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JBS Wetland/Wildlife Center

wetlands eagle, north texas active life
Photo by Bill Nance

Looking for a great day-trip outing with the kids? Head to Seagoville and the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center. While the main mission of the Center is to filter Trinity River water, it really excels as natural habitat for critters and birds.

The biggest attractions are the Bald Eagles that first set up home at the Wetland Center in 2011. They originally built their nest on an arm of a high-power transmission line tower. For their safety the Center went to Oncor, and the utility company built an identical tower 1200 feet away from the power lines, and moved the nest when it was vacant. The eagles can be seen daily at the Center, except during the hot summer months when they migrate somewhere else. They usually return to the nest at the Center in September.

wetlands logo2The John Bunker Sands Wetland Center covers over 2,100 acres. It takes water from North Texas treatment plants and filters it using natural plants like cattails and giant bulrushes as a natural filtration system. The water is then pumped back to Lake Lavon for distribution by the North Texas Municipal Water District into the public water system.

bobcat north texas active lifeThe wetlands have become a large natural habitat for bobcats, snow geese, feral hogs, and even an alligator has turned up in the ponds. Great wildlife viewing from the boardwalk is almost guaranteed.

The Wetland Center has partnered with regional school districts, wildlife and conservation organizations, and research institutions to develop premier environmental education programs, specializing in Middle School and High School field studies.

The Center is open at 9 a.m. for public tours on the first and third Saturday each month. There is a $5 admission fee (Seniors $4, Youngsters $3, under 4-Free). There is an advanced bird walk on the first Saturday morning of the month. The fee for that is $10. Check the website for more details, including maps and directions on how to get there.

Bring your cameras and binoculars. You’re sure to see something that makes the trip worthwhile.

Posted November 25, 2015

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North Texas Active Life is your guide to resources in North Texas that will help you and your family lead active and healthy lives. We are focused on the Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Allen areas and surrounding communities. Our topics cover events, recreation, activities, fitness resources, and healthy living . Articles cover hiking, biking, trails, fitness, parks, kayaking, bicycling, rock climbing, walking, and more.