Mad Island

Clive Runnells Family Mad Island March Preserve

The preserve is situated on West Matagorda Bay off FM 1095 in Matagorda County, southeast of Collegeport. Clive Runnells Family Mad Island Marsh Preserve is a Mid-Coast TMN partner – volunteer activities are approved for TMN hours. For access to the Mad Island Preserve, see the TNC website for contact information.

Mad Island Volunteer Workdays

Workdays are held monthly on Saturday and begin at 9 am. Social time and a potluck dinner follow the work. Lodging is available for overnight stay & enjoyment of the grounds on Sunday. Work activities may include vegetation monitoring, bird surveys, transplanting cord grass to mitigate erosion along the Intracoastal waterway, or removal of invasive species such as Chinese tallow and deep-rooted sedge, as well as range management and facility improvement projects. Dates are subject to change based on facility needs/conflicts. Call volunteer coordinator Brigid Berger  at 713-825-1929 or check your roster and email her for more information or to attend these volunteer workdays.

2015 Workdays

  • January 17
  • February 14
  • March 21
  • April 18
  • May 16

2015 Mad Island Christmas Bird Count

Monday 12/14/2015 — Contact Brigid for more information.


Map to Mad Island

Warning: Google Maps & Mapquest do not provide accurate directions to The Nature Conservancy’s Clive Runnells Family Mad Island Marsh Preserve.

From Port Lavaca, travel north on TX 35 through Palacios (Note: TX 35 makes a sharp left curve in Palacios). Approximately 5 miles from Palacios, turn right onto 521. Proceed 5.2 miles on 521 (you’ll cross the Tres Palacios River) to the intersection of FM 1095 at the old Tin Top store. Turn right onto 1095 and travel 4.3 miles. Past the sharp right curve, turn left onto CR 378/Brazos Tower Road. (There is a gray house on the right corner and a brown “Mad Island” sign directly across the intersection). Travel 3 miles on CR 378/Brazos Tower past a sharp right curve. At the next intersection past this curve, turn left onto the dirt road CR 374/AP Ranch Road. There is a Mad Island Wildlife Management Area sign at this intersection. (Note this road is also labeled Franzen Road/373). After turning left onto CR 374, go straight 1.6 miles on this dirt road until it dead-ends at the Mad Island gate. Open the gate and be sure to close it behind you.

Once inside the gate, go straight on this dirt road for 2 miles—do not take the left hand turn to the MI Wildlife Management Area. You will go past a small farm house & a workshop building, a second small dilapidated house, and then through a slough area. Proceed through the prairie/pastures/fields for another mile. Turn right at the Headquarters sign on the right. You will cross another slough area (on warm sunny days, say “Hi” to the alligator). There will be a small intersection where you will have a gate in front of you and no choice but to curve left. Proceed left and travel until this road deadends at the 2-story Lodge building.

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