Fort Worth Wild 2024

Great Egret by K.P. Wilska

Annual Fundraising Gala

Lotus Blossom by K.P. Wilska
Lotus Blossom by K.P. Wilska

Celebrating 50 Years

Community support has been instrumental in allowing the Friends to carry out its mission since its inception in 1974, marking 2024 as our golden 50th-anniversary milestone. The Friends’ story originates from a group of passionate volunteers, who, in 1974, came together with a shared commitment to assist the Nature Center in any way possible. The journey of the Friends is profoundly inspirational, with countless individuals devoting their time, resources, and labor to shape the Friends and the Nature Center into what they are today.

Sponsorship levels for this year’s Fort Worth Wild gala are above. If you cannot sponsor, we would appreciate your support for Fort Worth Wild 2024 through a tax-deductible contribution. Your financial support helps ensure our Nature Center remains a crown jewel of Fort Worth and Tarrant County by ensuring the access and integrity of the following:

  • More than 21 miles of trails and 12 miles of shoreline in a 3,650-acre park;
  • A variety of habitats, including forests, prairies, rivers, marshes, and wetlands;
  • A herd of bison;
  • Wildlife migrations for monarch butterflies and millions of birds;
  • An old-growth forest that recently became the first forest in Texas to join the Old-Growth Forest Network; and
  • Recreational activities such as birdwatching, canoeing, hiking, kayaking, and on-boat fishing.

As we commemorate this very special 50-year anniversary evening, we hope you will invest in our next 50 years.

*PLEASE NOTE: If you would like to attend the event, plan to become a sponsor. Individual tickets are not available. If you would like to support the event, we welcome donations!

Honoring Bob O'Kennon

Portrait of Bob O'Kennon leaning against a bush

The Friends is pleased to announce that our 2024 Fort Worth Wild honoree is Bob O’Kennon. Bob is an exceptional botanist who has dedicated many years to exploring the Refuge, conducting vital plant surveys, engaging in cutting-edge research, and unearthing rare flora and fauna, earning him the affectionate nickname “Botany Bob.” In addition to his remarkable contributions, Bob has been part of the Friends’ board and various committees for nearly two decades. His extensive work is further exemplified by his status as an author, accomplished and published researcher at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, and creator of a comprehensive catalog encompassing thousands of plant species.