Nature Explore® Garden

Nature Explore® Certified Classroom

Surrounding landscape showcases key ecological concepts, including:

  • Animal habitatsButterfly garden
  • Composting
  • Ecological cycles
  • Gardening
  • Recycling
  • Water issues
  • Worm composting

Connecting children with nature is an integral part of learning and living. This garden is designed to engage children in exploring and interacting with the natural world as part of their daily lives, helping to develop a lifelong sense of wonder.

Nature Explore Trail

Located adjacent to a creek on the Environmental Education Center grounds, the Nature Explore Trail is an educational pathway that uses interactive signage to teach visitors about Plano's creeks, their inhabitants and ways that residents of all ages can care for them. The trail was funded through a Texas Parks & Wildlife Conservation License Plate grant.

The trail's boardwalk is made of TREX, a composite decking material made from recycled wood and plastic film. The use of this recycled material illustrates that watershed protection, including the removal of plastic pollution from waterways, can be a closed-loop, beneficial practice. 

In addition, the trail features a metal art installation of "Herbie" the blue heron. Blue herons are large wading birds that are common in Plano's creeks, and their survival is dependent on the health of their habitat. "Herbie" was designed to visibly house plastic debris in his abdomen to demonstrate the impact of litter on wildlife and the environment.

Nature Explore Garden

The Nature Explore® Garden reconnects young children with nature through activities engaging important skills in science, math, music, movement, language, literacy, art and social visual-spatial development.

For more information, visit the Nature Explore® website.

There are endless possibilities to discover nature:

Click to view full-size site map
  • Crawl through a tunnel like a worm
  • Sneak a peek at the root viewing box
  • Create music which mimics nature
  • Weave with natural objects
  • Dig for worms and hold one
  • Hide in a chrysalis
  • Spot a bird
  • Plant a seed in the children's garden
  • Hunt recycled objects
  • Count the rings on a giant tree cookie