The VIDA community – San Antonio’s newest master-planned community – enjoys some pretty remarkable neighbors. In addition to Texas A&M University-San Antonio, VIDA is fortunate to neighbors with Mitchell Lake Audubon Center.
A strategic location for birders and wildlife
Mitchell Lake Audubon Center’s geographical footprint is full of critical grassland and waterbird habitat. Of even greater significance to San Antonio residents and visitors alike is Mitchell Lake itself. This 600-acre lake lies completely within the San Antonio city limits and offers a unique opportunity to view nearly every migratory bird species in the United States.
In fact, the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center estimates that as many as 98.5% of all migratory American bird species head to the Texas coast each winter, and Mitchell Lake and the associated wetlands are one of the last roosting grounds north of the coast. As a result, the area is teeming with birds of all species. Mitchell Lake hosts a staggering number of birds throughout the year, but in much larger numbers during the migratory season. Here, you can see thousands of bird species in the critical days before they must fly for hours or even days at a time over the Gulf.
For birders, for learners and for nature lovers
Aside from the breathtaking sight of migratory birds in vast numbers, Mitchell Lake Audubon Center offers a variety of programs for students and guests. If birding is for you, the Center offers two distinct programs designed to help prospective birders at any experience level. Choose Birding Basics to learn the ropes, then join Center regulars on a series of early-morning Birding Tours.
Mitchell Lake Audubon Center also features award-winning programs incorporating local San Antonio school districts. Nature of Learning programs provide local students, in conjunction with school districts and SAWS, with the opportunity to participate in field-trip-based learning opportunities using resources within the Center. Currently, the Center offers wetland, Audubon, and ecological conservation programs suitable for groups from kindergarten to 7th grade.
Mitchell Lake Audubon Center is also an excellent site for guided or unguided academic tours of the property. The Center has crafted a paper guide to help student and adult groups alike tour the 1,200-acre property with an effort to see all the local wildlife. Alternatively, groups can schedule an official Audubon Center guide to help along the way.
Visiting the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center
Mitchell Lake is open Friday through Sunday from 7am to 3pm.
Mitchell Lake Audubon Center historically has hosted over 4,000 local students each year through public, private and home-school nature education outreach, the areas around Mitchell Lake are open to all. From hands-on science and nature experiments for children, daily birding tours, native Texas plant and wildlife workshops, and even full facility rentals, the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center can help people of all ages connect with nature and experience the wonderful relationship between Lake Mitchell and its avian population. Or, hike the extensive trail system surrounding the lake at your leisure, and develop a love for true Texas wildlife at its best.
The Mitchell Lake Audubon Center adds more events to its calendar on a daily basis, including guided bird tours, research talks, an annual Migratory Bird Fest and Birdathon, and other activities the whole family can enjoy. Can’t make it out to the Center as often as you’d like? Check out the frequent online educational events and continue learning more about Lake Mitchell and area wildlife from the comfort of your VIDA home.
Find out what makes the Lake Mitchell area the perfect natural retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, just 20 minutes from downtown San Antonio. For more information about Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, one of the VIDA community’s most valued neighbors, reach out online. Alternatively, register to become a volunteer and discover how you can help Lake Mitchell and the surrounding areas a better place to live and experience the joys of nature.