Less than 10 miles from the well-groomed campus green at St. Edward’s sits Wild Basin Creative Research Center.
Wild Basin includes 227 acres of Central Texas Hill Country habitat. In addition to serving the university community, the center is open to the public for trail hiking and educational events.
The center hosts student researchers, classes, K-12 groups and a public welcome center. Although undergraduate research historically evokes the sciences, Wild Basin encourages research in all disciplines, as well as interdisciplinary and cross-curriculum projects. Students from all programs utilize the center to study art, science, policy and local government, education, business, and other disciplines.
In addition to these types of projects, St. Edward’s University works in partnership with the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve and its many affiliates including Travis County, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, City of Austin, Nature Conservancy, and Travis Audubon Society on conservation and education efforts.
Thanks to support from a number of local organizations (3M, Applied Materials, Silicon Labs and the Austin Community Foundation), the Wild Basin Creative Research Center has an interpretative educational welcome center for all visitors. We regularly have K-12 classes visiting the preserve, but this center is informative and engaging for all ages.
Exhibits currently on display include: microscope station, citizen science observation station, educational videos, large topographic interpretive trail map, coloring station, fauna at Wild Basin mural and bird watching station for kids.
The visitor center is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Trails are open sunrise to sunset every day. Please stay on the trail and take out what you bring in. During the hot summer months, please bring water to carry with you on the trails. Portable restrooms are located in the parking area; no picnic facilities are available. Leave all plants, animals, rocks and other elements in place. Everything is protected on the preserve. Pets, bicycles, fires, camping, and picnics prohibited.
We've compiled a variety of maps to help you get the most out of your visit, including maps designed specifically for young scientists.
- Mileage Trail Map
- Self-Guided Trail Map
- K-2nd Grade Trail Map
- 3rd-5th Grade Trail Map
- 6th-12th Grade Trail Map
Artist in Residence Program
The Wild Basin Creative Research Center Artist in Residence (AIR) offers professional artists of the Austin area an inspirational environment in which to pursue their various mediums to further their creative development in a natural setting.
Click here for more information about the program and the application process.
Trail Guide Volunteer Program
The next trail guide training session is planned for Fall 2019. Check back soon for more information.
Updates from Wild Basin
Wild Basin has a new and improved blog!
Now you can stay up to date on stories from the Creative Research Center. In our new blog you can search for updates by categories such as Hook Scholars, Student Research, Spotlights, Events and Classroom Research. Check it out!
How do wildlife live in urban areas?
Wild Basin Creative Research Center is monitoring wildlife using motion-triggered cameras in green spaces across the city. But this project goes far beyond Austin: Wild Basin is part of a national network of cities participating in the Urban Wildlife Information Network, which is spearheaded by the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. Learn about the project from National Geographic and The NY Times.