Roving Reporter | "Coffee With Connie: Enjoying the Connie Hagar Cottage Sanctuary" | Article and 10 Photos by Jeanette Larson

A golden-fronted woodpecker was released from rehabilitation
About 112 people came out on Saturday morning, May 27, to have a cup of coffee and donuts with the Friends of Connie Hagar and other organizations. The festivities were part of the dedication that began the previous day with dignitaries and supporters honoring the renovations and expansion that has been completed. Glenn Gomez, with the Friends of Connie Hagar, said that the project began in 2014 with an agreement to bring the cottage sanctuary into the Aransas Pathways network. The Friends of Connie Hagar raised $70,000 for the work, which included removal of invasive species of plants, planting new gardens, and adding 1,300 feet of trails.

In 1994 the land, which is the original site of the Rockport Cottages owned by Connie and Jack Hagar, was acquired and in 1995 it was dedicated, with pre-eminent American naturalist Tory Peterson as the keynote speaker. The Sanctuary was the first dedicated site on the Texas Coastal Birding Trail and was the first of this type of sanctuary, called a pocket sanctuary, on the coastal bend. Plans call for the addition of a pavilion on the concrete pad that was the site of one of the original cottages. The pavilion will mimic the original outline of the cottage and allow visitors to imagine how Connie Hagar saw the land.

Vickie Merchant answered history questions
The restoration and expansion was supported by Aransas County, the Friends of Connie Hagar, Mid-Coast Texas Master Naturalist, Aransas/San Patricio Master Gardeners, the Aransas County History Center, and many others. For Coffee with Connie artists and nature groups had exhibits and talked about their work to support our community and its history and nature. The Aransas County History Center is assisting in adding additional interpretive signage for the property. The Sanctuary is located at 1491 S. Church St., the corner of Church Street and 1st Street. It is open daily until dusk and encompasses 6.25 acres of oak mott and coastal prairie habitat. - Jeanette Larson

Local artists shared their talents
Enjoying the gardens
"Meeting" Connie Hagar
Rachael Diaz, Wings Rescue Center, shows how to feed a young starling

The Friends of Connie Hagar shared information about the sanctuary

Josiah Messinger, 8 years old, feeds baby sparrows for Wings Rescue Center


Jeanette Larson is a retired librarian and author. She and her husband, retired architect and artist Jim Larson, moved to Rockport several years ago for the birds, the beach, and the coastal community.

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