Bethany Foshée, who will report for her first day on the job this week as executive director of the Nature Discovery Center in Bellaire, checks off all the boxes for desirable experience and passion for the job.
A dedicated teacher, naturalist and conservationist with a passion for birding, Foshee has spent two decades in environmental education in the Houston area. She is experienced in critical areas for nonprofit management — community outreach, fundraising, volunteer and project management.
All that “make(s)her uniquely qualified to lead and support the team in igniting lifelong curiosity, understanding, and respect for nature through education,” says Nature Discovery Center Board President Jennifer Nelsen.
Foshée comes to Bellaire from the Houston Audubon Society where she has spent the past 5 ½ years as manager of the Edith L. Moore Sanctuary. For the past 11 years, she’s also served as director of the society’s Docent Guild. Before that, she worked with YES! Prep Public Schools, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Memorial Park Conservancy and the Houston Zoo.
Dedicated to giving Houston urban dwellers exposure to nature, she was founder and director of Escape the Pavement, offering nearby camping and outdoor adventures.
“Growing up in the urban complex of Houston, my earliest experiences in nature included exploring our city’s channeled bayous, vacant lots and utility easements,” Foshée said. “While these settings might not sound picturesque or even truly ‘natural,’ they informed me of one powerful lesson: we are part of nature. ”
She said she is “humbled and excited” to come to the center, which only two years ago completed a two-phase, $1.25 million Gateway Project that overhauled the park and educational facilities. “The Center offers families and children a chance to be present… present to nature around them and to each other… vital joys in life that are often lacking in our modern, urban lives.”
A native of the Houston area, Foshée earned a bachelor of science degree in wildlife biology and a master’s of science in natural resources management and policy, both from Texas A&M.
She succeeds Henry Owen, who left the post last fall to pursue another opportunity in the Hill Country.
Based in part on a news release from the Nature Discovery Center