Answers to FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions
Foot-travel trails
Keep the experience intimate with nature

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Is there an entrance fee?

We don't charge for admission, but we appreciate donations. You can make a donation here or drop one in the box at the Merritt Pavilion at The Preserve's entrance.

Why should I check-in?

When you choose to check-in you allow us to better serve the public and better inform funders of our impact. After you park and enter the pavilion you will see a check-in station to your left with QR check-in signs. Most devices have an automatic QR scanner in your phone's camera. If your device does not, you can also download a QR scanner from your app store. If neither of these solutions work for you, you may click the following link to check-in. Thank you for your support.

What is there to do at The Preserve?

The preserve has a primary walking trail that's a little over a mile, it loops around the playa lake. There are many areas to explore including the butterfly garden and outdoor classroom. While you discover all the preserve has to offer, consider documenting your experience using our iNaturalist project. You can also participate in our education and wellness programs or sign up to be a volunteer. You can also check our calendar for an upcoming events. For a full list of preserve programs and activities visit our Things To Do page.

I found an abandoned or wounded wild animal. Can the preserve take it in?

The Preserve currently does not have the capacity for wild animal care or rehabilitation. The animal will be best cared for by contacting a local veterinarian or nearby wildlife rehabilitation center.

Visit City of Midland Animal Services for more information on what to do when you encounter an abandoned or wounded animal.

Are dogs allowed?

For the safety of visitors, wildlife, and your pets we ask that you leave your pets at home. The presence of dogs at The preserve can result in undue stress to the wildlife, and if that doesn't motivate you to leave your pup at home - please note that rattlesnakes are present at The Preserve and the venom from their bite can be fatal to your pet.

Service animals are allowed, an outfitted animal is appreciated but not required.

Can I bring food to The Preserve?

A trail snack is acceptable, please make sure to properly dispose of the waste and be mindful not to leave crumbs or food behind. Picnics are not allowed. Your cooperation will help us keep the preserve clean and safe for visitors and wildlife.

Is there fishing at The Preserve?

Playa Lakes are ephemeral wetlands that are not well suited for fishing. At The Preserve we focus on the conservation of wildlife and the preservation of their habitats, we ask that you do not fish.

Can I bring my bicycle to The Preserve?

To better share the trails with all visitors and to keep wildlife safe, we ask that you leave your bikes at home.

Is The Preserve accessible for all needs?

The Preserve was designed in compliance with ADA standards. We perform routine maintenance, it is possible for a trail to become temporarily inaccessible due to fallen branches or erosion. If you notice an inaccessible trail please contact us here, so we can work to correct it.

When is The Preserve open?

The Preserve's operational hours are seasonal, aligned with daylight hours, and subject to change due to events such as weather, maintenance, and education groups. Please check our socials and calendar page for temporary closures, and check back here regularly for updates to our operational hours. Our gates are managed by our dedicated volunteers and we ask that you plan to leave the preserve 15 minutes before closing.

Seasonal Hours of Operation
8:00 am - 8:00 pm
Tuesday - Sunday (Closed Mondays)