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Nonprofits & Charities, Parks & Outdoor

Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary Photos & Information

Posted: April 4, 2016 at 4:43 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

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Nature Sanctuary in the heart of the city!

The Houston Audubon Society has its headquarters building there.  My husband and I had been driving past this spot for many years on busy Memorial Drive in Houston.  All one can see from the street is a dense forested area. Curiosity finally got the best of us and we decided to explore it one day in mid-March of this year.


Sign at Moore sanctuary

Sign at Moore sanctuary

As a visitor one is directed to park at the adjacent Memorial Methodist Church parking lot.  It is located on the eastern edge of the nature sanctuary. The address of the church is 12995 Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77079.

About midway back in the parking lot is a gate.  After going through the gate, one of the trails through the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary begins.

Headquarters of Audubon Society in the Edith L. Moore sanctuary

Headquarters of Audubon Society in the Edith L. Moore sanctuary

Houston Audubon Society

Most people know that the function of Audubon societies in general is to protect the environments for birds. They also educate people about birds and the importance of maintaining natural habitats where birds and other animals can thrive.

Colorful bird in Edith L. Moore sanctuary

Colorful bird in Edith L. Moore sanctuary

The area in which the Houston Audubon Society operates covers a huge land mass consisting of 11 counties! So this Edith L. Moore sanctuary is just one of the many sanctuaries but certainly a distinctive one!

Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary

The 2nd Saturday of each month is important to note.  Docents are on hand to admit a person into the Moore log cabin.

There is a state historical marker at the Moore cabin.  The home was completed back in 1932 by Jesse and Edith Moore.  They happened to own a dairy and lumbering company.  The logs and wood that went into their cabin came from their own property.

A distinctive 2 story stone fireplace was constructed from local sources.

Edith Lotz, 1918 - working as a bacteriologist, pathologist, a medical illustrator at St. Luke's Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Edith Lotz, 1918 – working as a bacteriologist, pathologist, a medical illustrator at St. Luke’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota.

We were told that it is only one of four original log cabins in the Houston area.  According to their site, it is the only one of the four that has never been moved from one place to another.

The photo above shows Edith as a single woman.  She was highly educated especially for that day and time.  World War I had her coming to Houston and working at camp Logan.  That is now the site of Memorial Park. She got married in 1920.

When the city was getting more crowded, the lure of land further west in the country drew them to this location on Rummel Creek. Jesse and Edith lived in the cabin until 1959 when they divorced.  She remained living there with her many dogs and cats until she died in 1975.

She was obviously a nature lover.  Edith wished for her property to remain in its natural state for the birds and other animals calling it home.  So she willed it to the Houston Audubon Society of which she was a member.  It was with the stipulations that the cabin and all 17 1/2 acres of land were to be kept as it was when she lived there.

In 1974 it was transferred to Houston Audubon ownership.  The home and acreage was named the Edith L. Moore Sanctuary in her name and is a lasting legacy.

Listening to birds chirping & singing at Moore sanctuary

Listening to birds chirping & singing at Moore sanctuary

There are many photos hanging on the wall inside the cabin.  Docents are on hand to tell about the cabin history and other interesting facts.

A few taxidermied birds are one display.  There are a couple of live lizards there.  Everything from small skeletons to turtle carapaces to snake skeletons and more are on display.

There are many different educational programs held at the cabin and in the sanctuary for children and adults. Many of the guided field trips are free although donations are always encouraged.

Bird feeders near Moore cabin

Bird feeders near Moore cabin

If the different types of summer camps are all sold out, children can be put on waiting lists in case of cancellations. With this in mind if you are local and wish for your children to enjoy nature inspired summer camping experiences, reserve your spaces well in advance each year!

This rustic and historic cabin can be rented for special meetings or parties. Prices range from $350 for up to 40 people at a sit down affair in the cabin to $5,000 for the renting of the cabin and all the grounds for 8 hours.  Wedding photos to birthday parties…all of that and more can be arranged in advance.  Prices vary according to the type of event and time allocated. The telephone number with which they can be contacted is 713-932-1639.

Other than those few occasions when part of all of the grounds might be rented, the grounds are open every day of the year.  The hours are from 7am to 7pm except for the summer hours.  One can stay until 9pm because of the longer daylight hours.

Walking through the lush hardwood and pine forest is free as well as touring the cabin when open. Some of the traffic sounds from nearby busy streets can be heard.  Except for that, when walking through this woods with the ponds and nearby Rummel Creek, it is hard to believe that one is in the heart of a city!

Footsteps are muted because of walking on natural paths softened by fallen leaves, moss and pine needles.

Some wooden decks and paths have been built over ponds where it is easy to spot small fish, turtles and perhaps other amphibians.

Wooden walkways over water at Moore Sanctuary

Birds are heard chirping and singing in the tree canopies.  We heard more of them than we actually spotted on the day we were there.  We did see cardinals, doves, bluejays and a few others that we commonly see in our own backyard. Real birders undoubtedly bring binoculars and plan to spend some quiet time in various locations which wind throughout this sanctuary.

Several signs point out some of the different owls which call this sanctuary home. They offer “Owl Prowls” each fall in the evenings.  A fee is charged for that but would be fun to experience at least once.

My husband and I so very much enjoyed walking through this natural wooded environment.  With the ponds and Rummel Creek, water features blend nicely into the wooded setting.

When I was a child growing up in Wisconsin there was a woods nearby and I loved walking in it.  Exploring the Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary brought back wonderful memories of those times. The air always seems fresher in a woods.

Viewing platform in Edith L. Moore sanctuary

Viewing platform in Edith L. Moore sanctuary

We picked the perfect time of year to explore this nature sanctuary.  The temperatures were moderate and the day was bright and sunny.

You can access their website here.  By clicking on that highlighted link you can learn about the names of the plants and trees grown there.  You can also learn about the resident birds commonly found there.

There are also migrating birds that occasionally pass through the area at certain times of year.

If visiting there…take your time!  This is a perfect place to slow down and smell the proverbial roses.  While you may not see roses…you will view many other plant species and see and hear numerous birds and perhaps other types of animals.

Location of this wondrous site: 440 Wilchester Blvd., Houston, Texas 77079.


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