Texas Nature Traders

Texas Nature Traders


Texas Nature Traders logo

Located in Texas Wild! near the wishing well, this building is the home base for many Texas-based education programs, primarily the Zoo’s Texas Nature Traders. This formalized program encourages kids of all ages (including adults still young at heart) to explore the outdoors and bring to the building fossils, rocks, bones, plants and other artifacts in exchange for points. Traders can redeem points (or save them for future use) for items in the Nature Trader inventory. While exploration is encouraged in many areas, the Zoo’s program will concentrate on native Texas nature items. 

TNT is open for in-person trades! 


How It Works

Find a natural item that interests you or about which you would like to know more. Learn all you can about your item.
Bring your item to Texas Nature Traders at the Fort Worth Zoo and share what you know about your item with our staff.
Earn points for your item and for your knowledge about the item.Trade your points for something in our collection or save them for later.

Earn PointsFort Worth Zoo animal artifacts exhibit

Knowledge – Share interesting facts about your item.
Quality – Your item must be clean and in good condition.
Effort – Research and learn as much as you can about your item.

Texas Nature Traders Guidelines
  • Kids of all ages (including adults still young at heart) can become a Texas Nature Trader.
  • Children may trade up to four items per visit. One “item” can be a collection of five or more like items (such as five pine cones, five sticks, etc.).
  • Siblings or friends cannot split points – each trade in and out must be done by one individual.

Items for Trading
What We Want: What We Can't Trade:
  • Antlers, horns teeth and claws
  • Items found on Zoo grounds
  • Beach-combed (non-harvested) coral
  • Items from state and national parks
  • Fossils
  • Arrowheads or Native American artifact
  • Snake sheds (found in nature)
  • Intentionally killed vertebrates
  • Casts of animal footprints
  • Dried seahorses
  • Clean shells (except bird bones)
  • Mounted vertebrates
  • Dry sand
  • Purchased items
  • Rocks and minerals
  • Bird materials of any kind (feathers, eggs, nests, etc.)
  • Clean bones
  • Living plants and animals
  • Deceased insects (spiders, butterflies, etc.)
  • Cave materials
  • Nature journals (printed photos, art, stories)
  • Freshwater mussel shells
  • Pinecones, nuts, seeds and seed pods
  • Materials from the family pet (domestic snake shed, etc.)
  • Petrified wood
  • Roadkill or similarly “gross” items (No dead animals. Insects are OK.)

Register for Texas Nature Traders


Texas Nature Traders now offers more ways to earn points! Quests can be completed at home, at the Zoo and inside the Texas Nature Traders building. Click on the links below to view the available Quests. You can download and print copies at home or visit us at the Texas Nature Traders building.

At-Home Quests
Fort Worth Zoo Quests

For more information, contact the education department:
Fort Worth Zoo
1989 Colonial Parkway
Fort Worth, TX 76110
phone: 817-759-7200
fax: 817-759-7201
email: txnaturetraders@fortworthzoo.org