who we are

Set amid a working cattle ranch and an expansive wetland on the East Fork of the Trinity River, the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center is a nature center, an educational destination, a birder’s paradise and photographer’s dream, and a serene escape to nature like no other in North Texas.
Our primary mission is educating the public about water, wetlands and wildlife and the need to conserve these essential resources. Our environmental education programs use the East Fork Water Reuse Project, a 2,000-acre wetland that supplies drinking water, to give students a memorable field research experience designed to inspire conservation literacy. We also offer nature seminars, bird walks, boardwalk tours, Scouting programs and a host of special events focused on the natural world, with an emphasis on activities for families.
Our boardwalk into the wetland and miles of trails allow visitors of all ages to immerse themselves in diverse habitats that host some 300 species of birds, including bald eagles, and scores of native mammals, insects, amphibians and reptiles.
john bunker sands wetland center

Our Mission and Vision

Conservation Literacy of Water, Wetlands and Wildlife:
Our mission is to educate the public and provide research opportunities in the areas of water reuse, quality and supply, wildlife conservation and wetland systems.
Our vision is to be the premier education and destination nature center serving the North Texas region and beyond.

Our Board of Directors

Joe Farmer
North Texas Municipal Water District
Ken Mindell, Treasurer
The Rosewood Corporation, Retired
Jamie Steinburg, Vice President
Protiviti
Jenna Covington
North Texas Municipal Water District
Jack May
North Texas Municipal Water District
Haven Heinrichs
The Rosewood Foundation
Anjanette Murry
Crandall Independent School District
Storm Sands, President
The Rosewood Corporation
Suzanne Tuttle, Secretary
Fort Worth Nature Center, Retired Manager

Our Team

Katie Bourne
Executive Director

Katie is a native Texan, born and raised in the Dallas area. She graduated cum laude from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in marine biology and vertebrate zoology, and was selected by faculty as the Who’s Who Among American Universities and Colleges for her graduating class.

While working on her M.S. in biology, Katie did scientific research on invasive species around North and South America, and helped open a nature center here in North Texas. Katie spent nine years in public education administration over S.T.E.M. and workforce readiness programs, where she gained a passion for hands-on learning, equity and inclusion. Katie’s work has been supported by grants through the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Texas Sea Grant, U.S. Department of Education, Texas Education Agency and more, along with corporate partnerships with Toyota, Raytheon and Frito-Lay/PepsiCo.

Katie has two children and loves coffee, art, music, hiking, kayaking, photography, and spending time in the great outdoors with her kids.

Nancy Escobar
Education Supervisor

Nancy is a passionate STEM educator with a background in youth programming and environmental education. She joined the Wetland Center in 2022 and uses her role to share her love of insects and nature with her students.

While Nancy always wanted to be a teacher, she discovered her passion for the field during an environmental and conservation leadership summer camp program. Since then, she has provided similar immersive STEM experiences via her roles as an educator and program coordinator with various institutions and nonprofits including Vogel Alcove, Trinity River Audubon Center, Big Thought and Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge. Her goal is to make engaging and inclusive environmental education programs more accessible to underserved youth in the D-FW area.

Nancy graduated from Austin College in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and biology.

Coming Soon
Community Outreach Specialist