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      Nature Report: Frontera Audubon Preserve

      Tucked away in the heart of Weslaco is a remarkable sanctuary for wildlife known as the Frontera Audubon Preserve or for those that know it well simply the Thicket|and know one knows it better than Jim Chapman past president of Frontera Audubon. Jim Chapman, past president Frontera Audubon, says "The Thicket began in 1992 when BB James donated it.

      She grew up here. It was half citrus orchard and half horse pasture, so everything you see here was all citrus grove 25 years ago. It froze out in 1983 and 1989.

      They let it go, and in 1992 we asked her would she be interested in donating it to make it a nature preserve, and to my complete astonishment she said yes." Today the 15-acre site is home to a wide variety of native plants, attracting more than 251 species of birds from great kiskadees to Altamira orioles.

      Chapman says, "We have really tried to plant as wide a variety of native vegetation as possible. Some of this just volunteered in of course, but some of it was planted. There is probably the widest assortment of native vegetation growing here that you will find in the mid Valley." There are three scenic ponds and beautiful water structures that also attract wildlife.

      Chapman says, "There is over a mile of trails. So, it is actually a wonderful place to walk. It really is a little oasis right here." The Frontera Audubon Preserve is open to the public six days a week and closed on Mondays.

      Scattered throughout the Thicket are a number of inviting benches just waiting for you to take a seat, relax and enjoy the soul satisfying tranquility of nature. Chapman says, "People just need to come out and visit and better yet become a member." With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore