Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
The Heard Museum of Natural Sciences and Wildlife Sanctuary in Mckinney, Texas is the result of one woman’s vision and commitment to the community and North Texas. Miss Bessie Heard devoted most of her life (1886-1988) to the town of McKinney and its people. His philanthropic efforts and generosity left a legacy of achievements that few achieve. Miss Bessie’s greatest contribution to her community and to North Texas is the Heard Museum of Natural Sciences and Nature Preserve. Miss Heard was 80 years old when she saw the need to preserve a place where future generations could experience nature. The museum opened on October 1, 1967 and now serves over 100,000 visitors each year. In Miss Heard’s vision, the mission of the museum is threefold: education, conservation and preservation. Through education aimed especially at young people, Heard emphasizes the appreciation and protection of nature. Courageously refusing to ride sidesaddle, Bessie Heard became the first woman to ride in McKinney in the late 19th century.
She was also the first woman to ride a bicycle in the city, unusual events at the time. Although her grandmother described her riding as “most undignified for a young girl,” Bessie was truly a Southern woman who was brave and independent throughout her long and extraordinary life. She was definitely a woman ahead of her time. Bessie had a deep respect for nature and a great desire to protect, preserve and share this natural heritage with others. Often affectionately called “Miss Bess”, she is described as a lovely woman, and very generous and kind, with a special love for children and nature. A lifelong commitment to the community culminated in his greatest achievement, the creation of a museum and nature reserve at the age of 80. Bessie was an environmentalist long before the word was popular, and she was determined to do something about her environment. A self-described “obsessed,” he was an extraordinary collector, acquiring objects until his extensive collections of seashells, butterflies, and original nature photographs by Audubon and Redoute outgrew his home. Inspired by his great love for trees, his first civic action was to plant trees as a project to beautify the city. Many cut down trees still grow in the streets of the city center. Bessie Heard was happy to show the children of the area her collection of shells and butterflies. He encouraged bird feeding and bird care and sponsored an aviary contest for the front lawn. Today, the museum displays natural history exhibits, shells, fossils, archaeology, rocks and minerals, and live animals. Don’t forget to check out this place in McKinney too.
The 289-hectare nature reserve is a refuge for more than 240 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, not to mention almost 150 species of wild plants and many other growing plants. In the fall of 1992, the 50-acre wetland was completed, with an outdoor learning center, a floating research lab, and a boardwalk on the observation deck. The Science Resource Center, an outdoor amphitheater that seats more than 500 guests, and the Ropes. Course was next. built This museum brings children into contact with nature through indoor and outdoor exhibits. Inside, children can browse and touch natural history collections such as mammal skins, minerals, shells and fossils. Outside, they can explore gardens that preserve delicate native ecosystems so future generations can experience Texas at its wildest. Walking trails take you through a living butterfly garden, native plants and carefully landscaped aviaries. If you’re nervous, the snake exhibit brings you face-to-face with venomous snakes and teaches you how to treat bites. If you are in need of home construction, click here.