Springs Preserve Review by Jenna Yocum

In June of 2007, the Springs Preserve, a tiny oasis in the center of Las Vegas, opened with one of the “greenest” buildings in the nation. It supports the environmental movement and educates children and adults about it. While many might think they would have to drive to Red Rock Canyon for nature and hiking, the Preserve offers all of those things and more.

The tour begins with the Origen Museum, a place with extraordinary exhibits on water conservation, sustainability and animals. While the exhibits seem to be geared toward children, it is still extremely educational for adults who may gain something more from the material. One of the most interesting exhibits is a flash flood demonstration where 5,000 gallons of water are used (and recycled) to show the dangerous effects of flash floods on the valley. Everyone can enjoy the animal habitats located outside of the museum with locations for lizards, a gray fox, gila monsters and an ant colony, which only serve to enhance the educational experience.

The Springs Preserve also offers activities for all ages. Children can engage in hands-on activities specifically designed for them. There is an especially fun one where they build mountains and plateaus with mud and release streams of water to simulate erosion. There is also an exhibit for the elderly and people with disabilities that shows how to garden with physical difficulties. The activities provide real-world applications for the environmental exhibits.  

The Springs Preserve has a large effect on our community as a whole by being an example of an environmentally-friendly building and also by educating the public on issues such as water conservation, which is so vitally important to the drought-prone Las Vegas valley. It brings people together and helps everyone in our community realize the importance of being environmentally friendly while giving people the knowledge to do so.

The Preserve gives Las Vegans a place to learn and get away from all of the traffic, noise and exhaust fumes. Aside from Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas does not have too many spots for fresh air and nature, so visitors should take full advantage. Whether they are looking for somewhere to spend time with their kids, learn something about the environment, or just looking to rent a bike and ride through the trails, the Springs Preserve is a great little hidden treasure right in the middle of Las Vegas. With an endless age demographic, the Springs Preserve really is for everyone.
Sources:
http://www.springspreserve.org/index.html

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