Our Earth Day Birthday
By Brent Evans
In the Spring of 1988, the Cibolo Nature Center opened in grand style, with our Earth Day celebration shown on national television. Ironically, Russian and Ukrainian visitors got along like family, and worked together to help us plant memorial trees at the International Bridge in City Park, where they still stand today. In those days we were just cutting a few trails and planning the restoration of the marsh. School buses we not yet arriving every day. Our pioneer volunteer corps was small – our budget even smaller. We called ourselves the Friends of the Cibolo Wilderness and dreamed of saving some land for folks fall in love with. On that Earth Day, there were children and parents celebrating this new beginning, kids climbing trees, lovers walking in the park, elders helping each other down the trail. I thought to myself then: “This must be what peace looks like.” And I hope that one day peace between old friends can return.
And this little group of optimistic volunteers just kept at it, growing their impact;
1988 – Cibolo Nature Center (CNC) was born when volunteers cleaned up the public park and created nature trails.
1990 – Cibolo Wilderness Trail Grand Opening; Marsh is restored and Boardwalk is built.
1990 – Visitor Center in Boerne City Park-1898 building moved from Boerne
1990 – First Mostly Native Plant Sale.
1990 – Outdoor Classroom and Summer Camp
1990 – SEED program for Adolescents at Charter Real Psychiatric Hospital.
1993 – Cibolo Nature Center Grand Opening, and trail development.
1993 – Herff Spring protected at Kendall County Fair Grounds.
1995 – Monarch Monitoring Program begins, becoming the longest
continuously monitored milkweed/monarch patch in North America.
1995 – Developed a horticultural therapy program for local nursing homes.
1995 – TrailBlazers Club started for teenagers.
1997 – Ku Klux Klan comes to Boerne to protest the election of first African American Sheriff in Texas; counter-demonstration at the Cibolo Nature Center called “Diversity Day” – 300 participants
1998 – Cibolo Conservancy Land Trust founded with field office at CNC.
1998 – Dinosaur Track-Way replicated at CNC with dinosaur info display.
1999 – Tree of Life Arboretum creates a wildlife corridor with 100 native trees.
2000 – Songs and Stories Concert Series established.
2001 – Created Old No. 9 Greenway through a partnership with the City of Boerne.
2002 – Cibolo Conservation Corridor project was initiated to protect the water quality and biodiversity of the upper Cibolo Creek Watershed.
2002 – Boerne Birders programs begin with monthly birding outings.
2004 – Purchases land at “Sheep Dip Crossing” at River Road and Herff Road, later a connector with the # 9 Walking Trail.
2004 – Great Blue Heron Rookery Monitoring Program initiated at the Cibolo Preserve, the longest heron rookery monitoring program in Texas.
2004 – Members of CNC and Cibolo Conservancy successfully spearhead $5 million bond election for County Parks in Kendall County.
2004 – 26 acres of Cibolo Canyonland in the Cibolo Conservation Corridor were donated to the CNC, where the rare Big Red Sage was discovered.
2005 – Grand Opening of the 11,000 square Lende Learning Center.
2006 – Native Plant Society of Texas Boerne Chapter initiates Big Tooth Maple Program and completes Demonstration Gardens.
2006 – Nature Box Outreach Program begins taking specialized environmental activities into elementary classrooms.
2007 – CNC Purchases Herff Farm.
2012 – Inspiration Garden and Farmers Market at Herff Farm begin operation.
2014 – Lipan Apache Band of Texas blessing ceremony at the Herff Farm.
2016 – Farm Classroom is thriving, Chicken School Yard is established.
2016 – CNC&F Nature Pre-School is established and thriving.
2016 – Teaching Garden at Herff Farm established.
2018 – Chick Hatchery Program begins.
2020 – Knippa Family donates “Suitsus” property.
2020 – Adopt new name – The Cibolo Center for Conservation.
2021 – Grand Opening of the Nest Nature Pre-School.
2021 – Heard Property Purchased.
2022 – Cibolo Conservancy Land Trust now holds 33 easements – 14,000 acres.
2022 – We can prepare the pioneers of the future for the challenges of tomorrow by:
- protecting local lands and waterways.
- promoting sound land stewardship and healthy lifestyles
- building a sustainable and resilient community
- guiding a nature pre-school for young pioneers – The Nest
You can join the Cibolo Center for Conservation simply “for the love of nature”. And we hope that your Earth Day is full of nature, peace, and good friends.
Donate and support the Cibolo’s efforts for another 34 years and beyond. https://cibolo.org/earthdaybirthday