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On October 17th, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., visitors from across North Texas will experience Collin County’s premier family-friendly Halloween event at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary. Halloween at the Heard features a safe environment to experience the joy of trick-or-treating along the eerie Dinosaurs Live! Live-Size Animatronic Dinosaurs trail.

Families will enjoy an evening full of fun activities at this fun family fundraiser including a presentation of a family-friendly movie on the Heard's outdoor amphitheater stage. Kids ages 12 and under will also have the opportunity to participate in a costume contest.

Those who dare will be able take a trail detour after the movie through our "Haunted Forest" and “Ghost Town” where they may encounter a ghost or creature of the night (not recommended for younger children)! Guests can also have a photo taken in their costumes.

The Heard recommends that guests bring insect repellant, flashlights, water-resistant blankets and/or stadium seats for use during the movie. Concessions will be available for purchase. Guests may also bring their own picnic dinner and non-alcoholic beverages.

Ticketing is now open to the public, while supplies are available. Tickets for this annual event sold out ten days early last year, so the Heard encourages guests to purchase theirs as soon as possible. Admission to this event is $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 3-12, and free for children ages 2 and under. See heardmuseum.org for more details. 

Halloween at the Heard is sponsored in part by NBC5 and ClifKiD. Proceeds from this event benefit Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, a private 501(c)3 organization. The Heard was founded in 1967 by Bessie Heard.  Miss Heard was 80 years old when she saw the need to preserve a place where future generations could experience nature. Today, the Heard’s mission of bringing nature and people together is carried out through education, particularly of young people, which emphasizes an appreciation of nature and its conservation. 

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T-Rex at the Heard T-Rex at the Heard

The ninth annual Dinosaurs Live! Life-Size Animatronic Dinosaurs exhibit is now open at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary. This exhibit will be open through February 21, 2016. Visitors will be able to let their imagination run wild as they travel back in time along a half-mile nature trail with nine life-size animatronic dinosaurs.

These animatronic dinosaurs move and roar, providing an experience sure to captivate visitors who will be able to also learn interesting facts about both herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs. Each dinosaur is fitted with its own electronic brain to activate and control the movements and to produce the sounds. The realistic movements on our dinosaurs are powered by a pneumatic system that enables smoother and finer movements than what you would typically see with electrical systems.

The exhibit features the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex, a frequent favorite among past guests. Other dinosaur replicas on exhibit include a spitting Dilophosaurus, a Carnotaurus, a Torosaurus, an Acrocanthosaurus, an Edmonotia, a Stegosaurus, a Styracosaurus, and a Pachycephalosaurus. Children will also have the opportunity to play on a photo-op T-Rex.

The Dinosaurs Live! exhibit trail is jogging stroller friendly (umbrella strollers not recommended), giving families and friends a unique, exciting and educational activity to experience together. This annual exhibit also provides an ideal family outing on weekends and during the holidays.

Dinosaurs Live! is sponsored by NBC5 and ClifKid and powered by GDF Suez. Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary is a private 501(c)3 organization. The Heard was founded in 1967 by Bessie Heard, who was 80 years old when she saw the need to preserve a place where future generations could experience nature. Today, the Heard’s mission of bringing nature and people together is carried out through education, particularly of young people, which emphasizes an appreciation of nature and its conservation.

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White-tailed deer buck White-tailed deer buck

Bobcat at the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife SanctuaryThe mission of Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney, Texas is to bring nature and people together to discover, enjoy, experience, restore and preserve our priceless environment. Please help the Heard to continue to make this possible by helping the Heard protect native animals on the Heard Wildlife Sanctuary.

Though the Heard Wildlife Sanctuary is private property and hunting is not allowed, we have recently collected evidence that prohibited hunting activities are going on in this nature preserve. By helping us purchase additional wildlife cameras to monitor more areas of the wildlife sanctuary, we will be able to work more effectively with local game wardens to help us enforce applicable laws and protect our wildlife, such as White-tailed deer, Northern raccoons, Eastern cottontail rabbits, owls, songbirds and much more.  This will also help us collect valuable scientific data and information about the behavior and health of the resident animals.

