For nature lovers, the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute (CDRI) is an ideal destination to experience the natural beauty of the Trans-Pecos Region. CDRI is a nonprofit organization that houses the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Gardens, located off Texas State Highway 118 about 4 miles south of Fort Davis, Texas.
The Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Gardens offer visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the unique flora and fauna of the region. The Botanical Gardens feature several areas to explore, including the Wildscape Garden, the Trans-Pecos Natives Garden Path, the Pollinator Garden Trail, Maxie Templeton Cactus Museum Collection, Chinquapin Grove, and Native Grasses.
The Wildscape Garden, located at the Powell Visitor Center, is an excellent place to relax and enjoy the various wildlife, including birds, lizards, butterflies, and bees. The Trans-Pecos Natives Garden Path, a self-guided tour, features nearly 165 species of native plants, grouped by plant family and individually labeled. Visitors can learn about native pollinators and how they interact with native plants at the Pollinator Garden Trail. The Maxie Templeton Cactus Museum Collection features one of the world’s largest collections of Chihuahuan Desert cacti, with around 200 species, sub-species, and varieties of cacti and succulents. Chinquapin Grove is a serene contemplation site among Chinquapin oaks and wild roses that honors family and friends, signifying special events like birthdays and remembering those who have passed. Visitors can follow a winding path to discover the wide variety of grasses in the Trans-Pecos region of the Chihuahuan Desert.
The Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Gardens are open from 9 AM daily, except for holidays. Admission fees are affordable, with adults being charged $6.50 per visit, while children 12 and under, dogs, and members receive free entry. SRSU students can visit for only $3.25. Visitors can also opt for guided tours, which cost $7.50 and require advance reservations with a minimum group size of 10. Those interested in guided tours can contact CDRI at firstname.lastname@example.org or (432) 364-2499.
The Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Gardens offer visitors a chance to experience the unique flora and fauna of the Trans-Pecos Region. With affordable admission fees, it’s a perfect place for a day trip or an educational excursion.
Image by Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute