This exuberant land was formed by the delta of the fourth largest river in the United States, with a tropical forest growing along the banks of the resacas, formed when the river flooded, and probably the same ones that the Spaniard conquistadors were unable to cross when the expedition of Nunez Cabeza de Vaca explored the Rio Grande in 1535. Walking along the banks of the park’s ancient resacas is like taking a tour through history.
Resaca de la Palma State Park is one of three state parks belonging to the World Birding Center (WBC) network of sites dispersed throughout Starr, Hidalgo and Cameron counties, known as the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Resaca de la Palma State Park is the largest of the WBC sites and is located in Brownsville. The park opened to the public in December 2008. Prior to its acquisition in 1977 by TPWD, the land was agricultural.
The WBC is a partnership project of federal, state and local entities dedicated to increasing the appreciation, understanding, and conservation of birds and other wildlife and their habitat. A primary objective of the WBC is to promote the conservation and restoration of native woodland and wetland habitats along the lower Rio Grande. These habitats support diverse flora and fauna, including several endangered species as well as species occurring nowhere else in the United States.
Resaca de la Palma State Park consists of 1,200 acres, of which 65 acres are wetland, 420 acres are ebony-dominated mature woodland, and 720 acres are mesquite-dominated woodland and savannah habitats.