The Nature Discovery Center, Inc.

A personal connection to nature is an essential part of life

Bellaire, TX   |  http://www.naturediscoverycenter.org

Mission

To ignite life-long curiosity, understanding, and respect for nature through education.

Ruling year info

1981

Executive Director

DeAndra Ramsey

Main address

7112 Newcastle Street

Bellaire, TX 77401 USA

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EIN

74-2132718

NTEE code info

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Nature and Science Programs

The Nature Discovery Center offers uniques hands-on, minds-on nature and science programs for studnets, teachers, and schools. Our unique inquiry-based approach captures children interest and gives them the skills and confidence to pursue further knowledge on their own. These programs include outdoor nature investigations in Russ Pitman Park, outreach Discovery Presentations with live animals and real specimens, and interactive educator workshops.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

Where we work

Awards

Good Brick Award 2015

Preservation Houston

Best Kept Secret in SW Houston/Fort Bend 2014

Macaroni Kids Gold Daisy Awards

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

High quality nature education for all, especially under-served communities.

With improvements to the Park and building, there will be an increase in field trips with a focus on Title I schools. Thousands of schoolchildren visit the Center each year and we see this increasing with the capital improvements being made.

Marketing and outreach have been enhanced through new highlight videos created after each camp and shared with parents and through social media. Along with the video, parents are now emailed an online survey requesting feedback on their child's camp experience. Moreover, during the first quarter 2015, the Center applied for and received a Google Ad Grant which offers free online advertising for nonprofits. With this, the Center is displayed through keyword in online searches such as summer camp, nature center, and nature park. The Ad Grant is valued at $10,000 per month. As interest in the Center grows, it is important to
better understand how visitors and donors connect to our mission -- and how we can nurture that relationship.

All new programs that strategically engage underserved youth can be launched with the existing structure (staff teaching knowledge and established curriculum) and can be turned into new earned revenue streams. The education staff has an average 15-year tenure at the Nature Discovery Center and are also able to train other area teachers on nature science education. Making the most of our human capital gives the Center the opportunity to grow and develop, allowing us to take on every mission-fulfilling opportunity for engagement.

A guiding belief at the Nature Discovery Center is that a personal relationship with nature is an essential part of life, and we love sharing our enthusiasm for nature education with visitors! However, we are unable to fully assist the volume of weekend visitors. Many enter the Center for the first time and are not properly informed about the discovery rooms, live animals on site, or available programs. At this time we cannot accommodate the demand for weekend programming, as one staff member is responsible for welcoming visitors, guiding families through the upstairs discovery rooms, and answering phone calls. To serve more visitors and to a positive, welcoming experience, an additional part-time position would allow us to:

o Launch nature play morning programs
o Provide half-day camp program*
o Establish and manage weekend teen docent volunteer schedule
o Support multiple weekend programs, including simultaneous bird walks* and birthday parties* at same time
o Enable offsite weekend programs such as Brays Bayou Family Bike Tour*
o Increased naturalist interaction with the public on weekends
o Communicate with families in Russ Pitman Park and share information about the Nature Discovery Center (on the other end of the park)

* Denotes earned income opportunity

Financials

The Nature Discovery Center, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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The Nature Discovery Center, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 6/18/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Kristen Buck

Valerie Tompson

Spencer Curry

Frost Bank - Capital Markets

Kristen Buck

Jayne Johnston

Memorial Hermann, Texas Medical Center

Peter Cook

Impact Marketing Houston

Aileen McCormick

David Black

Cin-Ty Lee

Rice University

Alexi Poulos

Caroline Quenemoen

Rice University

Candace Tenbrink

University of Houston Downtown

Carmen Millet

Junior League of Houston Board Fellows Program

Gaurav Nayak

Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business Board Fellows Program

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 06/18/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Hispanic/Latino/Latina/Latinx
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data