Volume 34, Issue 1, Winter 2015

The Original Bat Cave

Another busy season at Bracken includes a visit from a former First Lady

Some 5,000 BCI supporters and members of the public, each hosted by BCI Preserve staff and our many volunteers, came to Bracken Cave this past year to watch the nightly emergence of the Preserve’s 15 million-plus bats. Among these visitors was Former First Lady Laura Bush, who made her first trip to the Cave in June, along with the board of Taking Care of Texas (TCT), a conservation organization she founded. Other visitors to the site in 2014 include:

  • State Representative Lyle Larson, one of Texas’ greatest advocates for conservation, who brought fellow legislators and their staffs and families to the Preserve in July;
  • Trinity University Assistant Professor Jacob Tingle, who brought with him rising high school seniors from the University’s summer pre-college program;
  • Texas State University undergrads, who with Professors Randy Simpson and Sandra West-Moody watched Bracken’s Mexican free tails; and
  • A number of scouts, church groups and others, who camped overnight to watch the equally dramatic early morning return of the bats.

Former First Lady Laura Bush at Bracken Cave with BCI Executive Director Andy Walker and Erin Franz from Taking Care of Texas

BCI’s extraordinary volunteers help make Bracken Cave accessible to the public and do a beautiful job of maintaining our trails and interpretive signage. Thank you for all your efforts and dedication, especially Don and Edith Bergquist and Coco Brennan.

Bracken Cave

To watch a video of the Mexican free tail bats’ nightly emergence from Bracken Cave, and to read more about BCI’s conservation efforts of the Cave and the surrounding Texas Hill Country, visit


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