Texas Nature Traders

Texas Nature Traders


Located in Texas Wild! near the wishing well, the Zoo’s newest building is the home base for many Texas-based education programs, primarily the Zoo’s latest offering, Texas Nature Traders. This formalized program encourages kids (age 3 and older) 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. Texas Nature Traders operates seven days a week, opening at 11 a.m. and closing one hour before the Zoo closes. Stop by to look around, ask questions and become a nature trader!


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.

You Can Earn Points For:

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

  • Children must be at least 3 years old to become a Texas Nature Trader.
  • Children may trade up to two items in one 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.

What We Want:

  • Antlers, teeth and claws
  • Beach-combed (non-harvested) coral
  • Fossils
  • Snake sheds (found in nature)
  • Casts of animal footprints
  • Clean shells (except bird bones)
  • Dry sand
  • Rocks and minerals
  • Clean bones
  • Deceased insects (spiders, butterflies, etc.)
  • Nature journals (printed photos, art, stories)
  • Pinecones, nuts, seeds and seed pods
  • Petrified wood

What We Can’t Trade

  • Items from state and national parks

  • Arrowheads or Native American artifacts

  • Intentionally killed vertebrates
Dried seahorses
Mounted vertebrates

  • Purchased items

  • Items found on Zoo grounds

  • Bird materials of any kind (feathers, eggs, nests, etc.)

  • Living plants and animals

  • Cave materials

  • Freshwater mussel shells

  • Materials from the family pet (domestic snake shed, etc.)

  • Roadkill or similarly “gross” items (No dead animals. Insects are OK.)


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

Question of the Week

Check out the Fort Worth Zoo’s Twitter feed every Monday at 11 a.m. for the Texas Nature Traders Question of the Week (#TNTQW). You must answer the question correctly in person at Texas Nature Traders in order to receive five points.

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