The Austin school district is opening a district-wide outdoor learning center this evening next to Pleasant Hill Elementary school in South Austin. The quarter-acre center (PDF) includes 150 species of native plants, 22 habitat sites and a rainwater harvesting system.
Marya Fowler with the National Wildlife Federation says it’s the first of its kind in Central Texas.
“Children today are so disconnected from nature, and when students learn in the outdoors, they tend to be more focused and they tend to grasp concepts a lot more quickly and retain them because the learning is hands-on,” Fowler said.
The habitat cost about $55,000 and was paid for with help from corporate grants and individual donors.