Conservation Education

Children are taught at a very young age about the food chain, but we have all suddenly forgotten how every living thing is connected in one way or another by the energy transfers that exist in the many food webs of nature. Endangered and extinct species have been increasing since the industrial revolution and these biological losses have effected every ecosystem. Recently more predominant animals, such as bees and species of birds, have slowly began to vanish. Bees and birds are a very important part of the human food chain and there will be extremely negative consequences if these populations are decreased any more than they already are; fortunately there are some working to slow or stop these developments.

The Trinity River Audubon Center is working towards educating visitors about conservation with a hands on approach. At the center patrons can take advantage of guided hikes, adult workshops, nature clubs, outdoor skills programs, yoga, birding classes, academic lectures, field-based education and family learning programs. All of these activities are filled with information on conservation facts and methods. While the Trinity River Audubon Center (TRAC) provides all of these education and conservation initiatives, it also exemplifies and informs in sustainability.

After Dallas Parks Services cleaned up what was once a landfill, the TRAC was built, but with certain specifications. Those designing the property wanted to include sustainable aspects, not only for environmental neutrality, but so that previous problems caused by landfills slowly repair. The center is designed to reduce land deterioration/erosion by implementing ponds and marshes to purify the runoff as it heads for the Trinity River. The materials for infrastructure are all made from a combination of recycled, local or sustainable materials, such as East Texas bamboo floors, recycled cotton sealing tiles, fly ash walls and recycled blue jean insulation. The outside paving is lightly colored to reduce heat island affect and is also permeable and shaded for very minimal upkeep. One way for the center to not effect wildlife and humans all over is to stop consuming water; they were able to accomplish this through water-efficient landscaping, natural growth, rainwater harvesting, low flow everything and a natural septic system that releases all waste underground on the property so that it can naturally be purified by above plant life. Sustainable solutions at the TRAC also include daylighting windows, solar powered parking lots and efficient heating/cooling/electric systems. Workshops on sustainability are also offered at the TRAC along with the many other educational programs.

Trinity River Audubon Center exemplifies equilibrium sustainability by conducting successful business, educating communities and efficiently designing and running a building that is rejuvenating the environment around it. Conservation plays a role in sustainability, because if organisms on this planet cease to exist, then the food chain slowly breaks and we humans cease to exist or exist in a sustainable manner. The effect of losing birds can be compared with the loss of bees we are experiencing now and how the world is slowly realizing how essential every small animal is. As humans spread out, territory for nature to thrive is lost, the Trinity River Audubon Center is at the forefront of this fight and they are doing an amazing job.



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