The 289 acre Heard Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area of importance for wildlife and plant life, reserved for conservation and the educational and research programs that promote preservation of our natural resources. The Heard is home to hundreds of plants, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals.
Because most of the birds and animals that live on the Heard Wildlife Sanctuary have access to the entire preserve, there is no assurance that you will see any or all of the various species during each visit. If you do see an animal, for both your safety and the animal's, do not approach or attempt to feed it. In our experience, visitors that respect the space of the wildlife (this is their home) are more likely to get to see them. To learn more, click here.
All Heard visitors must check in at the front desk. Access to Heard nature trails is included in general admission and free for Heard Museum members. Not a member? Join today by clicking here.
What may at first glance look like an open, uninhabited
field is actually one of the few remaining pieces of Blackland Prairie in Collin County. Historically,
the Blackland Prairie ecological area encompassed over 10 million acres. Today,
it is the most-endangered large ecosystem in North America. Less than 1%
remains. The plants that thrive at the Heard have few other habitats available
to them. As a result, we ask that you please do not pick flowers or any other
plant parts. This will also help you avoid possible contact with poison ivy!
Below, you will find links to guides that may help you in identifying various plants and animals that inhabit the sanctuary.
Texas rat snake image by Joan Wozny