Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust 2020 Accomplishments


Last updated 1/26/2021 at 5:38pm

View of property from Kirby Nature Trailhead

The Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust continues to help grow and protect the Big Thicket National Preserve and conservation lands across Southeast Texas.  In these difficult times, the natural world continues to bring solace.

With the help of generous donors and utilizing a Federal Highway Administration National Recreational Trails Fund grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Trust closed on a 39 acre property in Tyler County just east of Woodville that contains the Dogwood Trail.  The trail is located in a beautiful wooded tract that has not been logged in over 100 years.  The former timber company property will be donated to the Texas Forest Service.  They will rehabilitate the trail, manage the forest resources and provide educational programs.  The Trust appreciates the additional financial support acquired from The Edaren Foundation, The Damuth Foundation, The Pineywoods Foundation, Ms. Maxine Johnston, Texas A&M Forest Service, The Conservation Fund, the Texas Conservation Alliance, and individual donors.

The Trust initiated purchase on a small parcel directly in front of the Kirby Nature Trail entrance.  Developers purchased the 500-acre property adjacent to FM 420 and the Turkey Creek Unit and are selling parcels.  The purchase will at least protect a portion of the view shed. This completes a land acquisition project with funds acquired from a TLL Temple grant.

In partnership with the National Environmental Education Foundation, the Trust completed the removal of hurricane debris- appliances, boats and household trash- from 6.75 miles of Pine Island Bayou

On Martin Luther King Day 2020, the Trust co-sponsored the 10th Anniversary of the National Parks Conservation Association's longleaf tree planting.  On this National Day of Service for the Preserve, the non-profit fed pizza to 150 volunteers who planted 12,000 seedlings.

Under the leadership of President Ellen Buchanan, the Trust continues to participate in advocacy.  The organization works with counties to review land conservation and natural infrastructure to ensure communities receive the best tools to address flooding following natural disasters.  Counties are urged to consider donating buyout properties to the National Park Service where feasible and appropriate.

To enhance the Big Thicket Natural Heritage Trust's presence in the social media world, a new Facebook page was developed.  The website was re-designed, 

Trust members are passionate about protecting and preserving the lands, waters, plants and wildlife of the Big Thicket area.  For ways to support the non-profit's Big Thicket land conservation efforts, check out or join the Trust on Facebook.  Email [email protected] for more information.



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