For just $550 each, we will be able to purchase wildlife cameras that transmit images and real-time information wirelessly to Heard staff. $80 per month will help us secure the data plan to transfer the data. This means that, for less than $7,000, you can help us better protect all 289 acres and the wildlife living there for years to come. Will you please consider helping us meet this goal? Any amount will get the Heard closer to this $7,000 goal and will be appreciated!


When Bessie Heard founded Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in 1967 at the age of 80, her foresight was keen. She realized that someday natural spaces would not be as available. She saw that one day there may be a need to conserve a special place for people to spend time in and learn about nature. "Miss Bessie" (as the children called her) knew that natural spaces and wildlife were important and should be shared with future generations.

Forty-eight years later, in keeping with Miss Bessie's vision, the Heard consists of a 289 acre wildlife sanctuary and a natural science museum for the primary purpose of educating children about the appreciation of nature and its conservation.

Tomorrow, on North Texas Giving Day, September 17, from 6 a.m. to midnight, your donation of $25 or more will go further with bonus funds if you donate to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary through NorthTexasGivingDay.org.

Please make a gift to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary on this day and help the Heard save resident wildlife for years to come. The Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, making your gift tax-deductible. 

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Deer graze on the Heard Wildlife SanctuaryThe mission of Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney, Texas is to bring nature and people together to discover, enjoy, experience, restore and preserve our priceless environment. Please help the Heard to continue to make this possible by helping the Heard protect native animals on the Heard Wildlife Sanctuary.

Though the Heard Wildlife Sanctuary is private property and hunting is not allowed, we have recently collected evidence that prohibited hunting activities are going on in this nature preserve. By helping us purchase additional wildlife cameras to monitor more areas of the wildlife sanctuary, we will be able to work more effectively with local game wardens to help us enforce applicable laws and protect our wildlife, such as White-tailed deer, Northern raccoons, Eastern cottontail rabbits, owls, songbirds and much more.  This will also help us collect valuable scientific data and information about the behavior and health of the resident animals.

For just $550 each, we will be able to purchase wildlife cameras that transmit images and real-time information wirelessly to Heard staff. $80 per month will help us secure the data plan to transfer the data. This means that, for less than $7,000, you can help us better protect all 289 acres and the wildlife living there for years to come. Will you please consider helping us meet this goal? Any amount will get the Heard closer to this $7,000 goal and will be appreciated!

When Bessie Heard founded Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in 1967 at the age of 80, her foresight was keen. She realized that someday natural spaces would not be as available. She saw that one day there may be a need to conserve a special place for people to spend time in and learn about nature. "Miss Bessie" (as the children called her) knew that natural spaces and wildlife were important and should be shared with future generations.

Forty-eight years later, in keeping with Miss Bessie's vision, the Heard consists of a 289 acre wildlife sanctuary and a natural science museum for the primary purpose of educating children about the appreciation of nature and its conservation.

 

Mark your calendars: on North Texas Giving Day, September 17, from 6 a.m. to midnight, your donation of $25 or more will go further with more than $2 million dollars in bonus funds and prizes if you donate to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary through NorthTexasGivingDay.org. Please make a gift to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary on this day and help the Heard save resident wildlife for years to come. 

Be Heard on North Texas Giving Day

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Time spent in nature provides almost limitless opportunities for hands-on learning. Studies continue to demonstrate the harmful effects of a child’s separation from nature and, conversely, the benefits of strengthening this connection. These studies also show that time spent in nature can improve a child’s physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development.

Register your preschooler today for Heard Preschool Nature Explorers to encourage your child’s connection and fascination with nature. This informal science program introduces your child to the natural world through nature walks and hands-on science activities that foster cooperation with others, language development and creative play! This 13-week program begins the week of September 8 and meets one day each week on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday from 9:30AM - 11:30AM. Preschool Nature Explorers is appropriate for children ages 3 and 4 (please use child’s birthday as of September 1.)

Heard Preschool Nature Explorers will learn about habitats and ecosystems. From forests to prairies to wetlands, they will explore their surroundings. Songs, finger plays, and stories demonstrate how animals and plants make up a habitat, and how they adapt to that habitat. Preschoolers will study animals that are awake at night and cope with living in the dark, dinosaurs, fossils and much more. In these classes, participating children will talk about our responsibility to nature, and what they can do to help the plants and animals around them. These children will also explore the many different habitats on the Heard Wildlife Sanctuary, and get up close to living animal ambassadors. Additional information about this program and the registration form is available at www.heardmuseum.org/preschool.

Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary is a private 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The Heard was founded in 1967 by Bessie Heard, who was 80 years old when she saw the need to preserve a place where future generations could experience nature. Today, the Heard’s mission of bringing nature and people together is carried out through education, particularly of young people, which emphasizes an appreciation of nature and its conservation.

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Do you remember how fascinating it was to explore your yard as a child?  Or, maybe you have witnessed the joy that your children have experienced as a ladybug landed on their arms. 

Now is the time to encourage your preschooler’s love of nature! Beginning September 8, 2015, preschool children will have the opportunity to come together and explore all that the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary has to offer. In each class, your child will be engaged in hands-on learning experiences that promote an early connection to nature. 

From forests to prairies to wetlands, preschoolers will explore the world around us. Using songs, finger plays, and stories they will discover how animals and plants make up a habitat and how they adapt to that habitat. Participating children will learn how animals that are awake at night cope with living in the dark. They will also get to dig into dinosaurs and fossils and watch the season as it changes into fall and heads toward winter. In Preschool Nature Explorers, we will also talk about our responsibility to nature, and what we can do to help the plants and animals around us. We’ll explore the many different habitats on the sanctuary, and get up close to living animal visitors. Your preschooler will also have the opportunity to meet other children who are interested in science. 

Using observation, “hands on” activities in the classroom and seeing live animals up-close, the children will learn to connect their experience on the forest trails, prairie and ponds using all of their senses and scientific methods. 

Sign up now!  Classes will meet from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Tuesdays from September 16 – December 15. For more information and registration, please visit heardmuseum.org/preschool.

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T-Rex at the Heard T-Rex at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary

You had a chance to see dinosaurs in the theaters this summer. This fall, come see them in a natural environment. From September 19, 2015 to February 21, 2016, visitors to Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will be able to let their imagination run wild as they walk back in time along a half-mile nature trail with nine life-size animatronic dinosaurs during the ninth annual Dinosaurs Live! Life-Size Animatronic Dinosaurs exhibit. These animatronic dinosaurs move and roar, providing an experience sure to captivate visitors who will be able to also learn interesting facts about both herbivorous and carnivorous dinosaurs.

The exhibit features the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex, a frequent favorite among past guests. Other dinosaur replicas on exhibit include a spitting Dilophosaurus, a Carnotaurus, a Torosaurus, an Acrocanthosaurus, an Edmontonia, a Stegosaurus, a Styracosaurus, and a Pachycephalosaurus.

Children will also have the opportunity to play on static Apatosaurus and Parasaurolophus baby dinosaurs and on a photo-op T-Rex. The Dinosaurs Live! exhibit trail is jogging stroller friendly (umbrella strollers not recommended), giving families and friends a unique, exciting and educational activity to experience together. This annual exhibit is included in general admission and provides a great setting for a family outing on weekends and during the holidays. More information about this exhibit available at heardmuseum.org/dinosaurslive. 

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On May 9th, explore the thrilling sights, smells, and sounds of night with Heard Trail Guides. Night hikers will be encouraged to sharpen their senses to be able to spot signs of animal life and learn more about the inhabitants of the Heard.

If you have ever been on a hike and the sun set before you finished, you know that experiencing a trail at night can be a completely different experience from hiking during the day. Landmarks change, as can your sense of direction. Even if you’ve hiked a trail several times, it can feel completely unfamiliar.

Preregistration is required for all night hikes. Registration is available at www.heardmuseum.org/nighthikes. Tickets are just $14 per person for the public and $12 per person for Heard Museum members. All night hikes depart from the main building. Closed toed shoes, long pants, and bug spray are recommended. Participants should bring a flashlight (preferably with a red lens on it to protect your night vision while looking for nocturnal animals). 

About Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary

The Heard is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and was founded in 1967 by Bessie Heard. Miss Heard was 80 years old when she saw the need to preserve a place where future generations could experience nature. Today, the Heard's mission of bringing nature and people together is carried out through education, particularly of young people, which emphasizes an appreciation of nature and its conservation.  For more information, visit heardmuseum.org.

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This article isn’t really about reasons not to use native plants. There really just aren’t many. By contrast, there are a great deal of reasons why you should plant native plants in your landscape.

