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Nature Center trail named for pioneering conservationist

Posted Feb. 26, 2016

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Observing the renaming of the Margaret Parker Trail were Richard Zavala, Park and Recreation director; Ann Hoover of the Fort Worth Audubon Society; Suzanne Tuttle, Nature Center manager; Bill Richerson and Marty Leonard of Friends of the Nature Center; Michael Francis and Bob Scott of the Fort Worth Audubon Society; Rick Shepherd of Friends of the Nature Center; and Reginald Hurd, Park and Recreation assistant director.

The original hiking trail at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge’s Greer Island has been renamed the Margaret Parker Trail.

In 1962, Margaret Parker led the the Fort Worth Audubon Society to establish the Greer Island Refuge and Nature Center, the forerunner to the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge.

In February of 1964, the Fort Worth Park-Recreation Board designated land for the Greer Island Nature Center and Wildlife Refuge, “a wildlife sanctuary and nature preserve.” The area comprised “Greer Island, some 55 acres plus the surrounding water and shoreline, making about 380 acres in all” — and would eventually become the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge.

Renowned birder and University of Dallas science professor Warren Pulich, with assistance from Parker, marked the first Greer Island trail in March of 1964 — a trail that would earn the Nature Center its first national recognition in 1971. The City of Fort Worth expanded the Nature Center to 3,000 acres in 1967.

Parker’s legacy as a pioneer for the conservation and preservation of open space lives on through the renaming of this historic trail.

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