Last but certainly not least our last stop was the Trinity River Audubon Center. Dana Wilson, Volunteer Coordinator, was our guide. She gave us a brief history of the project and described how the facility is located along the Trinity River on land that was once a deep woods landfill. The land was a legal landfill then was an illegal landfill and now it’s reclaim land. Some of the features for this building are walls that are made from 60% concrete and 40% fly ash, east Texas bamboo flooring, and a vegetative roof. Also, insulation for the walls are from reduced denim blue jeans, angled glass windows through-out the building to help with birds from crashing into the building. The building also has a 33,000 gallon cistern to help with rainwater collection and some waterless urinals to help conserve water, cradle to cradle furniture, and solar panels to help reduce the need for electricity from the grid. There are a number of hiking trails along the property that make this place so serene.
My first thought of this place was “An oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle known as Dallas County”. Some of the funding for this property was from The City of Dallas, The Meadows Foundation, The Eugene McDermott Foundation, the Boone Family Foundation, Nissan North America, and the Garden Club Committee of the Junior League of Dallas.
John James Audubon was a bird artist and a fanatic of these creatures. This place is a paradise for nature lovers and most importantly bird lovers. As several of the students trekked a hiking trail, we came across a few “footprints”. Some of the interesting conversation was trying to identify the creatures that left their mark via a footprint. The fascinating thing about this facility is that it’s absolutely sustainable in it’s practices but it also connects the past with the future. That connection is preserved through the hiking trails and the scenery that it provides. The oasis from the concrete jungle of a major metropolitan area.