Demonstration Prairie by FWNC&R Staff
The Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge has shared the beauty of nature with our community for decades. You can help ensure the future of this incredible place for generations to come by generously considering a gift to the Murray James Endowment that reflects your love of nature and the splendor and benefits it provides. We hope you will include the Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge as part of your long-term estate planning. Several avenues of planned giving are available. Leave a legacy that will touch lives for years to come.
For more information or to discuss your plans, contact:
Haily Summerford, Executive Director, Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
Planned Giving Options
Murray James Endowment
The Murray James Endowment (formerly the Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Memorial Fund) was established on June 25, 1985, with $100,000 to provide a permanent fund to financially support the Friends and their efforts on behalf of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. Over the years, the endowment has achieved significant growth through generous donations and shrewd investments. In 2020, the fund was renamed in honor of Murray A. James, a passionate and longtime supporter of the Friends and the Nature Center. All memorial and legacy donations are designated for the fund, allowing donors to create a truly lasting legacy.
About Murray James
Murray A. James has been a tireless supporter of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge for nearly as long as it has been in existence. She and her husband, Jack, were charter members of the Friends when the group was organized in 1974. Besides serving as a docent along with her daughter, Georgia, she and Jack also volunteered to serve on the organizing committee when the Friends’ endowment was established in 1985. Murray served as the first chair of the new endowment committee and was responsible for raising the initial $100,000 seed money to fund the fledgling endowment.
Murray continued to serve almost continuously on the boards of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge Conservancy and its ensuing organization, the Friends or the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, as well as on the endowment committee until her retirement. In addition, she influenced her daughter to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Laura Harrison served on the Friends’ board and as its treasurer for many years.
In July 2015, Murray was recognized for her many years of support and dedication to the Nature Center with a plaque recognizing her service. The auditorium in the Hardwicke Interpretive Center at the Nature Center was also named in her honor: the Murray A. James Auditorium.
Typically, the City of Fort Worth approves naming rights posthumously, but the policy states, “In very limited circumstances, the naming of City-owned facilities after a living individual who has made extraordinary contributions for the betterment of all Fort Worth may be considered.”
Murray is a “living” individual who has always had a long-range view and vision of the Nature Center and a steady hand for guidance. This approval is indicative of how much Murray has meant to the Nature Center and how important it is that her legacy lives on.