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Gary Halter Nature Center

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Contact Information

Lick Creek Nature Center13600 Rock Prairie Road College Station, TX 77845979.764.6216

ADDRESS:
 13600 Rock Prairie Road
PHONE NUMBER: 979.764.6216
HOURS OF OPERATION:  Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m-5 p.m.; Sun., 1-6 p.m.
CLOSED: Sept. 3-5, Nov. 24-27, Dec. 19-31, Jan. 1-2
TRAILS: Close at dusk
PARK CURFEW:
1-5 a.m.

The Gary Halter Nature Center is a 2,400 square-foot facility that includes a meeting room, outdoor classroom, amphitheater, native plant displays and a monarch butterfly garden. It's the focal point of the city's 523-acre Lick Creek Park. Hours of operation include tours, open restrooms and office hours for reservations. No cash or check accepted on-site, credit card only.

The park displays a variety of native plant and animal species, including the endangered Navasota Ladies Tresses. It also offers five miles of marked trails and provides opportunities for hiking, cycling, bird watching, equestrian activities, and nature study. 

On July 14, 2022, council voted to rename the Lick Creek Nature Center after former Mayor Gary Halter, who led the city’s effort to obtain the property that became Lick Creek Park.

Per city ordinance, all dogs must be on a leash when not on your property. Racoon Run Trail is the only off-leash trail in Lick Creek Park and dogs must be under voice control.

FALL SCHEDULE

    YOUTH PROGRAMS
    TEXAS HUNTER SAFETY CERTIFICATION COURSE • REGISTRATION ENDS THE FRIDAY BEFORE CLASS DAY
    Hunters nine years and older must complete the course to hunt in Texas legally. Participants 13 and under must be accompanied by a parent. Participants must pay an additional $5 in cash to Texas Parks & Wildlife to cover the certificate cost on the class day.

    Ages 9+ • $20 • Sat. • Aug. 20 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Ages 9+ • $20 • Sat. • Sept. 17 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  
    Ages 9+ • $20 • Sat. • Oct. 22 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

    WALK ON THE WILD SIDE • REGISTRATION: AUG. 1- SEPT. 7  
    Get ready to walk on the wild side as we enjoy a short story, hike, and playtime in the Lick Creek outdoor classroom. The program is designed for preschoolers and their caretakers. We won’t have class on Nov. 24.

    Ages 4-6 • $30 • Thu. • Sept. 8-Dec. 8 • 9:30-10:30 a.m.

    EXPLORING EXPERIMENTS • REGISTRATION: AUG. 1- SEPT. 8  
    Explore nature in an enriching hands-on environment. We’ll discover a new topic each week through experiments and exploration at the Lick Creek Amphitheater. We won’t have class on Nov. 25.

    Ages 7-12 • $30 • Fri. • Sept. 9-Dec. 9 • 10-11 a.m.
    ADULT PROGRAMS
    TEXAS HUNTER SAFETY CERTIFICATION COURSE • REGISTRATION ENDS THE FRIDAY BEFORE CLASS DAY
    Hunters nine years and older must complete the course to hunt in Texas legally. Participants 13 and under must be accompanied by a parent. Participants must pay an additional $5 in cash to Texas Parks & Wildlife to cover the certificate cost on the class day.

    Ages 9+ • $20 • Sat. • Aug. 20 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
    Ages 9+ • $20 • Sat. • Sept. 17 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  
    Ages 9+ • $20 • Sat. • Oct. 22 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

    SHENG ZHEN MEDITATION FOR STRESS & ANXIETY • REGISTRATION: AUG. 1-FIRST CLASS DAY
    Sheng Zhen Meditation in Motion is a meditative art that includes relaxing and flowing movements and meditation in stillness. The class is for those who want to experience a state of deep relaxation that allows for effortless movement with balance, agility, and flexibility. The instructor introduces you to meditative forms that train the body to relax, discipline the mind to stay focused, and calm the emotions for peace. The class is designed for people of all ages and health and is taught by Mai Lisette Templin/Templin Living Arts LLC.

