studio, LLC in Austin, Texas. The master plan was approved by the City of Midland in April of 2007. Shortly thereafter, the I-20 Wildlife Preserve and Jenna Welch Nature Study Center was formed as a non-profit organization to create a public-private cooperation with the City of Midland Parks and Recreation Department. The I-20 Wildlife Preserve handles the day-to-day operations of the preserve. Phase I of the preserve's development, which included habitat improvement and community outreach activities, have been completed and allow for Phase II of the master plan to begin in 2010.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed


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