Who is Michael Perez? He is a park naturalist for the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. I recently visited Michael at his office in the Hardwicke Interpretive Center at the FWNC&R to interview him. He had to move a very large telescope (the case alone is almost as large as me) so I could sit down. These are some of the things I asked him:

J: What do you do at the FWNC&R?

M: I teach summer camps for third and fourth graders. I also do outreach programs where I take animals to schools and groups to teach about those animals. I provide articles for the FWNC&R newsletter and schedule of events. I also worked on a long-distance educational program over the Internet that included students from all over, including different parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and even Alberta, Canada! So really I do some work with kids and some administrative work, too.

Joe and FWNC&R naturalist Mike Perez with a baby alligator. Alligators NEVER make good pets. This snappy friend is only used for educational and research purposes.Joe and FWNC&R naturalist Michael Perez with a “snappy” friend. The FWNC&R stresses that alligators do NOT make good pets. This guy is only used for educational and research purposes. The friend is actually a baby alligator. And I know “snappy” is a bad pun. I dont know any that are good.





J: How long have you worked for the FWNC&R?

M: I have worked here for five years. I wanted to worked in Texas and be near my family so working at the FWNC&R was really a nice opportunity for me. I have worked in outdoor education for many years including places like Utah and Georgia. I’ve worked a lot with raptor birds (eagles, hawks and falcons). In Savannah I worked with marine life, too.

J: What’s new at the FWNC&R this summer?

Michael told me that new exhibits are being made for many of the snakes. I saw a lot of terrariums being built and painted while I was there. Michael also said they are working a lot on updating the Hardwicke Interpretive Center. All of this is or will be open to the public too, so be sure to check out the new stuff when you visit.

The last thing I asked Michael was about funding for animal care. He said animal feeding and care is always the most important and expensive thing. The FWNC&R has a private group called “Friends of the FWNC&R” that tries to raise money for the Nature Center. That’s how I try to help, too even if it is only a little bit at a time. If you want to help the FWNC&R you should contact them through the link on this page, or at http://www.fwnaturecenter.org.