    Ages 16+ • $96 • Wed. • Aug. 24-Oct. 12 • 9:30-10:30 a.m.                           
    Ages 16+ • $96 • Wed. • Oct. 19-Dec. 14 • 9:30-10:30 a.m.   
    ALL AGES WELCOME
    SATURDAY EXHIBIT UNVEILING
    Each Saturday, we unveil a new exhibit with interactive activities for all ages at the Lick Creek Nature Center. The exhibits are displayed throughout the week during regular hours. Topics feature mammals, owls, snakes, birds, vegetation, butterflies, and more. We won’t have exhibit unveilings on Aug. 20, Sept. 3, Sept. 17, Sept. 24, or Oct. 22.

    All Ages • Free • Sat. • Weekly through Nov. 19 • 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

    BIRDING 101
    Join the Rio Brazos Audubon Society to learn how to identify birds, use and select binoculars, and explore the native species in the Brazos Valley. The class meets at the Nature Center and hikes through the Lick Creek Park trails. 

    All Ages • Free • Sat. • Sept. 10, Oct. 1, & Nov. 5 • 8:30 a.m. start

    GET GROWING WITH BRAZOS COUNTY MASTER GARDENERS • REGISTRATION: AUG. 1-SEPT. 18 
    Sharpen your gardening and landscaping knowledge with the help of local master gardeners. 

    All Ages • $4 • Sun. • Sept. 18 • 3-4 p.m. • Wildlife Photography Tips from a Pro

    LICK CREEK PARK IN THE DARK • REGISTRATION: AUG. 1-WEDNESDAY BEFORE CAMP
    You don’t have to travel far to create fun memories with your friends and family. The Lick Creek Nature Center invites you to join us for a campout the night of Friday, Sept. 23, or Friday, Oct. 21. You’ll enjoy favorites such as a hot dog dinner, storytelling, S’mores, and a night hike. We will even help you learn camping basics.

    The family-friendly event begins at 6 p.m. and ends at 7 a.m. on Saturday. Campers must bring a tent, supplies, snacks, and drinks. Electricity won’t be provided, and don’t forget to pack a sleeping bag, flashlights, tent lantern, bug spray, and folding chairs.

    Limited spots are available, and registration ends the Wednesday before camp. The cost is $8 per person. Children must be accompanied by an adult (18+), and pets aren’t allowed.

    All Ages • $8 • Fri.-Sat. • Sept. 23-24 • 6 p.m.-7 a.m.
    All Ages • $8 • Fri.-Sat. • Oct. 21-22 • 6 p.m.-7 a.m.

    SCHEDULE OF EVENTS 
    6 p.m. • Check-in & Camp Site Set-up 
    7 p.m. • Hot Dog Dinner & Storytelling 
    8 p.m. • Learn Camping Basics 
    8:30 p.m. • Night Hike 
    9 p.m. • S’mores 
    10 p.m. • Quiet Hours Begin 
    7 a.m. • Break Camp
    B’EARTHDAY PACKAGES
    Create a unique birthday experience for your young explorers to celebrate their special day. B’EARTHday Packages can be purchased in addition to your Gary Halter Nature Center rental (meeting room, outdoor classroom or amphitheater). Packages include an hour-long activity and hike led by members of the Nature Center staff. Choose a party based on the child’s interests and age group. B’EARTHday Packages must be booked at least two weeks in advance. For more information, call 979.764.6216 or email [email protected].

    BUGGIN’ OUT
    Get ready to discover the insects that call Lick Creek Park home. Our hike will include a scavenger hunt as we explore the habitats and food sources of local bugs. Activities include crafts and exhibits showcasing our many-legged friends.

    Ages 3-8 • $75 + facility rental • March 1-Nov. 22

    DIGGIN’ FOR DINOS
    Calling all explorers! We need your expertise as we discover what makes dinosaurs so great. Activities include digging for dinosaurs, creating our very own fossils, and observing dinosaur characteristics. Kids will enjoy a fun lesson in an exciting and enriching hands-on environment. 

    Ages 4-8 • $75 + facility rental • All Seasons 

    GROW AS WE GO
    Sharpen your horticulture skills as we take a look at the plants growing around us. We’ll discover what plants need to survive and the importance of our interactions with the environment. Activities include crafts, a hike, and planting your own seeds.

    Ages 7-12 • $75 + facility rental • All Seasons 

    PRICING
    All fees are for parties of 10 children. Each additional child is $10, with a 15-child maximum. The birthday child and their siblings under 3 years of age are free and do not count toward your party.

