Why become a member of the Big Thicket Association?
Membership puts you at the forefront of preservation. Here are just five reasons to join BTA:
Funds for scientific research through the Thicket of Diversity Program, All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory Initiative with the goal of identifying all living species within the National Park Service, Big Thicket Preserve to provide a platform for professionals to present and publish their findings. Many of these findings were presented at the Big Thicket and West Gulf Coastal Plain Science Conference in April 2015 at Nacogdoches.
Promotes ecological education by providing outdoor classes. The acquisition of the Ivory Bill, a 45-foot Coast Guard, approved pontoon boat, offers public and private educational tours on the Neches River and in the Big Thicket. Our educational excursions went from 2,300 in 2014 to over 3,700 in 2015 despite the fact that the season was cut short by floods this year.
Supports the development of environmental education among youth groups, schools, and teachers. The Ivory Bill provides public tours on the Neches River between 10 am and noon on Saturday mornings from spring to fall. Tours inform guests on the value of conserving the land, introduces visitors to the many plants and animal species that reside in the Big Thicket, and challenges Southeast Texans to sustain the wild habitat just beyond their doorstep.
Educates readers with the publication of the Temple Big Thicket Series on the environmental and cultural heritage of the region. Learn about the early naturalists who advocated for the preservation of the Big Thicket. Travel back in time to the place called the Crossroads of America which has drawn writers and photographers from across Texas and the world.
You will become a voice for preservation in one the world's treasured landscapes. In 1981, the Big Thicket National Preserve became a UNESCO Man & Biosphere Reserve site established to conserve genetic resources, species, and ecosystems. Protection of fragile native ecosystems as gathered public attention as more and more the globe becomes industrialized and there nine different ecosystems in the Big Thicket. The Big Thicket remains unequaled among biosphere sites – a place that draws continued ecotourism.
In 2014, the Big Thicket Association lists members from 15 states including Texas. Members volunteered to clear trails, cut weeds, repair paths, and remove overgrowth from signs in the Big Thicket. Members have also contributed hundreds of hours to help National Park rangers plant thousands of longleaf pines as part of the local restoration of the Big Thicket.
Volunteers also manned watercraft and served burgers in the conservation advocacy celebration of the Neches River Rally kayak and canoe paddling event. In 2015, only the second year of festivities, numerous paddlers joined in to make the rally a success. The Big Thicket Association plans to grow the rally and education programs along with the statewide interest generated by our efforts.
Join us to make a difference in Big Thicket National Preserve.