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Southside Conservation Action Center Celebrates 20 Years

Mitchell Lake Audubon Center supports a diverse range of birds, wildlife, and habitat for the learning and enjoyment of thousands of visitors annually.

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (March 7, 2024) – Mitchell Lake Audubon Center first opened to the public in 2004. The goal of the conservation action center - to create a place where children could learn about the environment, visitors could enjoy birdwatching, and birds had a safe place to stop along their migration journey. The Mitchell Lake Wetlands were designated as a wildlife refuge for waterfowl and shorebirds in 1973, after serving as the waste containment site for the city of San Antonio for many years. Today, a partnership between the National Audubon Society and San Antonio Water System, Mitchell Lake provides critical habitat for more than 350 species of migratory birds.   The jewel of the Southside, more than 12,000 people visit the site annually for conservation education and recreational enjoyment. 

“Twenty years is just the beginning,” says Center Director Sara Beesley. “As a recipient of a $6M City of San Antonio bond investment in 2022, we will grow the center to provide more habitat for birds and enhance the programming and spaces for the community.” The Mitchell Lake Audubon Center will partner with Cielo Strategy Group over the next three months for in-depth community engagement across the city to determine the long-term vision for the Audubon center. To encourage people to learn more about the center and its mission to connect people to nature, in 2024 community public programs will be free. “People will protect and care for nature and the environment, but only if they know why it’s important” says Beesley. This spring break, the center will be free and open to the public with planned daily activities. Their annual community festival celebrating birds, Migratory Bird Fest, will take place on March 23 from 9:00am – 1:00 pm.  

Generous donations from the Kronkosky Foundation, the Nancy Smith Hurd Foundation, and Navistar’s Environmental Equity Fund have all contributed landmark amounts to create free programming for the public, discounted field trips for Title 1 students, and to support free entry days.  

Visit the events page of the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center for upcoming free entry days and details on public programs. 

About Mitchell Lake Audubon Center

Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, designated as a wildlife refuge by the city of San Antonio in 1973, is managed by Audubon Texas, the state program of the National Audubon Society. It is located on the south side of San Antonio, on 1,200-acres owned by the San Antonio Water System, and consists of Mitchell Lake, ponds, wetlands, and upland habitat. Programming at the Audubon Center is designed to fulfill their mission of connecting people to nature through community conservation and education focused on birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Learn more online. Follow us on Facebook or Instagram


Media Contact:  Sara Beesley, Center Director       

210.628.1639 x302         

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