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I was at the Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council (GINTC) annual meeting last week. This non-profit, community- based volunteer organization sponsors, supports and develops nature-based educational and recreational activities.They help to promote the value of natural habitats and resources in the Galveston area increasing the quality of life for all its residences as well as encouraging the rise in eco tourism. Which of course exposes more folks to our Island, Bolivar and the entire county hopefully bringing new homeowners.
Among the many awards presented, The Partnership Award was presented to Greg Whittaker and Moody Gardens. As most know, Moody Gardens is a public, nonprofit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation and research. It is funded through the generosity of The Moody Foundation of Galveston.
“Generosity” is a great word to describe Moody Gardens. Not only have they provided volunteers and financial support as a corporate member and sponsor of events for an incredible array of other organizations and causes, they have been a wonderful benefactor of GINTC. Diane Olsen, a longtime Moody Gardens employee, has been the president of GINTC since 2011 providing leadership and vison to make GINTC such a valuable organization.
This is a great thing about Galveston, corporations working in partnership with nonproits making both better and stronger. I think Dianne has had two full-time positions (one volunteer these last four years).
This multi-faceted attraction encompassing 242 acres in a subtropical environment on Galveston Island, along with two unique therapy programs, are all part of the vision that is Moody Gardens, established by the Moody Foundation in 1982. It has grown to be the Houston area’s number one tourist attraction and family destination — a fun-illed, educational destination.
Through the years and addition of many attractions, Moody Gardens has continued to focus on education and research, working to inspire young people to protect their environment, and to assist researchers in the arenas of medicine and entomology. An estimated 20,000 plants and trees have been carefully planted to relect seasonal varieties and a veritable rainbow of hues throughout the year.
With school in the near future, it seems to me now is a great time to visit Moody Gardens. Besides all the fun the kids will have they will also be learning, although maybe don’t tell them that! It’s what makes Moody Gardens so successful in my opinion, fun events that teach. While there, make sure to check out the Learning Place, an educational center offering a wide variety of opportunities for children of all ages such as day and overnight camps and Boy Scout merit badge days.
Another beneit is that educators will thank you as the kids will not suffer the usual summer’s brain drain when they hit the books, they have had a tune up!
To learn more and see upcoming events, www.MoodyGardens.com. To ind out more about GINTC visit www.GalvestonNatureTourism.org. Two more reasons why those of us lucky enough to live by the sea are lucky enough.