The City of Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation Department held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the official opening of the Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve & Learning Center located at 2446 N. Oso Parkway. The ceremony included city officials, along with agencies and individuals whose generosity contributed to the completion of the facility.

Stacy Talbert Anaya, Interim Parks and Recreation Department Director stated, “We're very passionate about what we do at the Parks and Recreation Department. This is kind of one of those hallmark events that shows that when you believe in the power of play, in the power of the environment, anything's possible.”

Several different entities helped to make the preserve a reality including CITGO Refinery of Corpus Christi. Public Affairs Coordinator for CITGO, Lisa Hinojosa stated that aside from the monetary contributions, several employees also gave their time and effort. “Our employees spent quite a bit of time as volunteers and we will encourage them to come out and enjoy the park,” Hinojosa said. Other partners that assisted in making the preserve a reality include the Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program, Trust for Public Land, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Texas General Land Office, Texas Commission for Environmental Quality, Harte Research Institute, National Park Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Department, and Hogan Homes.

Jose Manuel Cantu is the Oso Preserve Manager and said, “Our goal is to connect people with nature and specifically the ecosystems of Corpus Christi and South Texas. To do so, we're fomenting education and access to nature. I really hope this is going to be one of the premier facilities in the Coastal Bend and having the city backing us is absolutely critical and it's going to make a world of difference."

The Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve & Learning Center is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the parking lot opens from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information about special events or classes, visit the website at www.osopreserve.com or call(361)826-3947.