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Gary Halter Nature Center

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Gary Halter 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: Nov. 23-26, Dec. 23-31, Jan. 1 & 15, March 29-31
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.


WINTER & SPRING SCHEDULE

    YOUTH PROGRAMS
    FLY TYING CLASS
    Are you interested in learning the art of tying fly lures and passionate about fly fishing and conservation? Join the Aggieland Fly Fishers for a free monthly educational session taught by certified casting instructors and fly-tying experts. All skill levels are welcome.

    Ages 8+ • Free • 4th Thu. •  Monthly starting Jan. 25 • 6-8 p.m.

    JUNIOR MASTER NATURALIST • REGISTRATION: DEC. 11-THROUGH CLASS DAY

    Join us to explore our native ecosystem with local experts, conduct nature experiments, and have fun outdoors with new friends! Each session will delve into a different aspect of our world, nurturing young naturalists' talents, curiosity, and love for their surroundings. Children will also learn to keep a nature journal, which they can take home at the end of the class. Dress for outdoor activities; in case of extreme temperatures or inclement weather, we will move indoors and ask that participants wear closed-toed shoes.

    Ages 7-12 • $5/class • Sun. • Jan. 28, Feb. 25, March, 24, & April 28 • 2:30-4:30 p.m. 

    TEXAS HUNTER SAFETY CERTIFICATION COURSE • REGISTRATION: DEC. 11-FRIDAY BEFORE CLASS

    Ages 9+ must complete the course to hunt in Texas legally. A parent must accompany anyone under the age of 13. On the day of class, participants must pay an additional $5 in cash to Texas Parks & Wildlife to cover the certificate cost.

    Ages 9+ • $20 • Sat. • Feb. 3 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 
    Ages 9+ • $20 • Sat. • March 16 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.   
    ADULT PROGRAMS
    MEDITATION MEETUP
    A group dedicated to those seeking peace and equanimity within. Learn how to create a sanctuary in the present moment, let go of our internal narratives, and manifest a better world for ourselves. The group meets outside and is guided by Lance McDowell and Brett Warnecke. There will be no class on Nov. 26, Jan. 14, or March 31.

    Ages 18+ • Free • Sun. • Jan. 7- April 28 • 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

    SHENG ZHEN MEDIITATION IN MOTION • REGISTRATION: DEC. 11-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 deep relaxation, allowing 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.

    Ages 16+ • $96 • Wed. • Jan. 17-March 6 • 9:30-10:30 a.m.
    Ages 16+ • $84 • Mon. • Jan. 22-March 4 • 6-7 p.m.
    Ages 16+ • $96 • Wed. • March 20-May 8 • 9:30-10:30 a.m. 
    Ages 16+ • $96 • Mon. • March 18- May 6 • 6-7 p.m.

    FLY TYING CLASS

    Are you interested in learning the art of tying fly lures and passionate about fly fishing and conservation? Join the Aggieland Fly Fishers for a free monthly educational session taught by certified casting instructors and fly-tying experts. All skill levels are welcome.

    Ages 8+ • Free • 4th Thu. •  Monthly starting Jan. 25 • 6-8 p.m.

    TEXAS HUNTER SAFETY CERTIFICATION COURSE • REGISTRATION: DEC. 11-FRIDAY BEFORE CLASS
    Ages 9+ must complete the course to hunt in Texas legally. A parent must accompany anyone under the age of 13. On the day of class, participants must pay an additional $5 in cash to Texas Parks & Wildlife to cover the certificate cost.

    Ages 9+ • $20 • Sat. • Feb. 3 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 
    Ages 9+ • $20 • Sat. • March 16 • 8 a.m.-5 p.m.   

    FIX A LEAK WORKSHOP

    Did you know that household water leaks waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water each year? That's enough to supply 11 million households. Fixing leaks is as easy as 1-2-3: check, twist, replace. Bring your lunch and join Jennifer Nations, Water Resource Coordinator, on World Water Day to learn how to identify and repair those pesky water leaks.

    Ages 18+ • Free • Fri. • March 22 • 12-1 p.m. 
    ALL AGES WELCOME
    VOLUNTEER DAY: INVASIVE PLANT PULLS 
    Join us in making a difference for our water, wildlife, and wild places. Volunteer alongside members of the Post Oak Chapter of the Native Plant Society and the Brazos Valley Texas Master Naturalist as we work together to remove invasive plants, helping to preserve the unique ecosystems and demonstration gardens at Lick Creek Park. Remember to bring your gloves, a reusable water bottle, and, if you have any, your favorite garden tools. We are happy to provide certificates as proof of hours. Sign-up at the Nature Center or call 979.764.6216.

    All Ages • Free • Sat. • March 9 & April 13 • 9 a.m.-12 p.m.  

    BIRDING 101

    New birders are invited to sharpen their birding skills with the Rio Brazos Audubon Society. Learn to identify birds by sight and sound, use field guides and binoculars, and explore the Brazos Valley's native and migrating species. The class meets at the nature center and hikes through Lick Creek Park's trails. Dress appropriately for the outdoors and wear closed-toed shoes. This program has been made possible by the commitment of dedicated volunteers with the Rio Brazos Audubon Society for over a decade.

    All Ages • Free • Sat. • Jan. 6, Feb. 3, March 2, & April 6 • 8:30 a.m. start

    HOLISTIC HEALTH DAYS

    Recharge and improve your physical and mental health at Lick Creek Park. Experience the transformative power of holistic practices and join us for a rejuvenating day of self-care and wellness in the serene surroundings. Please bring your yoga mat and/or meditation pillow; all skill levels are welcome.

    SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
    9-9:45 a.m. • Yoga with Bre Brittain 
    10-10:45 a.m. • Sheng Zhen Qi Gong with Lisette Templin 
    11 a.m-12 p.m. • Meditation/Dharma with Lance McDowell & Brett Warnecke 

    All Ages • Free • Sun. • Feb 4, March 3, & April 7 • 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

    NATURE CENTER STAR PARTY
    Learn about the astronomical world and how to explore the night sky through educational booths, games, and much more. Light, galactically-themed refreshments are served as we search the sky. Additional parking is available at the Lick Creek equestrian entrance off Rock Prairie Road.
     
    All Ages • Free • Fri. • March 1 • 7-10 p.m. 

    MONARCH MARCH
    Celebrate the life of the monarch butterfly! Festivities include a walk-through of Lick Creek Park's Monarch Waystation, educational booths, tips on creating a home waystation or butterfly garden, a plant sale, family chalk art, and more. Additional parking is available at the Lick Creek equestrian entrance off Rock Prairie Road.

    All Ages • Free • Sat. • March 23 • 9 a.m.-12 p.m. 

    LICK CREEK PARK IN THE DARK REGISTRATION: DEC. 11-WEDNESDAY BEFORE CAMP
    You don't have to travel far to create fun memories with your friends and family. The Gary Halter Nature Center invites you to camp out on the night of Friday, April 5 or 19. Choose your adventure or join us for favorites such as a hot dog dinner, storytelling, s'mores, and a night hike. We will even help you learn camping basics and discover the creatures that call Lick Creek Park home at night.

    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 is not provided, so pack flashlights, tent lanterns, sleeping bags, insect repellents, 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.

    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 & Special Nature Presentations 
    8:30 p.m. • Night Hike 
    9 p.m. • S'mores 
    10 p.m. • Quiet Hours Begin 
    7 a.m. • Break Camp

    All Ages • $8 • Fri.-Sat. • April 5-April 6 • 6 p.m.-7 a.m.  
    All Ages • $8 • Fri.-Sat. • April 19-April 20 • 6 p.m.-7 a.m. 

    BIO BLITZ 

    BioBlitz is a community educational event where professionals survey the local wildlife at Lick Creek Park and present their findings at booths around the Nature Center. This family-friendly event is open to anyone in the community who wants to learn more about the importance of biodiversity and conservation while getting an up-close look at our local wildlife. Additional parking is available at the Lick Creek equestrian entrance off Rock Prairie Road.

    All Ages • Free • Sat. • April 20 • 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 

    CITY NATURE CHALLENGE
    The City Nature Challenge represents a global initiative, inviting individuals to discover and document plants and wildlife in urban areas worldwide, utilizing the iNaturalist app. This bioblitz-style competition fosters friendly rivalries among cities as they strive to outdo each other in making observations of nature, identifying species, and engaging the most participants. To join, download the app at inaturalist.org and capture photos of local wildlife. The challenge is adaptable to any location. For guidance on using iNaturalist, practice with us at the Gary Halter Nature Center during our hours of operation, and we'll walk you through it. Embark on this challenge alongside us!

    All Ages • Free • Fri-Mon. • April 26-29 • Hours of Operation
    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!
    PARK RULES
    Trails close at dusk.

    No campfires, dunking booths, hot air balloons, pony rides, sidewalk chalk, crawfish, bounce houses or livestock without prior approval.

    Confetti and glitter are prohibited.

    No tents or RV Camping without approval by Parks Staff.

    All wildlife in city parks is protected.

    It is unlawful to: 
    • cut, dig, or destroy vegetation. 
    • to wade or swim in park ponds. 
    • litter in city parks. 
    • fail to clean up after your pet on public property.

    All vehicles must park in designated areas on pavement only. Horse trailers must be parked in the equestrian parking lot.

    Stay on marked trails and do not cross fences.

    Horses and bicycles are restricted to Post Oak Trail, Deer Run Trail, and Iron Bridge Trail.

    Horses must give the right of way to bicycles and pedestrians.

    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.

    Dogs while in heat shall not be permitted to use designated dog parks or trails.

    Dogs younger than four months of age are not allowed in off-leash parks or trails

    Any dog over four months of age must be rabies vaccinated and registered with Brazos County. Registration tags can be purchased through your vet or the Aggieland Humane Society. 

    Your dog must wear their current county and rabies vaccination tags. Registration shall cover a period of one year from date of issuance, in conjunction with the date of rabies vaccination.

    Acts of aggression against other dogs are prohibited. Dogs must be removed if uncontrollable.

    Handlers must stop dogs from digging holes in a park and cover up any holes created by their dogs.

    Any person wishing to sell any items (food, drinks, shirts, caps, etc.) in a park must apply for a Park Vendor’s Permit at the Parks and Recreation Office 979.764.3486 and possibly a Health Permit from the Brazos County Health Department 979.361.4450.

    All gyms, boot camps, and fitness groups must purchase a Park Vendor Permit through the Stephen C. Beachy Central Park office (1000 Krenek Tap Rd.) or 979.764.3486 to host workout sessions at city parks.

    Non-city-related advertising in city parks is prohibited unless designated by a contract.

    Off-road vehicles are not allowed in city parks.

    Golfing or (practice) driving of golf balls in the parks is prohibited.

    Glass bottles and containers are prohibited.

    Alcohol may be consumed in city parks by adults 21 years of age or older. If you have a function where alcohol is served, neither the alcohol nor anything else can be sold without a TABC license.
    RENTAL INFORMATION
    FACILITY RENTALS
    Fees are per hour with a $210 deposit, 2-hour minimum

    MEETING ROOM

    Non-Resident - $126
    Resident - $105

    OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

    Non-Resident - $45
    Resident - $37

    AMPHITHEATER
    Non-Resident - $45
    Resident - $37

    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.

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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