DEA Meeting: Guest Speaker, Dick Davis, Texas Discovery Gardens

Michael Bosco introduced our guest speaker, Dick Davis.  Michael was fortunate to be part of the team that hired Dick as the Executive Director for the Texas Discovery Gardens.  Prior to that, Dick worked for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation where he raised $35 million and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.  He has been a professor at 2 different universities and worked for many non-profits.

Dick said that Michael is the board chairman every non-profit wishes it had!  People like you are the kind of people who need to be on non-profit boards!  Ask yourselves: “when you are not at work, what is your passion?”  There is probably a non-profit close by that could use your expertise and passion.

Dick has two degrees in journalism and has been the Executive Director for 7 different non-profits.  Social entrepreneur-ism is what Dick does:  relationship business, working together, whatever the cause.

Texas Discovery Gardens has been at Fair Park for 77 years!  Their mission is to help children and adults discover and learn how to sustain the natural world!  Their vision is for every visitor to leave with the knowledge and desire to emulate their sustainable practices at home.  They bring kids from urban environments, under-served communities, and introduce them to nature.

Texas Discovery Gardens has 7.5 acres of native gardens containing the state’s largest indoor, tropical butterfly house, Discovery Gallery, Snakes of Texas Exhibit, Natural Learning Center, Honeybee Tree, and Life in the Garden exhibit.  Their annual reach includes 100,000 people, 800 volunteers, 1,054 members and they educate 10,000 students each year.  They are a popular wedding venue, the second most popular venue in Dallas!  The Grand Hall can accommodate up to 300 people and they allow outside catering.  The Canopy Room can hold 20-30 people with butterflies floating by!  They have 14 themed gardens and are building a playscape that allows kids to work up a sweat and take some risks.  The best time of year to visit is March – early November when native plants are in bloom.  Butterflies are “solar powered”, so they are more active on a sunny day!

Texas Discovery Gardens is open daily, 10am – 5pm and they have “Pay-What-You-Wish Tuesdays”.  Check them out at or email Dick at  Come visit and consider telling them how they can be better!   Come see how you might like to be involved as a volunteer or on their board!  We have an oasis in Dallas with the opportunity to take care of it and share it with others!

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