Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

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Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
A photo of an altamira oriole at a feeder with other birds in Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
An Altamira oriole at a feeder in Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
A map of Texas showing the location of Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
A map of Texas showing the location of Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park
Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley
LocationHidalgo County, Texas, United States
Nearest cityMission
Coordinates26°10′23″N 98°22′57″W / 26.17306°N 98.38250°W / 26.17306; -98.38250Coordinates: 26°10′23″N 98°22′57″W / 26.17306°N 98.38250°W / 26.17306; -98.38250[1]
Area764 acres (309 ha)
EstablishedJanuary 28, 1944
Visitors52,337[2] (in 2007)
Governing bodyTexas Parks and Wildlife Department

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park is located at 2800 S. Bentsen Palm Drive (FM 2062) south of the city of Mission in Hidalgo County in the U.S. state of Texas. It serves as the headquarters for the World Birding Center.


The park had its beginnings on January 28, 1944, when the parents of Senator Lloyd Bentsen, Lloyd M. Bentsen Sr. and his wife Edna Ruth Bentsen, along with Elmer and Marie Bentsen, donated 586 acres (237 ha) of land to the State Parks Board for a nature habitat.[3] The park currently encompasses 764 acres (309 ha)[4]

The park has become a prime area for bird watching and butterfly watching. When the Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park became the headquarters[5] of the World Birding Center's network of nine sites in 2004, vehicular traffic was banned and RV camping was no longer allowed in the park. The other sites, all located in south Texas, include Edinburg Scenic Wetlands;[6] Harlingen Arroyo Colorado, Resaca de la Palma State Park, Roma Bluffs, Quinta Mazatlan, Old Hidalgo Pumphouse Nature Park, Estero Llano Grande State Park, South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. More than 325 species of birds, and more than 250 species of butterflies have been noted in the Bentsen park.[7] The park is popular to butterfly watchers.[8] The North American Butterfly Association[9] operates the National Butterfly Center adjacent to the park.[10]

Facilities, hours, admission[edit]

Entrance fee[7]

The park is open year-round. Park tram available[7]

Y Cafe, Texas State Parks Store[7]

Exhibits, hiking trail, cycling, birdwatching, butterfly watching, picnicking, tent camping, meeting facilities[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  2. ^ "Texas State Parks: Natural Economic Assets". Window on State Government. Archived from the original on January 7, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  3. ^ "THC Bentsen Rio Grande". Texas Historical Commission. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  4. ^ Behrens, Tom (2009). Camping Texas: A Comprehensive Guide to More Than 200 Campgrounds. Globe Pequot Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-0-7627-4605-7.
  5. ^ Parent, Laurence (2008). Official Guide to Texas State Parks and Historic Sites: Revised Edition. University of Texas Press. pp. 170, 171. ISBN 978-0-292-71726-8.
  6. ^ Carville, D. J. (June 2003). "Edinburg launches the first site of the World Birding Center". Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine.
  7. ^ a b c d e Combs, Susan. "State Park Profiles". Window on State Government. State of Texas. Archived from the original on 20 February 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2012.
  8. ^ Bahamón, Alejandro; Campello, Alex; Pérez, Patricia (2008). Inspired by Nature: Plants: The Building/Botany Connection. W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-393-73251-1.
  9. ^ "North American Butterfly Association". Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
  10. ^ "National Butterfly Center". National Butterfly Association. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2012.

External links[edit]