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INVISTA


Site name: Victoria Site
Location: Victoria, TX USA
Wildlife at Work certified since: 1991
CLL certified since: 2006

Description:

The Victoria Site encompasses 4,500 acres in a predominately rural area approximately 10 miles south of Victoria, Texas. The site includes a wide variety of habitat types, including native grasslands, rangelands, wetlands and riparian areas.

The wetland on site was created in the late 1990s, and is monitored through species inventories with the help of visiting students. The wildlife team enhanced this existing habitat for ducks by maintaining seven duck nest boxes, which are utilized by black-bellied whistling ducks every year. The wildlife team also created a butterfly garden in 2007, to provide habitat for valuable pollinator species.

The wildlife team established invasive species management programs for invasive nutria and feral hogs, to reduce the damage to native habitat caused by these species. White-tailed deer populations are also monitored, and populations are reduced to levels recommended by Texas Parks & Wildlife through a bow hunting program.
The Victoria Site continues its joint partnership with the Victoria Independent School District in offering the Wetlands Environmental Education Encounters program to students in grades 4-12. Activities accomplish goals outlined by the Texas Standards for Science and encourage students to use skills such as observation, inquiry and critical thinking. Activities include a nature walk, making animal track casts, plant collection, bird watching, insect collection and wildflower identification. INVISTA employees and local teachers also benefit from educational programs, like workshops and trainings held on the wetlands.

In addition to these successful programs, a college-level curriculum is maintained that assists students in meeting the needs of students' coursework. Future plans at Victoria include hosting a college-level education workshop with local college science educators from Victoria College and the University of Houston - Victoria Campus to develop more in-depth curricula. These will then be used with students during future trips to the wetland.
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