The Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, in Mckinney Texas, is the result of one woman’s vision for the future and her commitment to the community and North Texas. Miss Bessie Heard devoted most of her lifetime (1886-1988) to the city of McKinney and its people. Her philanthropic endeavors and generosity of spirit left a legacy of accomplishment few people attain.

Miss Bessie's greatest contribution to her community and North Texas is the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary. Miss Heard was 80 years old when she saw the need to preserve a place where future generations could visit to experience nature. The museum opened October 1, 1967 and now serves more than 100,000 visitors annually.

In keeping with Miss Heard’s vision, the museum’s mission is threefold: education, conservation and preservation. Through education, particularly for young people, the Heard emphasizes an appreciation of nature and its conservation.