Unleash your inner artist with Armand Bayou’s Paint by Nature workshop this Saturday and create your own beautiful butterfly masterpiece.

For a cool indoor way to reconnect with nature, try ABNC’s Paint by Nature workshop this Saturday. Our skilled and talented artist will guide you in painting your very own butterfly work of art! All skill levels are welcome. https://www.abnc.org/paint-by-nature

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Check out the pics and video of baby raccoons Susan and Stacy caught at Armand Bayou.

We got to see some baby raccoons called kits! Here are some #FunFriday kit facts! Newborn raccoons are totally dependent on mom and are born maskless and stay with her for a year. They can’t see or hear at first and can’t even stand up until they are 5 weeks old. Raccoons are not born nocturnal and they are often active in the middle of the day such as these two. Kits are capable hunters at 5 months old. Video by Susan Millsap & Photos by Stacy Holcomb

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Dog-day cicadas in Texas emerge during hot summer days. Some facts about our locust from Armand Bayou Nature Center.

In our region, we don’t have the 13-17 year cicada broods like they have in the eastern parts of the country. We have annual cicadas called dog-day cicadas because they come out during the hot sultry days of summer like June and July. These insects spend 2-4 years in the ground feeding on sap from tree roots, but due to staggering emergence schedules, some of them come out every summer. We also have sightings of lyric cicada(annual), resh cicada (annual) and swamp cicadas(annual). Photos by Stacy Holcomb

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It’s National Garden Week, explore the magic of blooming flowers, fluttering butterflies, and abundant harvests at Armand Bayou.

It’s National Garden Week, celebrate by learning about beautiful blossoms in our butterfly garden, farmhouse garden and bountiful harvests in our organic vegetable garden. If you love it like our volunteers, you can also sign up to volunteer in the gardens as well!

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Dive into the cuteness of North American river otters at Armand Bayou.

Happy World Otter Day! The North American river otter is the largest member of the weasel family. They can hold their breath for up to 8 minutes under water and dive up to 60 feet. You can help protect them by protecting their habitats like Armand Bayou Nature Center. Enjoy some otter-ly adorable photos taken at our Rotary pond by Don Parrot!

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Unleash your creativity at Armand Bayou this Memorial Day weekend with a gator painting session and exciting nature tours.

Reconnect with nature this long weekend at ABNC! Embrace your inner artist by painting an alligator portrait. Explore ABNC on Pontoon Cruise or guided Kayak Tour. And we’ll be open Monday May 27th with Mini Pontoon Cruises and Bayou Safari Tours. Learn more at abnc.org/reconnect-with-nature 

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Armand Bayou celebrates World Bee Day with some tips about the importance of wild bees in Texas.

Today is World Bee Day! Did you know that there are over 800 species of wild bees in Texas? Wild bees worldwide are in decline because of habitat loss. Bees are very important because they pollinate flowers and crops. It is estimated every third bite of food we eat is because of pollination. 

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Jonah and Troop 848 hooked up Armand Bayou with a safer and more accessible deck for everyone.

Thank you Jonah Arnold and Troop 848 Sam Houston Council! Jonah was excited to complete this project because in his words “My project will create a safer learning environment for the staff and visitors/students of the ABNC, and will ensure the facilities are in good condition for many years to come. It will benefit individuals who are disabled as it will give them safer access to the hiking trails.” 

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Sign up for a nature-inspired painting workshop led by the talented Jessica at Armand Bayou.

This summer embrace your inner artist and enjoy an indoor nature inspired activity!🙂 Learn about and how to paint Alligators, Butterflies, Orbweavers, Wildflowers and Armadillos. Our multi-talented volunteer coordinator Jessica is a highly skilled artist, and she will guide you step by step to paint your very own nature inspired art. Learn more and book at https://www.abnc.org/paint-by-nature

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Beautiful indigo buntings flocked to Horsepen Bayou Armand Bayou for a seed-filled feast, fueling up for their upcoming migration.