A native (indigenous) species is one that occurs in a particular region, ecosystem, and habitat without direct or indirect human actions. As the public becomes more concerned about the environment and interest grows in preserving it, it’s important to know that you have choices in your landscaping plants and to know that you can choose to use native plants.

To begin with, several native species are the select or even the only larval (caterpillar) host plant for some species of butterflies. This means that if the plants they need to eat aren’t around, they can’t reproduce. Also, many native plants provide superior nectar sources for butterflies (and other important pollinators), which in turn help to pollinate the crops we eat (among many other things). If you enjoy seeing beautiful butterflies or eating fruits and veggies, plant native plants.

Next, we approach the topic of hummingbirds. Many native plants are a great source of nectar and habitat for these beautiful, tiny birds. Planting some native plants can be a great way to attract them to your landscape. Zipping around your garden, they eat pesky bugs like mosquitoes, gnats, and fruit flies. If you would like to see more around, use native plants to help attract these amazing birds.

Tired of constantly watering your landscape? Do you struggle to keep it hydrated during the hottest months of the summer? Do you worry about where your drinking water will come from someday? If so, plant native plants. Once they’re established, many native plants require very little supplemental water and therefore will not squander the precious water that could otherwise be used for drinking. Native plants are often better suited to our local hydrologic situation and climate and can survive these conditions without assistance once established.

Native plants are a great resource for holding soil in place. This ability to help prevent soil erosion also means they help to protect water quality. Help to prevent dust storms and dirty water: plant native plants.

If these reasons aren’t enough, there’s also the following:

  • Native plants provide food and habitat for native wildlife.
  • Native plants preserve our natural heritage.
  • Native plants require little maintenance in the long run if properly planted and established.

If you are now ready to landscape with native plants, please note that Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary will hold its annual Spring Plant Sale on April 18th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 19th from 1 to 5 p.m. We encourage you to stop by and pick up a few plants for your landscape. A Heard Museum Member Pre-Sale will be offered on April 17th from 4-7 p.m.

For more than 20 years, veteran and novice gardeners alike have anticipated this rare opportunity to purchase plants from a huge selection of native plants, hard-to-find herbs and well-adapted plants at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary’s annual Spring Plant Sale. Your tax-free purchases will also help to support the Heard—a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. More information (including plant list) available at www.heardmuseum.org/plantsale

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Green MilkweedFor more than 20 years, veteran and novice gardeners alike have anticipated this rare opportunity to purchase plants from a huge selection of native plants, hard-to-find herbs and well-adapted plants at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary’s annual Spring Plant Sale. This year, the Heard will provide some of the best plants for North Central Texas gardens and an opportunity to obtain many rare plants.

The plant sale will be open to the public on April 18th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and April 19th from 1 10 5 p.m. A Heard Museum Member Pre-Sale will be offered on April 17th from 4-7 p.m. The Member Pre-Sale is open to Heard Museum members only; however, memberships will be available for purchase at the event.

There are a number of benefits to using native plants in landscaping. The Texas Water Development Board indicates that 43% of the state is currently in moderate to exceptional drought. Using these plants that are naturally suited to Texas’ hydrologic issues is an excellent way to reduce reliance on supplemental watering. Many of the native plant species are also better suited to Texas’ climate and provide food sources and habitat for many kinds of wildlife.

This sale will also feature a limited number of native milkweed plants available for purchase. Milkweed is the only larval food source for the Monarch butterfly. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services estimate that their population has plummeted by 90% over the last 20 years. Planting milkweed to help feed Monarch butterfly caterpillars and planting native flowering plants (also available at the sale) to provide nectar for the adults are two ways in which individuals can help to restore the Monarch butterfly population.

All sales are tax free and proceeds from this fundraising event benefit Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to bringing nature and people together. Guests are welcome to bring carts or wagons to facilitate their purchases. More information available at www.heardmuseum.org/plantsale.

About Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary

The Heard was founded in 1967 by Bessie Heard. Miss Heard was 80 years old when she saw the need to preserve a place where future generations could experience nature. Today, the Heard's mission of bringing nature and people together is carried out through education, particularly of young people, which emphasizes an appreciation of nature and its conservation.  For more information, visit heardmuseum.org.