Visitor Policies

The mission of the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is to provide education about the natural environment to Houstonians of all ages while acting as an urban wildlife sanctuary for native plants and animals. The Houston Arboretum is a private non-profit educational facility that operates city land.

Because it is a wildlife sanctuary, we ask you to observe the following rules which are in place for the protection and safety of all:

  1. All plants (their leaves, flowers, cones) and all animals (including turtles and snakes) found at the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center are protected. Collection and removal are not allowed.
  2. Trails are designed for hiking only. Jogging, biking, skateboarding, horseback riding and other sport recreation activities are not allowed.
  3. Leave no trace. Littering hurts our wildlife and damages our landscape. Trashcans are located around the building for your convenience. Balloons and confetti pose huge threats to birds, turtles, and other wildlife, and both are strictly prohibited.
  4. There is no picnicking on Houston Arboretum & Nature Center grounds. However, Memorial Park next door is equipped for such activity.
  5. The health of wildlife as well as your safety is jeopardized by feeding native animals. Please do not feed the animals.
  6. For your safety and to reduce environmental impact, stay on designated trails.
  7. Dogs are permitted only if they are controlled by a leash and restrained to trails during their visit. This is as much for the safety of the pet as for the protection of the wildlife. Potential hazards to dogs not controlled by a short leash include snake bites and contact with poison ivy. All City of Houston Ordinances regarding dogs, including clean up of waste, must be followed. Pets should not be left in unattended vehicles.
  8. Increase your chances of seeing wildlife by refraining from making loud noises.
  9. For safety and greater enjoyment, we require that adult sponsors supervise visiting youth groups. At least one adult chaperone per 10 children is required.
  10. No weapons of any kind are permitted on the Arboretum grounds or in our buildings.
Open/Concealed Handgun Policy:

Pursuant to Section 30.07, Penal Code (trespass by a license holder with an openly carried handgun), a person licensed under Subchapter H, Chapter 411, Government Code (handgun licensing law), may not enter this property with a handgun that is carried openly.

Conforme a la sección 30.07 del código penal (traspasar por poseedor con licencia para portar arma de fuego abiertamente) personas con licencia bajo del sub-capitulo H, capitulo 411, codigo de gobierno (ley de portar de armas de fuego), no pueden entrar a esta propiedad portando abiertamente una pistola.

Photography Policy

The Houston Arboretum, at no charge, allows general, everyday pictures of wildlife and people. The pricing below reflects professional photography and non-professional photography for posed occasions. What separates professional from non-professional? If you would like to have a friend or family member take photos for special occasions, and that friend or family will be doing so free of charge, then that would qualify for the non-professional $25. Alternatively, if that friend, family, or hired professional is creating income from the session in question, then that would fall under professional.

  1. Professional Photography requires a one-time fee of $125, or a yearly rate of $150 that comes with a Magnolia Membership.
  2. Non-professional/posed photography requires a one-time fee of $25.

Please note:  Drone photography is not permitted on site. Professional equipment such as lighting kits and props are not permitted under the $25 fee.

Help us keep our trails clean and animals safe! Items such as glitter, confetti, balloons, etc. are not permitted!

*Please see the front desk for details and to sign in before your photography session.  In order to keep you and your guests safe, as well helping to maintain the natural environment enjoyed by all, going off trail is prohibited.

Questions? Please email Christina Spade at or call 713-681-8433

Thank you for abiding by these guidelines for the safety and enjoyment of all.


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