Indigo buntings descended on Horsepen Bayou feasting on marsh grass seeds to gather strength before migration. Armand Bayou Nature Center has planted more than 26 acres of estuarine marsh grasses to restore the edges of Armand and Horsepen bayous. Photo by Gary Seloff #birding #WildlifeWednesday

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Celebrate our waterways and communities this Saturday at the Armand Bayou’s Tributary event.

Join us this Saturday, May 11th for a Tributary honoring our waterways and communities. There will be free admission for the first 100 guests courtesy of Bayou City Waterkeeper! Or you can book a spot on a Tributary Activity (mini pontoon, kayak, or bayou safari tours) for a fee. Learn more and book at https://www.abnc.org/bcw-tributary.

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Recap of Armand Bayou’s 50th Earth Day Celebration bash.

We were blown away on Saturday, not just by the wind, but by the amazing support we received for our 50th Earth Day Celebration! Thank you to all the over 400 visitors who attended, the volunteers who made the event possible, the generous sponsors for their support and for the many partners who came out and provided such amazing activities, shows, and info. We are humbly grateful for all of your support! #thankyou #grateful #ThankfulThursday
Thank you to our generous sponsors Port Houston Bastion Technologies, San Jacinto College, Arkema Americas, Gulf Coast Authority, Nissan Chemical, INEOS and the many amazing partners who also took part City of Pasadena, TX Parks & Recreation, The Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center, The Bio Dude, Exploration Green, Eternal Aerial Arts, LLC, Galveston Bay Foundation, Texas Master Naturalist – Gulf Coast Chapter, Houston Rabbit Resource, Houston Zoo, Wild Birds Unlimited, Moody Gardens, Texas Native Cats, Texas Sea Grant, Clear Lake Chapter – Native Plant Society of Texas, Texas Conservation Alliance, Amnesty International, Happyearthcompost and Texas Children in Nature – Houston

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Explore the beauty of Gulf Coast prairie plants on May 9th with Armand Bayou Nature Center.

Join us May 9th for a hands-on workshop showcasing our Gulf Coast prairie plants! Begin the day at ABNC with expert speakers covering prairie plant identification, ecology, and taxonomy. Then venture out to Dick Benoit Prairie. Learn more and book at https://www.abnc.org/spring-bloom-workshop
This event is in partnership with Texas Coastal Prairie Initiative, Coastal Prairie Conservancy, Houston Native Prairies Association of Texas, and UHCL Environmental Institute of Houston.

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Over 120 students planted 1,500 rare native grasses and forbs in just 2 hours, saving Armand Bayou Nature Center’s prairie one plant at a time.

We have a strong partnership with @sanjaccollege and we do 2 planting events every year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Each event we have 100 students but this year however we had over 120 students from four classes. We planted 1,500 plants this morning in 2 hours from 9 to 11. They are all locally rare endemic native grasses and forbs that we propagated and grew locally in our nursery and greenhouse, saving the prairie again one plant at a time. #conservation #prairie

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You’re invited this Saturday to Armand Bayou’s 50th Earth Day Celebration with mini Bayou Safari Tours and fun swag from partners like Houston Zoo and Moody Gardens.

We are excited about this Saturday’s 50th Earth Day Celebration! We have many fun activities planned including mini Bayou Safari Tours, thanks to our generous sponsors. And this year will be our biggest spring event yet with many partner organizations joining us to provide you with fun swag and activities. Partners include Houston Zoo, Moody Gardens, City of Pasadena, TX Parks & Recreation, Exploration Green, Galveston Bay Foundation, Happyearthcompost, Texas Native Cats, and many more. Don’t miss the chance to build your own mini terrarium with The Bio Dude, or the coastal touch tank by The Eddie V. Gray Wetlands Education and Recreation Center, and have a bunny encounter with Houston Rabbit Resource. Learn more about our many activities and partners at https://www.abnc.org/earth-day-celebration

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Armand Bayou Nature Center set up shop at Galveston’s Featherfest and has info about it.

