Though the Balcones Refuge was created to protect the nesting habitat of two endangered birds, the Golden-cheeked warbler and the Black-capped vireo, it has become so much more.
In 2017 over 3200 students participated in nature-based Environmental Education events.
Recreation is important too. The trails at the Refuge have been called "the best in the Hill Country". The dove and deer hunting programs bring hunters out to enjoy a day in the Hill Country and keep wildlife populations in check. The Firearms Safety Program introduces new and experienced hunters to best practices.
Keeping the Hill Country wild is paramount. Balcones has been designated an Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society. Working with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Balcones Refuge collected tens of thousands of milkweed seeds to help save the declining Monarch population. In 2017 Balcones, along with its partners, outfitted 100 Golden-cheeked warblers with geolocators in order to study their migration patterns. Currently the Refuge is partnering with others to insure the water quality of the Cow Creek watershed.
we need you
A wildlife refuge is not just a place, it is people; people who love the Texas Hill Country, people who want following generations to appreciate and love the land and the wildlife on it, people who want to keep our water pure, people who want to keep the Hill Country wild instead of wall to wall suburbs.
We need people like YOU!
YOU can join us as a member of the Friends of Balcones Canyonlands NWR. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit so your dues go to direct support of the Refuge, some administrative costs (we are 100% volunteer run) and bringing others out to the Hill Country.
YOU can donate in a variety of ways to keep our programs going, put a roof over the Doeskin amphitheater, build more trails and help us preserve more of the Texas Hill Country.
You can subscribe to get event notices, our newsletter, The Canyonlands Crier and news about the Refuge and the Friends.
You can volunteer. Refuge volunteers do everything from activity planning to website administration. We raise funds, lead hikes, collect seed, build and maintain trails and yes, clean bathrooms.