Old Illegal Dump Site Becomes Nature Haven, Educational Resource

Old Illegal Dump Site Becomes Nature Haven, Educational Resource

Michele Berger
Published: 10/06/2009


Bird blind at Trinity River Audubon Center
(Photo: Ben Jones, Trinity River Audubon Director of Education)

Where the Trinity River Audubon Center now sits used to hold trash—construction waste, household garbage—dumped there illegally, paid no mind by anyone. But 11 years ago, city residents voted for a $250 million program to revitalize the river and its surroundings, including North America’s largest urban bottomland hardwood forest. The Trinity River Audubon Center, about to celebrate its one-year anniversary, was one of the first program initiatives completed.

It’s now a natural haven and educational resource for area schools, where teachers bring their students to learn. Exposure to this new outdoor classroom has even resulted in higher test scores for some schools. In the September-October Audubon, freelance writer Alexa Schirtzinger describes this inspiring transformation.