ECO DISCOVERY ZONE



Explore our choose-your-own-adventure multi-sensory wonderland of sights, sounds, smells, and touch. Butterflies, worms and a snake, rainforest sounds and 3-D maps, and other immersive space Science, Technology Engineering and Math activities.




“Live Butterfly Walkthrough and Interactive Feeding”


Taking place in a 10x20 mesh tent enclosure with zippered entry and exit at opposite ends. Monarch and Painted Lady Butterflies are free to fly around, meaning you can experience the thrill of seeing butterflies up-close in real life, rather than on a TV screen. Visitors will be provided a cotton swab with sweet liquid encouraging them to alight in front of your eyes.


Rainforest Listening Experience


Immersive rainforest listening experience produced with Rainforest Partnership.


Virtual Reality Headsets


Attendants and postcards will provide instructions on downloading apps and viewing pre-selected content such as spelunking in Natural Bridge Caverns and other fantastic natural sites and experiences. Provided by Earth Day ATX.


Vermiculture


What do worms feel like? Find out by worming your fingers into the bin of worms and worm castings. Provided by Texas Big Worm - Urban Worm Company.


Honeycomb Project


Learn about honeybees through this interactive piece made from recycled materials. Explore fun facts, move "pollen" from flowers to honeycomb, sign a pledge to be a Honeybee Steward, and more!


Ranger Table


Do you love animals? Learn about native Texas animals by getting to touch real skulls and furs! There will also be information on how you can Leave No Trace and protect our parks. Provided by Austin Parks & Recreation Park Rangers.


View Local Endangered Species

There will be three 10 gallon aquaria that will separately house 2 endangered Barton Springs salamanders (Eurycea sosorum), 2 endangered Texas blind salamanders (Eurycea rathbuni), and 2 threatened Devil's River minnows. These organisms will help to discuss endangered species and their importance. As well, several non-listed preserved specimens will be brought including; a river prawn, sturgeon, channel catfish, and armored catfish for individuals to handle and discuss basic fish biology. A fun game using a small display of native and non-native species where individuals can guess which species are native for a small prize. The native vs non-native display allows us to discuss the negative effects non-natives can have on our local ecosystems. An invertebrate display, which includes monarch butterfly specimens will also be a part of this area. Provided by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.


Virtual Reality Station

  • Cavern Spelunking 150 Feet Underground: A VR 390 Experience
  • Cathedral of Junk (360 video)
  • HELO Austin 360 Video *Austin Sunset*
  • 360 Great Hammerhead Shark Encounter | National Geographic
  • 360 Kamchatka Volcano Eruption | National Geographic

3D Watershed Model


Interactive 3D model illustrates the flow water in a watershed and the potential impacts of pollution on creeks, rivers, lakes and aquifers. Provided by Austin Independent School District Science and Health Resource Center.


Stream Monitoring


Stream Macroinvertebrates as Ecological Indicators.

Learn how the City of Austin monitors, protects, and improves the integrity of aquatic resources in the City of Austin using data driven solutions to watershed problems. By collecting biological data from our City’s creeks, benthic macroinvertebrates give us a wealth of information about stream health, in terms of community structure and overall species diversity. Provided by City of Austin Watershed Protection Department’s Water Quality Monitoring Team.