Since 1987, the Valley Land Fund has worked in partnerships with public organizations, private individuals, and groups in facilitating the protection of over 8,000 acres of South Texas land through gift, purchase or conservation easement. Our conservation projects include:
South Padre Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary
We purchased six residential lots on the island in 1999 for the feeding and resting of neotropicals. In addition to offering habitat protection for migrants, these lots have become a showplace to educate Island residents and visitors in techniques for making their privately owned land “bird friendly” by using native plants and water to attract wildlife.
Five acres of land along a Resaca in the Brownsville area is the site of our Younkman Property. Prized not only for their beauty, resacas team with wildlife including shore birds, fish, turtles and other reptiles. Because of the lack of undeveloped resaca land in the Valley, this property donated to us as a life estate, is a tremendous asset.
As you approach Quinta Mazatlan, your first glimpse of the estate is the stately stone and stucco gates emblazoned with the historical plaque. Within lies the largest existing adobe hacienda in Texas. It’s eight-plus acres interweave sweeping landscaped lawns bordered by tall trees and native woods. Among the many varieties of native flora are exotic birds and domestic wildlife that sound the beginning and end of each day. Owned by the City of McAllen with financial assistance provided by the Valley Land Fund, this important location is a satellite site for the World Birding Center.
In 1997, the Valley Land Fund, the Harlingen Birding Festival and others purchased 40 acres of native brush in Harlingen. This native tract lies along the proposed hiking and biking trail and will be a quality addition to the whole project, thus offering so many the opportunity to enjoy what only Deep South Texas has to offer next to Arroyo Colorado. This habitat will be protected as a “natural area” with a conservation easement from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
Salineno, a small community downriver from Falcon Dam, is the site of a small, world-famous birding hot spot. Winter residents and Valley Land Fund volunteers maintain on-site feeders which attract Mexican and western Valley specialties. Each year these feeders and this stretch of riverbank are visited by thousands of birders seeking to add these unique birds to their life list. This land was given to The Valley Land Fund by local residents who trusted us to best ensure its long-term survival.
Chihuahua Woods Preserve
This preserve has special meaning to VLF as it was our first major fundraising project and the beginning of many successful partnerships in preservation. Owned by the Nature Conservancy of Texas and open to the public, this 243-acre tract lies south of Mission near Business 83 and FM 492, a few miles from Bentsen State Park. It is home to some of the most unique plant life in South Texas.
The first VLF project in 1986, this 4.25-acre tract on Llano Grande Lake is now part of a larger preservation effort owned and managed by Texas Parks & Wildlife. Without VLF’s original purchase, it is doubtful the rest would have happened.
Native Brush Lands
The Valley Land Fund protects wildlife by preserving their natural habitats with conservation easements. Conservation easements can assist landowners in protecting their land with a legal agreement that ensures a property will be managed according to the landowners’ wishes for years into the future. Valley Land Fund holds several conservation easements to help private landowners protect the special qualities of their property.
We hope you will help us protect our natural heritage in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.