On Wednesday afternoon, July 24, Christine Donald with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service lead a group of youngsters on an ‘Texas Nature Adventure’ as the group explored the hidden treasures found exclusively in the Roma Bluffs area of historic Starr County. Through binoculars, and microscopes, the ‘Junior Rangers’ explored South Texas Nature in a fun-filled day of learning activities which included nature hikes, scavenger hunts, river-water experiments, and even an exploration of the eating habits of the area’s nocturnal wildlife.
“The activity that we’re doing today is the ‘Junior Ranger’ program” said Christine Donald. “We offer it in a variety of seasons usually in the Summer, Fall, and Winter, and it’s for kids eight to ten. It’s a free program, the kids come out and they get to explore all of this beauty, and learn about a variety of things. There’s water testing, there’s owl-pellets, we introduced them to all [types of] plants and pollinators”.
“I see a worm” declared Junior Ranger Gabriela Galindo, as she closely examined river-water under a microscope alongside her siblings Joaquin and Caterina. The Galindo family, parents Richard and Gloria traveled to the area from McAllen to participate in the day’s activities.
“We also offer other programs year-round to all of the kids” added Donald, “We encourage birders and the local folks to come out [to the Roma Bluffs], it’s a nice place to picnic and enjoy the birds and the the wildlife in a nice, safe setting”.
According to the Roma Bluff’s website, the World Birding Center in Roma can be found on the old plaza of a once-thriving steamboat port. Part of a national historic district, the WBC Roma Bluffs includes a riverside nature area of three acres which is described as the gateway to unforgettable birding adventures across Starr County. Local residents are encouraged to visit and enjoy the sites. The Bluff’s official hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the main office is located on 610 N. Portscheller St. in Roma, Texas.