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.

Visitor Center

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.

Self-Guided Hiking

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 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.