ANCA CONNECTS: Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute in Fort Davis, Texas [Postponed]

Oct 06 2023


This CONNECTS program has been postponed to February 16, 2024.


Join your peers for this in-person ANCA CONNECTS program at the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute (CDRI) in Fort Davis, Texas. This program is for any professional in the nature center and environmental learning center community — we welcome both ANCA members and non-members along with professionals from outside Texas to attend.

At this event you can learn in depth about the operations of nature centers, outdoor schools, and related organizations, and engage with peers who understand the challenges you face. Beyond programs, too, you will have the opportunity to visit and explore the CDRI Nature Center and Botanical Gardens, seeing their operations firsthand.

In the afternoon, participants will be able to choose from an assortment of Open Space discussions, sessions where all participants contribute to the conversation. Facilitators guide the dialogue but do not give a formal presentation. These discussions are an excellent opportunity to share with your peers, learn new ideas, discuss trends in the profession, and work together to find solutions.



Fort Davis is on Central Time. Activities on Thursday are optional.

Thursday, October 5

2-5pm Visit Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Gardens independently.
Explore five miles of hiking trails (with excellent birding), visit the Botanical Gardens, Cactus Museum Collection, and Mining Heritage Exhibit.
6pm Dinner at the Blue Mountain Bar & Grill in Fort Davis.
At the Hotel Limpia — the address is 101 Memorial Square / Fort Davis. You are responsible for dinner expenses.


Friday, October 6

7:30-9am Birding
Join CDRI for an early walk on the trails.
9-9:30am Check-in
A light breakfast and coffee will be available.
9:30-10am Welcome to CDRI
10-10:30am Intro to ANCA
10:30-11am Break
Snacks provided.
11am-12:30pm Tour of the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute
Enjoy a guided tour of the Botanical Gardens, including the Pollinator Garden and the Cactus Museum Collection, to learn more about CDRI’s center and programming.
12:30-1:30pm Lunch and Networking
1:30-2pm Open Space planning
2-3:30pm  Open Space Sessions
3:45-4pm  Wrap-up and Farewell


About the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute

Located four miles from Fort Davis, the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute (CDRI) is a nonprofit organization established in December 1973. The 507-acre site is composed of semi-desert grasslands and igneous rock outcrops. Open year-round, CDRI offers over five miles of hiking trails, in addition to the Desert Botanical Gardens, the Maxie Templeton Cactus Museum Collection, the Bird Blind, the Heritage Mining Exhibit, and the Geologic Timeline display in front of the Powell Visitor Center. Inside the Visitor Center, you'll find more exhibits and information, plus the thoughtfully appointed Nature Center Gift Shop.




Address: 43869 St. Hwy 118 / Fort Davis, TX 79734
Directions on Google Maps


Nearby Lodging

If you're looking for a place to stay overnight, see these options: