Places We Protect

Brazos Woods Preserve


Live oak trees covered in moss.
Brazos Woods This preserve protects key habitat in the heart of the Columbia Bottomlands. © Jerod Foster

Situated on the Brazos River, the Brazos Woods Preserve is an ecological gem in the heart of the Columbia Bottomlands.



Nested within one of the most ecologically rich expanses in Texas, Brazos Woods Preserve comprises 681 acres of lush, old-growth forests and wetlands known as the Columbia Bottomlands. Once spanning 700,000 acres, today less than 25% of the original Columbia Bottomlands forests remain. At Brazos Woods Preserve, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is safeguarding a slice of this “globally imperiled” habitat for wildlife and nature lovers alike. Situated just 60 miles southwest of Houston, the preserve feels a million miles away and offers visitors a chance to relax, get outdoors and connect to nature.



Visitation is by appointment only outside of scheduled events/volunteer opportunities


681 acres

Explore our work in Texas

A tree covered in moss hangs over a pond.
KEY HABITAT TNC's Brazos Woods Preserve is a vital location for millions of birds to feed and rest as they migrate. © R.J. Hinkle

Why This Place Matters

Urbanization and development continue to threaten this region and jeopardize the millions of migratory songbirds that use the Columbia Bottomlands as critically important resting, feeding and stopover habitat. Radar evidence indicates that as many as 29 million birds from 237 species move through the Columbia Bottomlands annually. In total, the Columbia Bottomlands provides vital habitat and protection for over 400 wildlife species.

Additionally, the region encompasses the lower portions of the Colorado, San Bernard, Brazos rivers and their major tributaries, which provide freshwater to more than one million people and critical inflows to the Gulf of Mexico. That freshwater flows into Gulf bays and estuaries, nourishing shrimp, crab, oyster and other marine species and helping to ensure a healthy Texas coastline.

Photos from Brazos Woods Preserve

Discover the diverse plant life and wildlife at this hardwood forest and coastal wetland preserve.

A field with tallgrass with white feathery tips meets a treeline.
A Monarch butterfly with orange, black and white wings sits on a fuzzy, yellow flower.
A large live oak tree with weeping branches covered in moss in a field.
A woman in a hat paddles in a yellow kayak along a tree lined river.
Several large, sprawling trees with thick branches grow in a field.
Dense trees line the edge of a flowing river.
A sunburst peaks through a dense stand of trees draped with moss in a flowering field.
A man speaks to a group of 6 women in a green clearing surrounded by trees.
A lime green treefrog camouflages itself on a green leaf.
A  flock of birds flies over the languid blue waters of a pond at sunset.
A woman and man crouch in green grass reviewing a map.
Protecting Land and Water TNC and its partners have set an initial goal to protect at least 70,000 acres of land in the region. At present, we've safeguarded nearly 40,000 acres and counting. © Jerod Foster

What TNC Is Doing

For years, TNC has assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and other entities in safeguarding nearly 40,000 acres throughout this region. In 2016, an $8 million contribution from BHP helped establish Brazos Woods Preserve and the neighboring 1,656-acre San Bernard Woods Preserve in the largest infusion of private conservation funding in the Columbia Bottomlands to date.

With this support, TNC continues to restore and preserve one of Texas’ most treasured ecological gems, all while improving water quality for the region, protecting habitat for fish and wildlife and enhancing the community’s access to nature.


  • Visitation is limited to volunteer workdays and various special events throughout the calendar year. An appointment is needed for visits outside of these organized events. For more information, contact preserve manager Aaron Tjelmeland (atjelmeland@TNC.ORG).

  • View a map of our protected properties and preserves in the Columbia Bottomlands, including Brazos Woods Preserve.