An educational innovation
The Wetlands Center, located on the banks of Goose Creek, opened on January 26, 1998. Eddie Gray, a member of the Goose Creek Stream Greenbelt Development Committee, sought the committee’s permission to purchase an abandoned bowling alley and turn it into a wetlands center. In 1996, after the land was purchased, the Committee applied for and received a $350,000 matching grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to develop the center. Lee College and Goose Creek Consolidated Independent School District (GCCISD) also entered into agreements to support and use the facility. Each contributes funds annually. The center property encompasses six acres. The 14,000 square-foot building includes staff offices, meeting rooms, a science lab, a computer lab and a 9,000 square-foot exhibit hall.
The Wetlands Center's 9,000 square foot Robert Craig Exhibit Hall features a variety of exhibits. Gator World, with its juvenile alligators and large wetlands mural, is always a favorite with visitors young and old. The Land of Milk and Honey highlights honeybees with a demonstration hive. The Coastal Connection Room houses aquaria with fresh and saltwater inhabitants collected from local bays and estuaries. Wings Over Wetlands, covering an entire wall, shows the diversity of birds that inhabit wetlands area. The snake exhibit is home to several native Texas snakes. The Bat Cave, the newest exhibit, showcases Texas wildlife that live in caves. Wetlands Center staff provides tours if reserved in advance or visitors may take a self-guided tour.
Through education and recreation, the Wetlands Center aims to increase awareness, appreciation and understanding of wetlands, the environment and cultural history. Education lies at the heart of the Wetlands Center’s mission.
Click here to learn more about the Wetlands Educational Programs.
Each year, thousands of visitors and school children come to the Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center in Baytown to learn about the importance of wetlands and their inhabitants. It is an official site on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail.
Other educational offerings include The Wetlands Wagon program taken to schools, libraries, clubs and businesses to educate students and the public on the importance and preservation of wetlands.
Hours and fees
The Wetlands Center is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except holidays. Entry is free. Guided tours and educational programs are offered for a fee. Phone 281-420-7128 for more information and reservations. (map)
Click Here for the Wetlands Center & Nature Centers Calendar.