Organizations

Texas Master Naturalist
Mission: To develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within our communities for the State of Texas.

Hays County Chapter
Mission: Dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within our communities.

Please visit the website for a list of services and activities that benefit our community!

Hays County Master Gardeners
Mission: A volunteer program designed to grow horticultural information throughout the state, town by town.

Native Plant Society of Texas
Mission: Promoting research, conservation and utilization of native plants and plant habitats of Texas through education, outreach, and example.

Wimberley Birding Society
Mission: To encourage and protect birds and all wildlife as well as educate the visitors of the Refuge to improve the Cypress Creek watershed.

Hill Country Alliance
Mission: To bring people together with the long-term objective of preserving open spaces, the water supply, water quality, and the unique character of the Texas Hill Country.

San Marcos River Foundation
Mission: To preserve and protect the natural beauty, flow, and purity of the San Marcos River.

Wimberley Valley Watershed Association
Mission: To advocate for clean, clear-flowing springs and streams, to promote and sustain the health of the Wimberley Valley, and engage the community in land and water stewardship through research and education.

San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance
Mission: Working to protect the quality of life for the people of San Marcos through the creation of interconnected parks and natural areas as well as protecting, maintaining, and preserving the greenspaces in and around San Marcos.

Texas Parks and Wildlife
Mission: To manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Texas AgriLife Extension
Mission: Through the application of science-based knowledge, they create high-quality, relevant education that encourages lasting and effective change.

 

Visiting Hays County

Hays County Birding Hotspots – A list of our county’s hottest bird-watching spots.

– Heart of Texas Wildlife Trail East Map and Info- Texas Parks and Wildlife

Dripping Springs

Charro Ranch Park – 64 beautiful acres with trails for walking, running, birding, picnicking, or reflecting

Wimberley

Jacob’s Well Natural Area – 81.5 acres of nature surrounding Jacob’s Well artesian spring, headwaters of Cypress Creek. This ecological resource is the most significant and largest continually flowing karstic spring in the Texas Hill Country!

Blue Hole Regional Park – A beautiful natural area consisting of over 125 acres. Walk the trails, picnic, bird, or swim in the famous Blue Hole swimming area in the tree lined Cypress Creek.

Patsy Glenn Refuge – In connection with the Wimberley Birding Society, you can bird from the blind or from the trails in the heart of Wimberley.

San Marcos

Discovery Center – Walk through native plant demonstration gardens or visit the indoor animal exhibits!

Meadows Center – You can learn more about Spring Lake through glass-bottom boat tours, the wetlands boardwalk, or paddle your way around with a guide.

Spring Lake – 251 acres above Spring Lake for hiking, biking, birding, and photography.

Spring Lake Natural Area – 251 acres above Spring Lake for hiking, biking, birding, and photography.

Five Mile Dam Park Complex – Made up of two parks, the Dudley Connaly Johnson Park and the Randall Wade Vetter Park, the Complex is 34 acres along a quarter of a mile of the Blanco River.

List of San Marcos Parks and Natural Areas – A comprehensive list of natural sights, parks, and refuges within San Marcos.

Map of San Marcos Natural Areas – Detailed maps of San Marcos’ Parks and Natural Areas.

Buda

Stagecoach Park – This historic park features two facilities on 51 acres to explore and enjoy. Offering a pavilion, an amphitheater, a playground, a trail system, a pond, and a lot of open parkland, this is a great place to visit with family and friends.

Reading Recommendations

Books

A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Water from Stone, The Story of Selah, Bamberger Preserve by Jeffrey Greene

Water in Texas, An Introduction by Andrew Sansom

A Hill Country Landowner’s Guide by James P. Stanley

Field Guides

Bird

Field Guide to Birds of North America by Kenn Kaufman

Nests, Eggs, and Nestlings of North American Birds by Paul J. Baicich and Colin J.O. Harrison

The Sibley Guide to Birds by David A Sibley (National Audubon Society)

Butterflies

A Field Guide to Butterflies of Texas by Raymond W. Neck

Butterflies of Houston and Southeast Texas by John and Gloria Tvetan

Butterflies of North America by Kenn Kaufman

Other Animals

A Field Guide to Common Texas Insects by Bastiaan Drees

A Field Guide to Scorpions and Spiders by Jackman

North American Wildlife by Reader’s Digest

Peterson Field Guide to Animal Tracks by Olaus J. Murie

Texas Snakes by James R Dixon and John E Werler

The Mammals of Texas by William B. Davis and David J Schmidly

Geology, Rocks, Fossils

A Field Guide to Fossils of Texas by Charles E. Finsley

A Field Guide to Stone Artifacts of Texas Indians by Ellen Sue Turner and Thomas R. Hester

Roadside Geology of Texas by Darwin Spearing

Grasses

Common Texas Grasses, An Illustrated Guide by Frank W. Gould

Grasses of the Texas Hill Country by Brian and Shirley Loflin

Other Plants and Mushrooms

Brush and Weeds of the Texas Rangelands by Texas AgriLife Extension

Edible & Useful Plants of Texas & the Southwest by Delana Hull

Field Guide to Native Oak Species by Stein, Binlon and Aclavatti

Field Guide to Native Oak Species of Eastern North America – FREE from USDA as a PDF file.

How To Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest by Jill Nokes

Native and Adapted Landscape Plants by Texas Coop Extension

Native Texas Plants by Wasowski and Wasowski

Remarkable Plants of Texas, Uncommon Accounts of our Common Natives by Matt Warnock Turner

Texas Mushrooms by Susan Metzler & Van Metzler

Texas Trees: A Friendly Guide by Paul W. and Patty Cox

Trees of Central Texas by Robert Vines

Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of the Texas Hill Country by Jan Wrede

Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country by Marshall Enquist

Weather

Texas Weather by George Bomar

Apps

Audubon Birds of North America – A great field guide resource, includes over 821 bird species, thousands of bird calls and songs.

Sibley Birds of North America – Allows you to take your favorite Sibley Bird guide with you everywhere without the added weight of pages covering 810 species! This handy app gives you access to over 2,300 different bird calls and songs.

Peterson Field Guide Birds of North America – This comprehensive mobile resource includes information from eight Peterson Field Guide books.

iPhone | Android

Merlin Bird ID – Browse more than 2.000 stunning images taken by top photographers. Merlin also includes more than 1,000 audio recordings from the Macaulay Library, identification tips from experts, and range maps from the Birds of North America Online.

iBirds – One of the most up-to-date, constantly updated, comprehensive field guide, with a community at your finger-tips waiting to answer your questions!

iNaturalist – Observe, record, discuss, repeat!

Texas Nature Trackers – Downloading this app enables the public and trained citizen scientists to report sightings of rare wildlife and plant life. Whether you’re hiking, camping, birding, hiking, or are simply curious about what you found, use this app to keep track of your sightings, and get expert help from other naturalists.

For more Apps from the Texas Master Naturalists