Raptor and Education Center
The Houston Audubon Raptor and Education Center (HAREC) at Sims Bayou is a picturesque 1.1-acre sanctuary located in historic Park Place on the original channel of Sims Bayou. The center is home to Houston Audubon’s education department, including our raptor ambassadors and other education animals.
Come by to visit our raptors and other education animals in their beautiful home, while learning about these animals from our wonderful education team.
The sanctuary contains raptor mews (or aviaries), a log cabin, a barn, a nature store, a gazebo, gardens, a pond with native plants, and seasonal wetland trails that afford a unique opportunity to experience nature in a dense urban setting. Many of our education programs are held at the Raptor and Education Center, including camps and field trips as well as programs for schools, scouts, adults, and other community outreach events.
Address: 3997 River Drive, Houston, TX 77017 Map and directions.
Phone: (713) 640-2407
Hours: The Raptor and Education Center is open for visitors Tuesday - Saturday, 10 AM - 4 PM.
Holiday Closures: The Raptor and Education Center will be closed December 19-27, 2021 and December 31-January 1.
Pricing: Free for members; $5/person for non-members. Click here to become a member.
All groups of 8+ must schedule a tour or class in advance. For more information, please contact Mary Anne Weber, Education Director, at email@example.com.
COVID-19 Response: We strongly encourage wearing masks and social distancing at all Houston Audubon sanctuaries and programs. Please read and follow all signage regarding sanctuary rules and safety guidelines. Learn more about our health and safety policies.
Get "enraptored"! Learn about our native raptors and raptor conservation, meet the raptors up close with lots of photo ops and discover what it takes to run a raptor center.
Come prowl for owls with us! Meet our live, rehabilitated ambassador owls after a fascinating program in the barn. Afterward, join us on the wooded trails in search of wild owls. It's a hoot!
This is the perfect class for nature-loving young learners. Children 3–6 years old will learn all about the natural world through outdoor adventures, direct instruction, crafts, and educational games.
Hawks, falcons, owls and more await! You will have the opportunity to photograph Houston Audubon’s education raptors in an intimate setting. Whether you use a simple point and shoot or serious photography equipment, you will enjoy meeting and learning about these awesome birds.
For groups of 8 or more you can book a guided tour. Tours include up-close encounters with the raptors at the center, presentation in the Bayou Barn and guided hike to Sims Bayou. Picnicking area onsite or enjoy lunch at a nearby popular eatery. Fee is $10 per person. Harris County Senior Bus Trips Welcome!
All groups (defined as larger than 8 persons) who are not accompanied by a Houston Audubon guide must preregister by emailing Mary Anne Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fly on over to the southeast side of town and check out our nature store! The store is chock-full of books for birders, gardeners, children, and nature enthusiasts. We also offer hummingbird feeders, bird houses, jewelry, plush animals, and gifts for all ages.
HAREC is located next to Charlton Park and the Houston Botanic Garden. The property was originally established in 1997 as the Sims Bayou Urban Nature Center by the Greater Park Place Community Development Corporation to help revitalize the area. That group created educational and environmental programs, attracted hundreds of volunteers and provided a peaceful setting for scouting, birding, and other outdoor programs as well as boating and fishing opportunities. It was donated to Houston Audubon in 2005. On January 19, 2019, the ribbon-cutting ceremony was held to mark the official transformation of the Sims Bayou Urban Nature Center to the Houston Audubon Raptor and Education Center at Sims Bayou. All of Houston Audubon’s Education Raptors have settled into their newly constructed and furnished aviaries where they continue to receive exceptional care and lots of love from our amazing Education team led by Education and Center Director Mary Anne Weber. We would like to thank The Brown Foundation, the George and Mary Josephine Hamman Foundation, and the Jacob and Terese Hershey Foundation for their support.