Yesterday, Armand Bayou Nature Center was at Featherfest in Galveston. Pictured here is our ambassador baby alligator held by Sydni. We also have a photo of some Great Blue Herons at our rookery on a secluded part of Armand Bayou Nature Center. It is estimated that 1 out of every 3 birds migrate through Texas. Featherfest is the largest birding festival on the Upper Texas Coast and within a small geographic area has over 300 species of birds that make their permanent or temporary home throughout the year. ABNC also has 270 bird species that do the same here throughout the year. If you’ve missed our previous Rookery Tours check out our next one on May 11th. Registration required, book at abnc.org/preserve-watch.

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With Shell’s support, Armond Bayou continues to thrive, thanks to the hardworking team from Shell Deer Park Chemicals.

Restoring and preserving 2,500 acres of imperiled Gulf Coast habitat requires extensive resources, and partners like Shell are critical to ABNC continuing our crucial conservation efforts. Last week a large team from Shell Deer Park Chemicals brought their tools, skills, expertise, and dedication to complete several volunteer service projects at ABNC and we are humbly grateful to them for this vital contribution!

Thank you Shell Deer Park Chemical for completing large scale structural repairs of ABNC bison feeding area, the siding to the 1890s farmhouse, the Martyn farm road, the cistern & windmill, and rebuilding our implement shed!

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Adventure awaits at Armond Bayou’s Summer EcoCamps. Kids can trade screens for greenery – sign up now for a summer of fun and learning in nature.

Kids can unplug from tech and connect with nature in ABNC’s fun Summer EcoCamps. A day at EcoCamp blends nature exploration with active outdoor experiences under the guidance of knowledgeable educators. Registration now open https://www.abnc.org/ecocamps

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Celebrate Armand Bayou’s 50th Earth Day on April 27th. Meet ABNC’s animals, learn why Earth Day is every day, and enjoy fun activities.

Join us in celebrating our 50th Earth Day on April 27th. Meet some of the animals that call ABNC home and learn why everyday is Earth Day here. We’ll have live animal demonstrations, seed ball making, dip netting, mini Bayou Safari Tours, and more! Purchase tickets at https://www.abnc.org/earth-day-celebration
Special thanks to our generous sponsors for helping to make this event possible! #thankyou Port Houston, Bastion Technologies, San Jacinto College, Gulf Coast Authority, Arkema, INEOS, & Nissan Chemical

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Graham’s crayfish snakes slither around Armand Bayou, keeping the wetlands healthy and providing potential benefits for mankind.

The secretive Graham’s crayfish snake is a semi-aquatic snake found near the edge of ponds and streams of eastern Texas, as well as in various flooded pastures and bottomlands. They are also a good indicator species of a healthy prairie wetland, and will often follow crawfish in their burrows with some species of crawfish who can borrow up to 15 feet. Their primary food source is newly molted crawfish. They give live birth bearing 10 to 15 babies. Snakes fill an important ecological niche and help maintain balance in the natural food chain. Snakes possess certain chemical compounds which have been found to be very beneficial to mankind and are constantly being used to develop new medicines and chemicals. Photos by Stacy Holcomb and Tyson Vodochodsky 

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Experience the enchanting dance of fireflies under the moonlit sky on an Armand Bayou Firefly Friday Hike.

There’s still time for you to see nature’s stunning light show! We’re still seeing fireflies, which means we have April and May dates for ABNC’s popular Firefly Friday Hikes. Whether you call them lightning bugs or fireflies, the sight of them at night is always sure to amaze those who see it. abnc.org/firefly-hikes

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Work this summer as a Summer Day Camp Counselor at Armand Bayou’s EcoCamps. An opportunity to make a positive impact on children.

We’re hiring Summer Day Camp Counselors for our Summer EcoCamps. If you have experience working with youth of various ages, and are interested in an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling summer camp job this summer, love children and the outdoors, learn more about this exciting opportunity at abnc.org/jobs

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Jessica Lamb led the charge at the Bayou Preservation Association ceremony, turning single-use plant pots into treasures for nurseries and farms.

Jessica Lamb was representing ABNC at the Bayou Preservation Association ribbon cutting ceremony for Pots for Plots for a more permanent location. This will be the first of more permanent sites. Pots for Plots is our community-driven initiative aimed at tackling plastic waste. By gathering and recycling single-use plant pots, we’re offering them a new purpose at nurseries and farms in need. Last year alone, we collected a whopping 15,173 pots across 9 sites, benefiting 24 partners and making a significant impact on our environment.

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Bunny encounter at Armand Bayou on March 24th from 12-3pm. Learn about rabbit care, adoption, and snap a pic with a fluffy friend.

Hop over to ABNC March 24th 12-3pm for a Bunny Encounter! Houston Rabbit Resource will be here teaching about rabbit care, the adoption process, and you can take a photo with a bunny. This fun new activity is included with regular admission or ABNC membership.

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Armand Bayou scored some big bucks from a NCTI $12,000 donation helping to preserve Gulf Coast habitats.

This #thankfulthursday we are grateful for our longtime partner and supporter NCTI who donated $12,000 to support ABNC’s education and conservation work for 2024. Our corporate partners are such an important part of helping us continue preserving 2,500 acres of imperiled Gulf Coast habitats while educating and inspiring people to explore, respect, and protect nature for generations to come.

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Armand Bayou’s Wren and Susan brought science fun to 5,000 sixth graders with Mind Trekkers adventures.

Wren and Susan from Armand Bayou Nature Center did an outreach yesterday afternoon at San Jacinto College for the Mind Trekkers adventures in STEM Festival. During the day, nearly 5,000 sixth graders from Channelview, Clear Creek, Deer Park, Galena Park, La Porte, Pasadena, and Sheldon independent school districts. They engaged in more than 100 hands-on science experiments. This was a great opportunity for our local sixth graders and community to appreciate and learn about science, technology, math, and engineering. Not in the photo but our baby alligator was very popular.

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Celebrate Mark Kramer’s dedication to nature at Armand Bayou with free admission, fishing, and more on March 3rd.

Join us March 3rd 12-5pm to honor Mark Kramer’s legacy of conservation and exploration of the natural world. Mark was ABNC’s Chief Naturalist and Conservation Director for over 25 years. Admission will be free and we will have catch and release cane pole fishing at May’s Pond from 1-3pm. Learn more at abnc.org/kramer-day

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These vibrant frogs at Armand Bayou are the life of the party in any forest munching on bugs and bioindicating.

The American green tree frog lives in open canopy forests with a permanent water source and filled with plentiful vegetation. They also live in urban areas with ponds or backyard pools. They can live up to 6.2 years. Males are usually smaller than females. They are insectivores, primarily consuming flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, cockroaches, spiders, beetles, and other small insects such as crickets and ants. One study found it is not uncommon for them to ingest plant material as well. American green tree frogs can also be used as bioindicators for aquatic contamination being that synthetic compounds such as polychlorinated biphenyls are found in many pesticides and pollute the green tree frog’s aquatic habitats. Photo credit: Stacy Holcomb and Tyson Vodochodsky 

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Check out Armand Bayou’s Rookery Tour this weekend and witness the incredible sight of over 400 colonial waterbirds raising the next generation.

In 2008, a Rookery spontaneously formed at ABNC and it continues to grow every year, with over 400 colonial waterbirds gathering to raise the next generation every Spring at peak nesting season. Our dedicated Stewardship team and volunteers have built and maintained 300 nesting boxes over the year to enhance nesting opportunities on this secluded Rookery! Check out our Rookery Tour this weekend to see this amazing testament to the high-quality complete habitat mosaic of our nature preserve.

