Welder Wildlife Refuge
The Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners have partnered with the Welder Wildlife Foundation to assist in the creation and maintenance of the Grass and CONE Gardens at the Foundation headquarters.
The Grass Garden will exhibit 28 different grass species that are native to the region. In addition, the garden is a rainwater harvesting demonstration site.
The CONE garden hosts flowering plants native to the Welder Wildlife Refuge that are attractants to birds and pollinator insects. The garden is just one part of the Collaborative Observatories for Natural Environments (CONE) project which includes a telerobotic camera you may access online to view the garden and associated wildlife feeding stations. Log into the CONE website to watch wildlife as it wanders through the viewing area.
The Foundations offers free public tours on selected Thursdays and Saturdays. Visitors are met at the Foundation’s main gate off HWY 77 by Foundation staff or WWF volunteers.
Thursday Tours (3:00-5:00 p.m.)
These tours are conducted each Thursday excluding holidays. They begin with a visit to the Foundation’s main headquarters and museum where visitors learn about the Foundation’s origin, mission, goals, and programs from a staff member or interpretive volunteer. The museum houses an array of south Texas wildlife and art-work. Next visitors take a 10-mile tour of the Welder Wildlife Refuge. The tour takes visitors through a variety of habitats ranging from upland mesquite-mixed-grass communities to freshwater wetland lakes. Many species of birds and wildlife are generally seen on these tours.
No reservations are needed for Thursday tours.
Saturday Tours (9:30-12:00 p.m.)
Saturday tours are offered on selected Saturdays throughout the year.
Reservations for Saturday tours are required and must be made by 4:00 p.m. Friday prior to the Saturday tour. Reservations may be made by calling 361-364-2643.
Saturday tours are similar to the Thursdays tours except visitors will also have the opportunity to visit areas not normally seen by the public and to view our Natural History Collections and the Don Bowman Bird Collection.
From Sinton, Texas, take Hwy 77 north toward Woodsboro and Victoria. Depending on the exit you take leaving Sinton, after approximately 7–10 miles you will see a brown highway sign announcing the Rob & Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation.
Exit right off the highway immediately after the sign and proceed to the Foundation’s white stucco gate house.
If you cross the Aransas River Bridge you missed the exit by about 1.5 miles.
The Headquarters is located 2 miles from the main gate. Continue on the paved road without turning onto side roads until you cross a cattle guard. After you have crossed the cattle guard, you will see a sign directing you to the Headquarters.
For more information contact the Foundation’s business offices at 361-364-2643, or download our printable directions and map.