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Prepared by Laura Raegan

Creative Alignment Consulting

We care about what we experience.
Only by interacting with nature do we protect it.

Organization History and Description

South Padre Island is the world’s longest barrier island which is the habitat for 16 wildlife species with federal or state conservation status. South Padre Island id a vital stop at the beginning of the intense migratory journey from northern Central America and Southern Mexico across the Gulf. the wetlands serve as a sanctuary for many types of fowl as well as multiple endangered species. Wildlife and natural habitat sanctuaries are limited in this area, therefore preservation of this land, habitat education, as well as public access to these spaces is paramount.

In 1999, the World Birding Center was founded by Texas Parks and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife and nine Valley Communities including South Padre Island. The South Padre Island Economic Development Corporation (SPI EDC) developed the Birding Center as one of its projects in 2000. By 2001, designing the project was underway and in 2002, the land acquisition was made. In 2005, a local election was held that allowed SPI EDC to allocate monies for the project and the SPI Birding Center formed a 501c3 non-profit organization. The groundbreaking took place in 2007. The Center opened in September 2009.

The South Padre Island Birding Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary consists of 43 acres of wetlands, 3300 linear feet of boardwalks, much needed bird, alligator and butterfly habitat which provide nature experiences for the purpose of environmental education for more than 75,000 people each year. It is open seven days a week.

The SPI Birding Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary provides an abundance of vital resources for environmental education for visitors, residents and school children throughout the year. The Center employees professional naturalists to develop environmental educational programming and carries out critical habitat restoration for the declining Monarch population and migrating birds which flock to the South Texas Coast in the Spring and Fall. Daily programs include, but are not limited to, bird walks, alligator talks and butterfly garden exploration (monarch migration support).

Mission and Vision

South Padre Island Birding Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary (SPI BNC&AS) is a non-profit organization created by the South Padre Island Economic Development Corporation in response to the researched desires of our residents and visitors.

The mission of the South Padre Island Birding Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary is to educate the public about birds of South Padre Island and its environs: the flora, fauna and the natural environment of South Padre Island, the Laguna Madre Coastal area, with an emphasis on conservation and environmental awareness.

The SPI BNC&AS Board of Directors, Executive Officer and Staff envisions a region supporting conservation of the remaining Rio Grande Valley habitat where every resident values and conserves area flora and fauna promoting wildlife protection.

Mission Driven

Our values include but are not limited to  education, creating a sustainable environment, and engaging visitors worldwide in conservation.

We promote education

We provide transformational learning experiences that promote environmentally sustainable action. We work with educators to help them bring their experiences back to the classroom to foster new generations of environmental leaders.

We create a sustainable environment

We provide a demonstration model to businesses and nonprofit organizations for conducting sustainable services. We enable them to implement sustainable policies, processes, and practices that promote environmental responsibility both in and out of the office. We work to sustain wildlife populations and to improve the quality and quantity of habitats and ecosystems.

We engage visitors worldwide in conservation

We have more than 75,000 visitors annually from every continent.


We are a trusted not-for-profit organization. We value:


  • integrity,

  • trustworthiness,

  • transparency,

  • teamwork and

  • accountability

The Strategic
Planning Process

The Board of Directors met in September of 2019 for a retreat to conduct the SWOT analysis , to formulate short and long-term goals for the organization and beginning the planning process for the next action steps. The retreat was facilitated by Laura Reagan of Creative Alignment Consulting who is also responsible for developing this document. Items discussed were board development, resource development, marketing, education programming and facility expansion. Highlights of the discussion and strategic plan follows. It culminates in the RASI action plans in the appendix.

The Board of Directors and executive staff will utilize the strengths of the organization to mitigate the weaknesses, seize the opportunities and prepare for the challenges. Most immediately, the state-of-the-art facility, habitat and naturalists’ knowledge will be used to grow a cadre of supporters that financially contribute and influence community decisions for conservation. Facility and habitat expansion will facilitate mission growth while targeting education programming to diminish identified challenges.

In setting goals, the SPI Birding Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary follows the SMART rule, in that goals set are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound. The following represent goals for 2020.


In setting goals, the SPI Birding Nature Center & Alligator Sanctuary follows the SMART rule, in that goals set are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time Bound. The following represent goals for 2020.

1. Marketing

Conduct a marketing plan which targets key stakeholders with return on investment information to increase individual and corporate donation by 15% by the end of 2020.

Strategy 1 - Develop marketing material first quarter of 2020

Strategy 2 - Schedule marketing calendar specific to distribution channels

Strategy 3 - Implement friend-raiser strategy beginning second quarter of 2020

2. Resource Development

Conduct a comprehensive resource development plan which diversified funding streams through grant and an individual giving campaign which results in a 10% increase in revenues by the end of 2020.


Strategy 1 - Submit competitive grants regularly, beginning first quarter of 2020 utilizing a contact grant writer

Strategy 2 - Form a resource development committee which begins meeting regularly in the first quarter of 2020.

Strategy 3 - Develop individual giving campaign in the first quarter of 2020 holding new friend-raiser events quarterly.

3. Education Plan

Increase the Center’s capacity for environmental education by increasing school outreach


Strategy 1 - Align Center curricula to TEKS

Strategy 2 - Develop mobile exhibits for classroom demonstrations

Strategy 3 - Hire education coordinator for Center and school outreach

Strategy 4 - Increase school outreach by number of visits to classrooms using curricula

Strategy 5 - Increase number of school field trips annually compared to baseline measure.

4. Construction Plan*

Complete feasibility study for Center expansion and determine plan for habitat expansion by the fourth quarter of 2020.


*Strategies for initiating the construction plan will be developed after the results of the feasibility study.


The strategic plan is to be quantified to monitor performance and evaluate results achieved. A Financial Project of revenues and expenses is to be drawn up for the current period and the plan period. Generally, the Board seeks to increase revenue annually by ten percent (10%).

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