    RENTERS' RESPONSIBILITIES 
    Renters are required to supervise the party and ensure that educational items in the room are used properly and put away. A minimum of two adult chaperones are required at all times, including on the hike. Renters are responsible for adhering to the rental policies regarding set-up and clean-up.
    FIELD TRIPS
    As you look forward to the school year, you may still be longing for more fun in the sun. That’s a good reason to incorporate Gary Halter Nature Center field trips into your lesson plans as a way to enhance your student’s learning experience.

    The free, instructor-led field trips offer kindergarteners through sixth graders an engaging outdoor learning adventure that builds on classroom topics. Environmental education themes include wildlife biology, water cycle, plants, ecosystem, and organism identification.

    The maximum number of students we can accommodate varies based on the field trip. In general, we can take groups of up to 60 people. Depending on the program, field trips last 2-3 hours with an option for students to bring lunch and eat on-site. Each journey starts with a safety overview before dividing into three groups of about 20 students.

    GRADES
    Kindergarten-6th Grade

    SEMESTER SCHEDULES
    Fall: September-November
    Spring: February-May

    HOURS OF AVAILABILITY
    Monday-Tuesday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 
    Wednesday-Friday: Noon-5 p.m. 

    BROCHURE
    >> Link (PDF)

    Trips must be booked in advance, and dates and times are subject to availability. To schedule a field trip, contact us at 979.764.3725 or complete the online request form.

    We look forward to hitting the trails with you!
    RENTAL INFORMATION
    FACILITY RENTALS
    Fees are per hour with a $200 deposit. Two-hour minimum.

    MEETING ROOM

    Non-Resident - $120
    Resident - $100

    OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

    Non-Resident - $42
    Resident - $35

    AMPHITHEATER
    Non-Resident - $42
    Resident - $35

    FACILITY PHOTOS
    Click here to view album.

    RENTALS DETAILS
    Rentals are on a first-come, first-served basis and will not be held without proper documentation and fees. Reservations can be made by calling 979.764.6216 or by visiting the Gary Halter Nature Center, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

    DEPOSITS

    A security deposit is required for rentals. Portions or all of the deposit will be forfeited if damage, extra maintenance, or extraordinary cleanup occurs as a result of rental. Deposits will be refunded on the following conditions: (1) terms of your rental have been met, (2) facilities are left in good condition, or (3) cancellation procedures have been followed.

    CANCELLATION & REFUNDS
    Cancellation refunds more than 10 days: If the rental is cancelled, in writing, at least ten (10) days in advance of the originally scheduled date, a full refund of fees and deposits, including security deposit, will be returned to customer.
     
    Cancellation refunds less than 10 days: If the rental is cancelled, in writing, less than ten (10) days but more than 48 hours in advance of the originally scheduled date, deposits, including security deposits, will be forfeited by the customer in favor of the City.
     
    Cancellation refunds less than 48 hours: If the rental is cancelled, in writing, less than 48 hours in advance of the originally scheduled date, all fees and deposits, including security deposits, will be forfeited by the customer in favor of the City.
     
    Cancellation due to inclement weather: At the sole discretion of the City, if the event cannot be held or rescheduled due to inclement weather, fees and deposits, including security deposit shall be refunded to customer.
     
    Deposit refund post event: If the facility is left to standard and required keys (if applicable) are returned within 24 hours, the customer's deposit will be refunded. 

    All refunds are processed within 30 days of request by check. No cash refunds will be issued.

    FACILITY RENTAL REQUEST FORM
    Click here to request a rental. Submittal of this request form does not guarantee availability for the facility and date(s) requested.

    FREE EQUIPMENT RENTALS
    Check out binoculars, field guides and Junior Naturalist Adventure packs at the Nature Center during hours of operation. A driver’s license is required for checkout and will be held at the nature center until items are returned.

LINKS

TRAIL MAP
View the Lick Creek Park trail map: Link (PDF)

LICK CREEK GREENWAY TRAIL
Hike and bike trail connecting Lick Creek Park to Creek View Park: Link

FIELD RESEARCH APPLICATION
Application required for natural resources or social science studies in the park: Link (PDF)

WE'RE HIRING
View all City of College Station job openings and to apply: csjobs.cstx.gov
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