Leveling Up and Going High-Tech


The Friends are making memberships even better! We have introduced an upgraded level and made it easier to join.
Woman's hand using an iPad in nature
It's easy to join the Friends when you are visiting the Nature Center by using one of the iPads located at the entrance gate or Hardwicke Interpretive Center.

The Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge recently rolled out some new and improved experiences for Friends members. In an effort to make memberships the best they can be, the Friends are improving one of its membership levels and making it easier than ever to join.

Introducing the Pack-Level Membership

The Family membership has received an upgrade. The new Pack-level membership now includes up to six (6) individuals of any age. The individuals do not have to be in one household. Best of all, the Pack membership is being offered at the same price as the old Family level.

When members join, renew, or purchase a gift membership, they will no longer see the Family option. Instead, members can choose the Pack level and sign up their family or create their own “family” of Nature Center lovers. We hope this will allow members to share the Nature Center with anyone of their choosing. Members will just need to list those individuals as members on the membership. Each member will receive their own membership card, which will be mailed to the account holder’s address.

If members want to bring a guest not listed on the membership, the guest will still need to pay their fee at the gate.

The Friends Are Going High-Tech

Another upgrade to the Friends membership experience is the use of iPads and placement of QR codes throughout the Nature Center to help visitors join or renew while visiting the park. The iPads were provided through a generous grant from the Meta Alice Keith Bratten Foundation.

How does it work? When anyone visits the Nature Center, they can request to register for a membership at the gate by securely entering their information using the iPad. An iPad has also been provided at the Hardwicke Interpretive Center for users’ convenience. The City’s gate entry procedures for the Nature Center, including showing membership cards at the gate or paying cash to enter, have not changed.

If traffic is heavy at the gate, visitors will be directed to the Hardwicke Interpretive Center to register for a membership on the iPad there.

iPads are not the only way to register for a membership, however. Visitors will notice new signage with QR codes conveniently located at the Greer Island, Boardwalk, and Hardwicke Interpretive Center parking lots. Visitors can simply scan the code (even from their car) and register for a membership on their phone.

Anyone can also securely and safely join, renew, or purchase a gift membership online by visiting the Friends’ membership page.

Not high-tech by nature?

We understand change is not always easy, and that’s OK. Visitors can still request a brochure at the gate or Hardwicke Interpretive Center, fill out the form, and mail it to the address provided.

An important note: The Friends will no longer accept cash for memberships or gift shop purchases. The Nature Center itself, however, is still accepting cash as usual at the gate to enter the park.

By transitioning to an all-electronic payment service, the Friends can reduce litter and save an enormous amount of time processing. Not to mention, the pandemic has taught us a lot about improving the health and safety of both members and staff — so this checks an important box, too.

The Friends want to be the best stewards of both our dollars and precious natural resources, so we hope bringing the Friends further into the technological age will accomplish both, all while providing more transparency, greater ease of access, and elimination of waste as much as possible.

Not a member? Join today.

By Haily Summerford, Executive Director, Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

Explore More Articles