This month, migrating birds won’t be the only new arrivals to the Trinity River Audubon Center. Its permanent (human) occupants are moving in and readying the center for its October opening. A collaboration between the city and Audubon Texas six years in the making, the TRAC “fits with our goal to connect urban areas with nature, because of where the center is located,” says Anne Brown, state director for Audubon Texas.
Brown hopes the 120-acre site, which includes four miles of trails, draws more birders to Dallas, given the increasing popularity of the hobby. But they aren’t the only visitors that interest Brown. For the past three years, Audubon Texas has been working to develop field-based science curricula for visiting kids from local schools. This includes programs on ecology, habitat study, and conservation. “We really focus on getting kids outside and giving them a living lab to work in,” she says.
Beyond that, the building itself is LEED-certified, which is causing a shift in perception. “People throughout the state are looking at Dallas in a new way,” Brown says, adding that agencies statewide are beginning to see Dallas as a model of conservation. Now that’s something to crow about.