While visiting the Trinity River Audubon Center website and looking at the pictures of the majestic oasis of fields and flowers, it was hard for me to comprehend that this type of nature wonderland existed so close to the big city of Dallas. After spending a Saturday there with my two youngest kids, I questioned myself what took me so long to go?
If you are a nature lover, want to get your kids out of the city for a bit, or just need a quiet place for “Me Time,” this is your answer. The area includes bottom-land hardwood forest, wetlands, river, and prairie habitats. You can choose from a variety of trails and experience many different kinds of nature along the way.
As fun as it is for my kids to expend their energy outside in our neighborhood, either by riding bikes, scooters or playing ball, I encourage you as a parent to take them out and experience nature. It brings a type of engaging slow-down that keeps your child’s mind alert while he experiences new things, but also serves as a force of physical stimulation as he walks and climbs to explore new and great discoveries.
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The center offers many different programs suitable for all ages. The workshop that I’ll be signing us up for is the “Discover Together Workshop.” You get to choose the date for a two hour workshop of your choice. Choose from Hiking, Beginning Bird Watching, Nature Journaling, Survival Skills & Building an A-frame Shelter and Camping Basics 8 “Leave No Trace.”
The Trinity River Audubon Center is heralded as the first LEED-certified Dallas Park and Recreation Department project. An interesting fact: this project was built on top of 1.5 million tons of illegally dumped construction debris. The waste was consolidated to form rolling hills and tall prairie grass and hardwood trees were planted. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a certification program formed to accelerate the development practices of green building and design.
Be sure to spend time inside the facility. My kids were entranced with the hands-on displays. Turn on water faucets and watch how “rivers” affect the layout of the land. Push buttons and watch how rivers run through a miniature city of Dallas. After hiking the trails, take a break and enjoy viewing a large outdoor fish tank, while your kids dig in a huge sandpit! My kids could’ve spent hours digging and playing. Then take a peaceful visit to their butterfly garden. Another successful day trip with my kids! It’s an easy drive through the big city of Dallas to reach the quiet and tranquility of a nature preserve such as this. My son made a friend with a turtle, my daughter found a fairytale world of butterflies.