Hundreds of people gathered together on a sunny Saturday morning to celebrate the opening of The Pavilion Silos at John Bunker Sands Wetland Center to officially unveil the future legacy of conservation education at this vital environmental resource. Centered in the North Texas Municipal Water District’s 1,840-acre East Fork Wetland Reuse Project, the Wetland Center has welcomed tens of thousands of students and adults since it opened to the public in 2010.
“NTMWD is grateful for the leadership and vision with our partners at The Rosewood Corporation and Wetland Center staff,” shared Jenna Covington NTMWD Executive Director in her remarks. “The research and education available with these new facilities will create a new legacy of leaders in water quality, wildlife management, and wetlands systems.”
This unique and meaningful environmental education and research center was made possible through a public-private partnership between NTMWD and The Rosewood Corporation, whose legacy of water conservation and sustainability extends back many generations. The expansion extends the original vision to provide education, research and conservation opportunities pertaining to water reuse and supply, wetland systems and wildlife habitat. The Pavilion Silos blend into the ranch and wetland environment with sustainable attributes, energy-conscious structures and the flexibility to welcome 120 students on a field study or hundreds of adults for special events.
“The John Bunker Sands Wetland Center vision is to provide the best environmental education programs and conservation awareness in the most unique habitat in North Texas,” said John DeFillipo, Wetland Center Director. “We will continue to strive for sustainable equity for all, welcome diverse background from all walks of life, reach out and welcome underserved populations, and provide cutting edge education and research.”
The NTMWD East Fork wetlands essentially act as a large-scale recycling project, diverting flows from the East Fork of the Trinity River and filtering it naturally before it is pumped 44 miles north to Lavon Lake where it is blended with other water supplies for future treatment and use. In addition to providing this essential reuse water supply to provide for 2+ million growing population in the NTMWD 2,200 square mile service area, the wetlands create a vibrant habitat for wildlife and native plants to thrive which are perfect for education and study.
“The District is proud to be a part of this project and its positive impact on the East Fork Water Reuse Project,” said Covington. “It is an indication of the partnerships and the people who are aligned for a common purpose and speaks to the foundation of the District – regionalism today and tomorrow.”
Enjoy a few images from the event below.