>Today I finally got to see this incredible new Audubon Trinity River Center that opened in South Dallas last week. This place has been in the planning and building phases for half of the last decade, and no doubt has had many bird lovers on the edges of their seats for the last few months, hoping it would meet their expectations.
I can report that it does; with a couple of qualifications. The architecture of the building actually exceeds my incredibly high expectations of what it would look like. In terms of the physical experience of the space, I was blown away. The architects really did their research and did an incredible job of marrying the landscape with the structure, which was no small feat considering the internal dictates of that structure. The multipurpose focus of the Audubon Trinity Center is so complicated in fact that it takes no less than five separate tracts to explain the many programs it is bolding trying to champion within
Despite the shear quantity, I will gladly spend the time to become acquainted with their programs, because I believe that this is the Real Deal. It’s the kind of thing that will turn the minds of many sophisticated residents who so famously enjoy the sounds of their own voices as they whine about how Dallas lacks this or that in terms of cultural or educational sophistication. I can report to them that Dallas is finally on track to becoming World Class when it comes to bird watching as well as nature studies. True, the birds have not really ‘found’ this place yet, but it’s only a matter of time. The location is situated in a prime spot for the many, many species of migrating birds that make their way through the Central American Flyway enroute to Mexico and Central America.
As you exit the wonderful building and take to the trails, things do change. Though the many gravel and sand-paved trails that wind around the grounds are intended to educate about birds, frogs, and fish, there is still very much the aura of serious heavy machinery in the immediate vicinity. Let’s give the place a break however and congratulate them for opening within the actual time frame they stated in their press releases, and be cognizant of the fact that the place is located at least partially on a rather recent landfill. The reuse of the area is such a positive aspect that one simply needs to recognize there’s a time factor in the replenishment of the land, especially in a dry place such as north Texas. Hopefully the many water spigots scattered throughout the area will encourage quicker regrowth the natural Trinity River foliage and thence the natural fauna as well, but surely time is needed. In the meantime, I highly recommend a visit if you only check out the main hall, which is fashioned as a multi-age learning center, replete with fossils, actual tanks with Trinity River animals (like the awesome soft-shell turtle), video clips, and games, like Create a River, and my favorite, the huge 30 foot scale-model of the Dallas downtown shoreline of the Trinity where one can induce a real, water-included-500 year flood and watch as it inundates areas all around downtown. So you weren’t around for the last flood in 1908? No problem. You can watch it recreated in front of your eyes. There were more adults huddled around this amazing model than kids, and they were all mesmerized. It is simply astounding. Go see it yourself. And don’t forget, the kids will probably like it too