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08 July . 2016

Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center teaches kids a lifelong love of nature

Located near Sweetwater, the Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center is dedicated to inspiring people to develop a lifelong practice of enjoying and protecting nature through educational programs, collaborative alliances, and conservation of its beautiful 75-acre preserve.

The preserve is open from Tuesday through Sunday.

In the Uplands, rustic hiking trails wind through a dynamic live oak and Ashe juniper savanna, which provides essential habitat to a variety of wildlife. Visitors can enjoy bird watching, solitude and the sounds of nature, animal tracks, wildlife sightings, and pristine views of the surrounding Texas Hill Country. A cabin dating back to the early 1900s is just off the trail.

On weekends, guided tours take visitors from an arid savanna through a limestone crevice into a sheltered canyon of lush plant life. At the head of the canyon stands Westcave, with a stunning 40-foot waterfall replenishing the emerald pool below. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Warren Skaaren Environmental Learning Center (ELC) functions as a visitor center and also provides classroom space for public and school programs. A model of sustainable design, the building includes ground-source heating and cooling, a solar energy panel, and a rainwater harvesting system.

Integrated exhibits at the ELC illustrate how the forces and cycles of nature have interacted to create and sustain this unique sanctuary. The ancient elements of earth, water, air and fire are used to explain Westcave's geology, water, weather, and energy, along with their connection to the preserve's plants and animals.

To learn more about Westcave, click here.