outdoor education center

Turning Trash to Treasure

In the 1970's drainage from the West Irving Creek was channeled through this turn of the century gravel and sand mine that Hogbottoms now calls home... dumping thousand of tons of trash onto the property that had been abandoned for so many years. 

Not only did this create an eyesore for the city and a mosquito breading ground... but the thousand of tons of litter continually washing onto the land was incredibly damaging to natural flora and fauna that lived here, washed toxic waste into the Trinity Water Shed with every rain, and was creating an environmental nightmare with very little (if any) consideration for what was happening to the earth below.

In 2011 private landowner and conservation-minded nature lover, Jim Widener, felt called to action.  He purchased 126 acres of this land, with the intent of helping this beautiful urban oasis heal from centuries of abuse by man.  Through lots of hard work, perseverance, and determination he has done just that!

Restoration Begins

Once the land was purchased, Jim surveyed the land, created a restoration plan, and immediately got busy.  He worked tirelessly soliciting help from the City of Irving, Texas Parks and Wildlife, The Army Corps of Engineers, and anyone else whom he could get to listen.  He enlisted the help of family, friends, volunteer groups, and paid contractors to begin removing the hundreds of dump tuck loads of illegally dumped trash that had found it's way to his property.  He very diligently worked with the city to come up with a plan to prevent so much trash from washing onto the land... and is hopefully awaiting the large trash interceptors that the City of Irving is planning to install.

Once debris removal was underway, this incredibly creative landowner and artist set his sights on clearing trails, building bridges and boardwalks, and creating points visual interest.  His creative vision and passion for this once orphaned land is truly inspirational, and the love that he continues to pour into it is apparent the moment you enter the gates!

A Nature Nirvana is Born

With gorgeous hiking trails... beautiful boardwalks... a one-of-a-kind bird blind overlooking one of our many ponds... and abundant, thriving, and incredibly diverse flora and fauna, H Ferrell Hogbottoms is on it's way to becoming a Nature Lover's Paradise!

We need YOU!

In order to restore this piece of beautiful Mother Earth to her natural beauty, we need YOU!  Please call or email today for exciting outdoor volunteer opportunities!