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The innovative Girl Scout Troop 143059 is on a mission at Armand Bayou to uncover bat secrets.

Girl Scout Troop 143059, mostly from the Pearland area, has been working on a Silver Award Project in conjunction with Amber Bearb, Fish and WIldlife Biologist USFWS and Jennifer Smith-Castro, USFWS White Nose Syndrome/Bat Coordinator. The Troop has been studying bats and taking bat hikes at ABNC with Kevin Bauman since the Fall of 2023. Today they deployed an acoustic listening device on the preserve as part of the North American Bat Monitoring Program. The data collected from this monitoring post will be used to compile the kind of bats in a specific location over time. Later in the Spring. the Troop plans to share this information with ABNC and the surrounding community.

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Dive into nature’s playground at Armand Bayou with family dip-netting, bayou safaris, and sunset cruises, where ospreys and eagles soar.

If you’re looking for a great way to reconnect with nature this weekend try an Ospreys and Eagles Tour, Family Dip-netting, Bayou Safari Tour, or Sunset Cruise! We will also be open Monday for even more time to explore ABNC! Learn more and book your adventure at https://www.abnc.org/

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Scout Troop 848 and Camden are conservation heroes at Armand Bayou Nature Center.

Thank you Scout Troop 848 and Camden Redden who lead a conservation project at Armand Bayou Nature Center. The project was to repurpose the bobwhite quail LyondellBasell Aviary to prepare it for the arrival of Skyler, our red-tailed hawk ambassador. They worked hard to power wash the aviary, remove soil, and add new soil to create a habitat for Skyler. A big thanks goes out to Camden and his troop for all the work they are doing.

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Armand Bayou: The important role of shad as nature’s fertilizer and food source.

Gulf Menhaden, which local fishermen call shad, can detect ultrasound used by predators. “Menhaden” comes from a Native American word for fertilizer in which they used to bury the fish under the corn crops for a better yield. They are filter feeding omnivores who not only filter zooplankton but also algae in the water. They are considered to be the most important fish in the ocean because they are an extremely important food source for many marine animals including fish, mammals and birds. This small fish is also a key food source for wildlife like dolphins and whales which shows the interconnectivity of our bayou to the ocean. Menhaden are a pelagic schooling fish that migrate inshore during the summer and off-shore in the winter months. A great blog by our late Chief Naturalist and Director of Conservation Emeritus, the late Mark Kramer can be found here. abnc.org/nature-blog/living-water. Photos by Gary Seloff & Stacy Holcomb
#WildlifeWednesday #fish

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Shining a light on fireflies, Armand Bayou was paid a visit from renowned researcher Lynn F. Faust.

Thank you to our Firefly volunteer team and to internationally renowned author and firefly researcher, Lynn F. Faust who dropped by to visit Armand Bayou’s firefly habitats in January. This was truly a golden opportunity for the firefly team to learn from the best! Faust refers to her fellow firefly enthusiasts as sparks, but she really is the catalyst that generates the interest and concern for these bioluminescent insects. She remarked on the beauty and diversity of ABNC’s ecosystems! Currently, five species have been identified on site using Faust’s field guide, but she suggested that more would most likely be identified as the research progressed. Faust spent the entire day and evening at Armand walking the trails with Mary Dobberstine, Alyssa Goforth, Leda Parker and staff member Wren Bradley. #thankyou #thankfulthursday #fireflies

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Unplug and unwind the kids at Armand Bayou’s EcoExcursions for teens to enjoy nature this Spring Break.

This Spring Break ABNC will be offering EcoExcursions for ages 13 to 18 years old. Teens can take a break from the Virtual World to Canoe, Fish, Bird, Hike, Picnic and more. Each day will be a new outdoor adventure, March 13 & 15. Registration required, sign up for one day or both! abnc.org/teen-ecoexcursions

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