Experience the beauty of the Texas Hill Country without leaving Austin.
We would like to thank our 2018-2019 funding partners:
Seawell Elam Foundation
Bring your students to Wild Basin for an adventure with a purpose! Guided school tours for 2nd grade and up Wild Basin allow your students to explore the Texas Hill Country—right in the heart of Austin. School tours include a 1-2 hour guided hike where students learn about plants, wildlife, geology, and more, at the 227-acre wilderness preserve. Groups may also explore the Visitor Center with its hands-on natural science exhibits. For more information or to request a guided school tour please email: wbedu [at] stedwards.edu (subject: Guided%20school%20tour%20request) .
- Wild Basin School Programs, .pdf, 58MB.
- Wild Basin / St. Edward's School Program Waiver, English/Spanish, required for all child and adult participants, .pdf, 1MB.
- Preparing for Your School Group Visit, downloadable .pdf, 630KB.
Tiny Footprints Programs
Tiny Footprints programs for PreK through First Grade are hands-on, nature-based hikes for young explorers. Choose a nature theme for your class: Butterflies and Caterpillars, Spiders and Scorpions, Ants and Roly-polies, or Squirrels and Acorns. Stimulate curiosity and increase vocabulary through stories, finger plays, and hands-on experiences. Children may be introduced to insect metamorphosis, ant lions, dragonflies, lichen, walking sticks, earth stars, daddy longlegs, and animal tracks. Tiny Footprints also serves mixed-age groups, including homeschool groups. For more information or to request a Tiny Footprints program please email: wbedu [at] stedwards.edu (subject: Tiny%20Footprints%20program%20request) .
Supplement your school visit to Wild Basin with these natural science lessons for the classroom. Each lesson includes: lesson objectives, TEKS correlations, materials, procedures, and extension suggestions.
- K-1 - Nuts About Squirrels - downloadable .pdf, 400 KB; Squirrels video copyright Brittanica School Edition.
- 2nd - Slithering & Swimming Snakes of Wild Basin - downloadable .pdf, 280 KB; Snake images, free for use.
- 4th - A Myriad of Arthropods at Wild Basin - downloadable .pdf, 740 KB.
- 5th - Tree-mendous Assets: Ashe juniper and Golden-cheeked Warblers at Wild Basin - downloadable .pdf, 1.9 MB.
- 6th/7th - To Plant or Not to Plant, Native vs. Invasive Species - downloadable .pdf, 216 KB.
- 7th/8th - Plains, Prairies & Plateaus, Oh My! Biodiversity in Texas Ecoregions - downloadable .pdf, 220 KB.
Guided Public Hikes
Wild Basin's public guided hike is a great way to learn about the native Texas Hill Country. Join us the second Saturday of the month from 10 a.m.-noon. Guided hikes begin on the deck of the Wild Basin Creative Research Center. Register now. Please wbedu [at] stedwards.edu (contact us )if you would like to schedule a private or group guided hike.
In addition to guided hikes Wild Basin offers engaging public events throughout the year. View our Events Calendar here.
Volunteer Trail Stewards
Join Wild Basin volunteers for trail maintenance, invasive plant removal, wildlife surveys, restoration, and other stewardship projects! Please wear hiking boots or sturdy shoes and long pants, and bring a water bottle, gloves (if you have them), and a day pack to keep your hands free. Dress for the weather, with hat and sunscreen for sun protection and a raincoat/light jacket if it's cool or raining lightly. We don't go out in thunderstorm conditions. We have volunteer opportunities during the week as well as quarterly land management workdays (usually the third Saturday). For more information on volunteer stewardship opportunities please email wsteward [at] stedwards.edu.
Volunteer Trail Guides
Want to get outside and share your love of nature with others? Apply to be a Volunteer Trail Guide with Wild Basin!
Wild Basin's Volunteer Trail Guides provide unique, meaningful outdoor education experiences for Austin-area youth. As a Trail Guide you will: increase your knowledge of Central Texas flora, fauna, geology, and ecology; develop interpretive guide skills and gain experience leading groups; make connections with new people in the community; and make a meaningful impact! Trail guides must be available on some weekday mornings and must be able to hike for 1-2 hours on a rugged trail in varying weather.
Trail Guide Training occurs on an annual basis in January. Questions? Please email wbedu [at] stedwards.edu (subject: Trail%20Guide%20Training) .
Wild Basin Creative Research Center is located 11 miles west of campus in Westlake Hills. Reliable transportation to Wild Basin is required. Other requirements include: consistent attendance and punctuality to scheduled shifts, independent and collaborative work ethic, the ability to communicate effectively and positively with the public and co-workers, and be a certified university van driver (or be willing to become certified). Positions offered include:
- Wild Basin Outreach & Public Relations Intern
- Wild Basin Environmental Education Intern
- Wild Basin Natural Resource and Land Management Intern
- Wild Basin Stewardship and Sustainability Coordinator Intern
- Wild Basin History Intern
See the full internship descriptions
Work Study Positions
Wild Basin currently has several positions open for work-study students. Job responsibilities vary depending on student interests and abilities. The positions are posted on Hilltop Careers, or you can contact wbasin [at] stedwards.edu for more information.