River Bend Nature Center on the edge of Lucy Park is one of Wichita Falls' treasures. With the social restrictions due to coronavirus COVID-19 they've had to close their doors to the public. As those restrictions are eased and we're all cautiously getting outside our homes and back into the world they've found a way to open their doors to you while still keeping you safe. You can schedule a private tour of the River Bend Nature Center facility for up to 10 people.

Here's how it works. You schedule your tour time and get a guided tour of the facility including all of the usual reptiles, fish, birds, rabbits and such that are normally at RBNC. The butterfly conservatory is also on the tour and a representative from River Bend told me that butterflies are on the way and they should be here for the beginning of the tours. After your facility tour you're free to explore the outdoor nature trail unguided and at your own pace.

Tour groups will be limited to 10 or fewer people and visitors and River Bend Nature Center staff must stay six feet apart. All visitors and employees must be symptom and fever-free. Employees at RBNC will be wearing face masks and visitors are kindly requested to do the same. Visitors will need to sanitize their hands when they enter the facility and all surfaces will be regularly cleaned and disinfected between customers.

Right now tours are scheduled from Monday, May 11th, through Sunday, May 17th. It is hoped that restrictions will be eased and by Monday, May 18th, River Bend Nature Center will be able to open at half capacity. That decision will be made as the situation changes and new information becomes available.

River Bend Nature Center members can take the tour without charge and should call the center at 940-767-0843 to make their reservations.

Tour admission for non-members is $5 per person whether you're an adult, child, senior, or military and you can reserve your tour online here.

After weeks of staying home, this sounds like a great outing for your family or even a small group of friends.