Phone: 830-825-3442 Fax: 830-825-3509
Environmental Learning Center
The Warren Skaaren Environmental Learning Center (ELC) at Westcave Preserve opened to the public on the vernal equinox, March 22, 2003. The ELC functions as a visitor center and also offers much needed classroom space for the Preserve's public and school programs. The building is a model of sustainable building design including such features as ground-source heating cooling, a solar energy panel, and a rainwater harvesting system. Project architect Robert Jackson's remarkable work was recognized with a 2003 Merit Design Award from the Austin Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
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-earth, water, air, fire-are used to explain Westcave's geology, water, weather, and energy and their connection to the Preserve's plants and animals.
See a virtual tour of the Environmental Learning Center here
Tour may take a few moments to load on slower connections.
A sun aperature in the ceiling of the ELC allowing a sunspot to be projected on the floor of the solar exhibit. Visitors can track the movement of the sun across the sky to understand the relationship between the sun and the earth at different times of the year.
|Nature's Numbers||An exhibit using a series of numbers known as the Fibonacci Series to explore the relationship between math and nature.|
|Geology Learning Wall||Illustrations depicting the geological history of Westcave Preserve over the last 250,000 years.|
|Water Cycle||The water (or hydrologic) cycle as it occurs at Westcave Preserve.|
|Weather Cycle||Exhibit explaining the weather microclimate at Westcave Preserve.|
|Dark Sky||Exhibit panel explaining the importance of and ways to protect the dark sky as a natural resource.|
|Sky Watch||An internet-fed, self-updating exhibit from the Space Telescope Science Institute which portrays the beauty and power of the universe and guides the viewer to a deeper understanding of astronomy.|