RBWI at a Glance


Sunrise over the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, south Texas 

Mission of the Institute

The Rio Bravo Wildlife Institute is committed to providing unique learning experiences focused on inspiring a healthy and sustainable balance that connects people to the natural world, engages and empowers them to positively impact their local environment.

Beyond the Customary
The Rio Bravo Wildlife Institute, by anyone’s standard is a small effective environmental organization.  Our effectiveness can be traced to our “outside-the-box” thinking. Our approach has been to bring about changes in attitudes and behaviors through initiatives and ideas in which individuals from all walks of life and all ages can get involved and see the effect of their actions.  In this way they play an important and influential part in shaping how the environment is perceived, engaged with, and valued across the spectrum of their community. Our high-engagement approach is such that many of the old ways of finding solutions to the conservation and ecological issues of the day are challenged, resulting in a new type of relationship between RBWI and the communities we work in.
As a change agent, we seek to break down the barriers standing in the way of success. We engage in conversations with community members and listen to what they express. Our programs are a response to what we learn. We’re optimistic that the answer to sustainable stewardship lies within the community and that children can play a real role in setting the agenda for leading change.
The degradation of agriculture lands, watersheds and disappearing wildlife habitat has opened discussions to developing food systems that embody principles of health, social justice and sustainability. Urban agriculture may gain new importance in the forms of urban mini-farms, community and backyard gardens which can provide local food production, and help allivate the destruction and degradation of valuable habitat and natural resources.
RBWI is convinced the arts are a powerful medum for communicating the issues, as art crosses all boundaires. A single image is often more powerful in moving people to action than all the scientific information related to an issue. An oil-soaked pelican conveyed the ecological harm in the Gulf of Mexico from the BP spill, better than words, research, or debate ever could. Such an image calls to our hearts and our minds compelling us to act.
Using the arts as a common currency to communicate complex environmental challenges is an untraditional approach to conservation problem solving, but one we’re confident can lead to remarkable results.
Restoring streams, and creeks in a watershed is not only valuable to a watershed, but fun and exciting for young adults.  Constructing rain gardens to catch urban runoff, restoring shorelines, and exploring waterways in kayaks not only helps wildlife and birds but also the human soul.

The Rio Bravo Wildlife Institute is a 501c3 nonprofit, established in 2009 as a Massachusetts state non-profit corporation to inspire positive environmental awareness and action.