On April 27th, 2023, Anchor Construction participated in a ceremony to honor Bill Meadows and his legacy of conservation across North Texas and the unveiling of new bison viewing decks at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge. This exciting project, sponsored by Anchor Construction, the Ryan Foundation, H-E-B, and Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, started being planned for in October 2020, and construction was completed late last year.
The Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge in Texas is home to a herd of 19 bison, a breed once on the brink of extinction and plays a crucial role in the local ecosystem. As grazing animals, they help shape the prairie landscape and stimulate plant growth, providing habitat and food for other wildlife species. The herd is the only one of its kind in North Texas.
The Nature Center, along with the Friends, developed the idea of the raised decks to create a space for visitors and school groups to view the bison eight months out of the year. The viewing period of the bison was previously limited due to the line-of-sight issues and the herd needing to be rotated through the five pastures to ensure the land remains a healthy ecosystem for all its inhabitants.
Anchor contributed to the project by donating money, designing, and constructing the new ADA-compliant parking lot and two elevated decks, one 5 feet tall and 160 sq. feet and the other 14 feet tall and 780 sq. feet. Although it was an out-of-the-ordinary project for Anchor, Josh Jacka, a Senior Project Manager, led the design and construction efforts in coordination with the Friends and Nature Center. Through Anchor’s design-build approach and careful consideration of preserving nature through the construction, the deck layout was modified to avoid knocking down larger trees.
Jacka was called to the stage during the ceremony to accept an award on behalf of Anchor Construction for their contribution to the project. Haily Summerford and Will Rodgers, on behalf of the Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, presented Jacka with a painting titled “Buffalo Boogie” by artist B. Hassell and a book titled “Bison a Portrait of an Icon.”
Overall, the addition of the new observation decks at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge is a welcome development for both conservationists and visitors alike, and Anchor is honored to have brought the project to life.