Help Us Restore Access to the Sycamore Trail

Thanks for your support and interest in North Texas Giving Day!

North Texas Giving Day: Thursday, September 20, from 6 a.m. - Midnight

How To Participate

Why Give During North Texas Giving Day?

When you give via, your donation goes further with bonus funds and prizes. All donations scheduled between September 10th at 8 a.m. and 19th at midnight or given on September 20, 2018 between 6 a.m. and midnight qualify. Your donation triggers opportunities for the Heard to win prizes rewarded at random or for the highest number of donors! This year every dollar given to the Heard up to $10,000 will be multiplied with bonus funds when donors give online through

What is North Texas Giving Day?

North Texas Giving Day is Communities Foundation of Texas’ annual 18-hour online giving extravaganza for North Texas. The day is powered by creative nonprofits, social media activism, area wide collaboration, and of course North Texas coming together! North Texas Giving Day’s goal is to help build awareness and support for nonprofits in North Texas, while making giving easy for donors. 

How do I become an ambassador?

  • Visit our North Texas Giving Day profile at and scroll down the page until you see a blue button that says "Create Fundraising Page." Click the button.
  • You will then be prompted to set up a profile (if you haven't already created one). 
  • Fillout the required information to create a FUNdraising page.
  • Share the word about your FUNdraising page with your friends. You may share this information on your social media pages and more. 

How to Help the Heard

With your help on North Texas Giving Day, we are continuing to work protect and restore our Sycamore Trail through a multiphase restoration process.

At approximately 165 years old, the Perkins Sycamore is one of the oldest and perhaps most beautiful trees at the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary. In the warmer months, this tree is accentuated with beautiful star-shaped leaves. The leaves transition to a golden color in the fall. Then in the winter, as the leaves die away, it’s all the easier to appreciate how different the bark is from this tree than most of the surrounding trees.

Not only are Sycamore trees beautiful, they’re also great wildlife magnets. Their seeds are attractive to many birds. Their scaly bark provides Birds Nest in Sycamore Treehiding places for a number of invertebrate species, which in turn provides food for a variety of birds and wildlife.

If you have tried to visit the Perkins Sycamore in recent years, you may have encountered a time when the trail to it was impassable. This is because this tree is located on a trail that is situated in a major floodplain. This floodplain is a great asset and source of protection for neighboring and upstream communities, such as McKinney, in times of flood. This also means that we face impacts of increased flooding over the last few years that the general public might not see. In addition to the unusual floods we’ve had, as more land is developed upstream, less water is absorbed into the ground and more runs off. Population growth also means more litter. The litter that also can be seen spread out in normal environments concentrates into our water ways and ends up at places like the Heard.

The Heard is in the process of restoring our Sycamore trail, which is disproportionately affected by these negative effects. Bridges have washed out or been displaced. Some trails have also become extremely muddy and often virtually impassable. We also regularly have a great deal of trash to clean up.

Please consider contributing to our efforts to preserve this great resource. If you’re able to help financially, your funds will be directed towards the equipment and supplies necessary to get the work accomplished

With your help on this ongoing project, we will be able to accomplish many of our planned Sycamore Trail restoration and preservation projects. Thank you for your support and consideration of our project! With your help we will sustain the Heard’s mission to bring nature and people together to discover, enjoy, experience, restore and preserve our priceless environment.

Project Background

Because portions of the Heard Wildlife Sanctuary are located on a major flood plain, it is also subject to anything that washes downstream from runoff. Protecting these natural resources will continue to become increasingly difficult as more land is developed upstream. 

As you may have observed, trash often washes downstream. Less easy to observe are the fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and more that also find their way down waterways. At even a molecular level, these changes can impact an array of flora and fauna.

Additionally, seeds and pieces of invasive plant species wash downstream and take root in the wildlife sanctuary. As more of the native plant life, which provides some natural filtration and keeps soil in place, is destroyed upstream, we will continue to see an amplification of these chemical changes and an increase in deposited sediment.