Wrangling the best in Texas conservation efforts
How the Texan By Nature Conservation Wrangler program uplifts natural resource projects statewide
Proven impact. Quality of life. Economic growth. Benefit to natural resources.
These are all part of the criteria that conservation projects submitted to the Texan By Nature Conservation Wrangler program are measured against when determining support from the statewide natural resource champions.
But rather than sending funds to selected non-profits and calling it a day, Texan By Nature commits time, resources and expertise to help amplify conservation efforts for up to 18 months after selecting a given project.
“We receive project applications from all over Texas,” says Jenny Burden, program manager at Texan By Nature. “What we’re looking for is a positive impact on people, prosperity and natural resources.”
Each year, six conservation projects are chosen by Texan By Nature to apply a variety of services to help achieve its goals. Support can come in the form of community outreach, design, marketing and fundraising, to name a few.
“We know what it’s like to run a lean team, so we help to fill any gap that an organization needs to make the biggest impact,” says Burden.
Founded in 2011 by former First Lady Laura Bush, Texan By Nature works to unite conservation and business leaders who believe the state’s prosperity depends on natural resource conservation. The Conservation Wrangler program is just one of many efforts by the organization to make the case for natural resource promotion and protection as part of a sustainable business model.
Enbridge sponsored the 2020 Conservation Wrangler program with a $50,000 donation, as part of our commitment to sustainability—helping to meet North America’s growing energy needs in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible.
The funding helps cover the services, staff time and research required to support the selected projects each year.
Previously, Enbridge supported Texan By Nature with its 2018 Conservation Wrangler summit, as well as the Friends of RGV Reef project, selected for the program in 2019.
“Enbridge has stepped up for Texan By Nature in a number of ways over the past few years,” says Burden.
Like all organizations this year, the global pandemic forced some changes within the day-to-day activities of the Conservation Wrangler program, but Burden believes Texan By Nature was luckier than most.
“Texan by Nature has worked hard to make sure conservation is still seen as a wise investment, especially as funding organizations make necessary pivots to address immediate needs such as pandemic-driven food insecurity,” says Burden. “The outdoors and mental health have played critical roles during 2020, and will continue growing in importance, and our job is to ensure Texan by Nature and our conservation partners are communicating this importance to funders and supporters, ensuring a bright future for our natural resources.”
As recovery begins around the world, the value proposition of conservation investment will continue to gain recognition. In the meantime, the applications for the 2021 Conservation Wrangler program are now open.
“We’ve seen these lightbulb moments from people who are traditionally very staunchly opposed as either environmentalists or businesspersons, and it’s great to see them realize there’s a lot more common ground than they thought,” said Burden.
(TOP PHOTO: The Texan By Nature Conservation Wrangler program supports Respect Big Bend, a partnership to conserve far west Texas.)
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