Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary – McKinney, Texas

A private nonprofit organization founded in 1967, the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary is located in McKinney, Texas, United States. With a 289-acre wildlife sanctuary, five miles of hiking trails, about fifty acres of wetlands, a two-acre native plant garden, a butterfly house, live animals, and indoor and outdoor exhibits, the Heard welcomes over 100,000 visitors annually. The Heard is one of the most important attractions in the City of McKinney.

The goal of Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary is to connect our visitors with nature in hopes of inspiring within each person a deeper appreciation for the environment. Since 1967, the Heard has been dedicated to carrying out this vision by providing a variety of events and programs in our 289-acre nature preserve and museum.

Ropes Course

Our trained facilitators tailor each program based on your group’s specific goals. Using both low and high elements to highlight meaningful subject matter, we create a learning environment that encourages personal growth. Heard Ropes is dedicated to providing exceptional learning experiences in a fun and engaging way to our community. All ropes course programs are available only by reservation.


Whether you consider yourself a birder, a birdwatcher or a casual nature observer, the diversity and health of the different habitats at Heard creates the perfect opportunity to observe a number of bird species, both resident and migrant. 


Your group is also welcome to pay regular admission and tour the Museum and Sanctuary on your own (admission is included with programs). Between the museum and live animal exhibits, miles of hiking trails, and picnic areas, there is something for every group.

Summer Nature Camps

Heard Summer Camps feature opportunities for children from north Texas and beyond to delve into the wonders of nature on our 289-acre sanctuary, encounter animal ambassadors, investigate nature-themed topics, and more. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors is not only fun for our children, but also plays an important role in many facets of child development.

Main Attractions

Within the 289-acre wildlife sanctuary, visitors can explore trails, sit in on educational programs, and get their hands dirty with conservation projects. The Heard Sanctuary has five habitats including Blackland prairie, wetlands, bottomland forest, upland forest, and white rock escarpment.

The Heard has been awarded The Audubon Society’s designation as an important birding area. Texas has preeminence as a bird-watching area due to its placement on major migratory paths. However, The Heard offers special opportunities for bird-watching by providing a unique resource in a large metropolitan area.

Also, Heard’s Pioneer Village features eight buildings on a miniature scale that emulate structures that would have been typical in prairie settlements in the late 1800s.

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