The Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge is the only wildlife refuge in Central Texas. It comprises more than 27,000 acres of trails, caves, and wildlife conservation land that is home to some of the most unique plants and animals in the Texas Hill Country. The Refuge offers ten miles of hiking trails and is free and open to the public 365 days a year. The Friends of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge works with the Refuge to protect and enhance our land so it can be a refuge for wildlife and Central Texans for generations to come.
As our community grows, so does our need. In 2020, almost 200,000 people visited the Refuge-- an increase of 66% from 2019. Visitors share the land with more than a third of Texas’s threatened and endangered species, including numerous neo-tropical songbirds, such as the Black-capped Vireo and the Golden-cheeked Warbler, which only nests only in the hill country. The Refuge is also home to 18 species of bats, over 600 species of plants, more than 70 species of reptiles and amphibians, and over 50 mammals! And of course, birds for which the Refuge is so famous – over 215 species call the Refuge home, some for breeding purposes, others visit during our mild winters and some are year-round residents.
In 2021, our goal is to enhance our education programs while continuing to make the Refuge a thriving place for people and wildlife. During COVID, our volunteers are working to expand hiking opportunities, developing self-directed environmental education programs such as the nature activity backpacks, and continuing our work to restore and protect this unique habitat and its wildlife. Join the Friends of Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge and help keep the Hill Country wild.
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