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Partnerships & Affinity Groups

Affinity groups provide support for specialized areas of the Heard’s mission by offering their own diverse education programs. Members of these groups have a strong appreciation for natural sciences and desire to advance the museum’s mission.

Blackland Prairie Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists

Blackland Prairie Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists meets the second Tuesday of each month from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM in the Science Technology Center at the Heard where we learn specifically about the Blackland Prairie region as well as the other native environments of Texas. BPTMN members volunteer at the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, Connemara, YMCA Adventure Camp, Blackland Prairie Raptor Center, LLELA, city native restoration projects and at numerous schools and community environmental education venues. BPTMN is sponsored by Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas Agri-Life agency. You are welcomed to visit BPTMN meetings and if you are interested in joining, new classes begin in February. Class information is usually posted on our website in November of the preceding year.

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To develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities for the State of Texas.

Collin County Archaeology Society

The Archaeology Society is a group of avocational archaeologists who meet to identify and share fossil relics and artifacts and participate in area digs.  


Meetings are on the 2nd Tuesday of every month at 7 PM at the Texas Star Bank in McKinney.  

Collin County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas

The Native Plant Society of Texas was formed to promote conservation, research, and utilization of Texas native plants and plant habitats through education, outreach and example. The Collin County Chapter of the NPSOT was formed in 1991 to encourage local residents to use native plants and to educate residents on native plant benefits. Novice and experienced plant enthusiasts are welcome to join the group. Membership is established through the state organization.


Benefits include sharing knowledge and learning about native plants, guest speakers, field trips, plant exchange, chapter library and local planting projects. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month (excluding November and December) at 7 P.M.

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Prairie and Timbers Audubon Society

The Prairie and Timbers Audubon Society’s mission is to conserve native plants and animals and their habitats, protect life from pollution, radiation and toxic substances, increase awareness about using land and water wisely, seek solutions to global problems involving the interaction of population, resources and the environment and to promote rational strategies for energy development and use, stressing conservation and renewable energy sources.


Membership includes “Audubon Magazine,” published by the National Audubon Society, six times per year and noted for its superb photography and timely conservation articles, monthly newsletter, camps and workshops. Audubon sanctuaries are open to members. Meetings are held the fourth Tuesday of September-May (excluding December) at 7 P.M. Program topics include wildlife, conservation and ecology issues.


For more information visit the PTAS website at www.prairieandtimbers.org

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Heard Bird Banders

Bird-banding contributes vital knowledge of habitat use. More than 25,000 birds have been banded at the Heard since the station’s establishment in 1978 and has provided information to evaluate habitat breeding quality. The station shares data with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) and participates in The Institute for Bird Populations (IBP) “MAPS” program (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) by contributing our data to an international effort. MAPS measures reproduction on breeding grounds and combines data from the U.S., Canada and Mexico so scientists can determine global populations of most songbird species.

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Collin County Hobby Beekeepers Association

The Collin County Hobby Beekeepers Association was formed to provide fellowship and information exchange among beekeepers and those interested in bees, to promote the art of beekeeping, encourage the use of honey, protect the industry of beekeeping and honey bees and cooperate with County Extension Services, USDA, TBA and other organizations promoting beekeeping information.

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Heard Nature Photographers Club

The Heard Nature Photographers Club is an informal group of photography enthusiasts of all skill levels who love nature and photography. The purpose of the group is to bring photography lovers together to have fun and to learn more about nature photography. Club activities focus not only photographic technique, but also the natural world of plants, flowers and mammals. Meetings are held the second Saturday of each month. The Heard Nature Photography Club also sponsors the annual Heard photography contest. Memberships are $20 annually and benefits include a monthly newsletter and field trips

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