New Nature Center in Willacy Co.

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PORT MANSFIELD – Eco-tourism is a big business across the country, and Willacy County is making strides to join the growing the movement.

The decision for the center is to help the community come and learn about nature in their own backyards.

“We’re very excited about this. This has been in the making for a while,” Willacy County Judge Aurelio Guerra said.

Guerra is referring to the county’s new land resource center, with meeting rooms and other accommodations. It’s a place where schools, different agencies and others can come for business and education.

“One of the things we’re excited about is we’re kind of partnering up and making sure that our local schools get involved to teach students about the natural environment,” Guerra said.

Jessica Gracida will be heading up the resource center. “The facility is going to be so we can promote Eco-tourism in the future,” she said. “It’s the facility that we have out here for educational purposes of making biology and to promote our natural resources in Willacy County along the Laguna Madre.”

The center and the adjoining park were funded by grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. There is one very long fishing pier and close by is what is called a floating pier. The area was opened about two years ago and they’re hoping the two will complement each other.

“It’s a wonderful attraction, yes. For the community and for all the schools around,” Port Mansfield resident Grace Lewis said.

“It’s beautiful out here, very peaceful. And the perfect day for it too. I think it will be a nice place for people to come, especially if there’s going to be a learning aspect to it. I think it will be awesome,” Christy Santana and Carol Villarreal said.

“For schools and other entities, whether its government entities or the private sector, to have their meetings here, conference, enjoy fishing,” Guerra said.

Gracida said people can also do kayaking and they have plans for the future, “We also want to promote grounds for biking the trails out here.”

It’s the new Willacy County Land Resource Center, wanting students and residents to learn and enjoy the environment they live in.


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