“Every farm woodland, in addition to yielding lumber, fuel, and posts, should provide its owner a liberal education. This crop of wisdom never fails, but it is not always harvested.”
– Aldo Leopold. Sketches here and There, A Sand County Almanac (1949)
Education Program Goal
The goal of the Foundation’s Conservation Education Program is to enhance the public’s knowledge, appreciation, enjoyment, and desire to conserve our wildlife and natural resources. The Foundation’s concern that multiple generations of Texans are losing their connection to the land is underscored by the fact that over 80% of our state’s population now consists of urban dwellers. For more than 50 years, the Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation and Refuge has provided access to education about native wildlife and their habitats to visitors throughout the world. Our programs have grown immensely in recent years, allowing us to reach more of the public than ever before, thereby creating a stewardship legacy for the future.
Rob Welder envisioned that the Welder Wildlife Foundation would become an icon of conservation education, as well as wildlife research. Fifty years after its establishment, the Foundation is renowned for its heritage of providing exemplary programs to school and public groups throughout the country. We have reached approximately 111,850 individuals through our programs between the years 1994 and 2019.
Our educators have M.S. or B.S. degrees in wildlife biology or closely related fields and are skilled in designing programs that are tailored to meet the needs of the different groups. Our K-12 programs are designed to reinforce the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards, a critical attribute for most teachers and administrators. Our programs are also focused around the North American Conservation Education Strategy Core Concepts that have been developed by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. To learn more about our educators, facilities, and each of our programs click below.
Meet our Education Team. We love what we do, and cannot wait to work with you! Click to find out more about our team. These educators will be with you during your stay at the Foundation!
K-12 Student Programs
The science Texas Essential Knowledge and Kills (TEKS) recommend that students spend 60-80% of their time in lab and field activities. Our programs utilize the natural world to supply first-hand experience for students. Our field trips vary in length from a half-day to two days.
Can’t come to us, we’ll come to you! Our Educators and trained Volunteers can visit your classroom or host a educational booth at your next event. To find out more, click below!
University Student Programs
The Foundation’s Directors often participate in or lead the university programs. To arrange for a university field trip to the Welder Refuge, please contact the Foundation’s Conservation Education Program Coordinator, Angie Arredondo.
Join us for our adult trainings throughout the year! If you need a site to host your next training, contact us, Welder may be the spot for you. To learn more about our Adult Training, click below.
Click below to view the facilities we have available during your visit or overnight stays.