Sheldon Lake Environmental Learning Center Side: 2
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
SHELDON LAKE ENVIRONMENTAL LEARNING CENTER
ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SYSTEMS
Conservation is a key message at Sheldon Lake Environmental Learning Center
(SLELC) and is a vital part of the missions of the Texas Parks and Wildlife
Department (TPWD) and the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO),
which has given the Sheldon project a grant to install five alternative energy
demonstration systems. These systems will communicate two messages that
are important for current and future generations: one, that it is possible to
significantly reduce the demand for electrical power from fossil fuels by "green
design" and two, illustration of how a grid-tied, alternative energy system works.
AQUATIC LAB I
Hands-on learning is offered at four outdoor classrooms. Aquatic Lab I is a
covered outdoor classroom and offers access for all students on a wheelchair-
accessible ramp into the pond. The ramp enables safe rubber boot entry into
the pond for collection of water samples to facilitate visual identification of
aquatic life and microscopic study TEKS-aligned aquatic lesson plans include
macro animal study, micro animal study, wetland ecology, water testing and
water quality study
AQUATIC LAB 2
Similar in purpose to Aquatic Lab I , this open outdoor classroom also offers
pond access for students, enabling safe rubber boot entry into the pond for
collection of water samples to facilitate visual identification of aquatic life.
TEKS-aligned aquatic lesson plans include wetland ecology and macro
Access between the north and south ponds is achieved through a covered
accessible bridge that spans the old fish hatchery runnel (main drain system).
Focal point for student fishing activities, the renovated fishing deck gives
opportunities for learning and applying fishing skills in one of the ponds.
Opportunities for wildlife observation and a chance to be on the pond are
provided for school children at this open, floating deck. Low proximity to the
water allows easy access to the pond. TEKS-aligned aquatic lesson plans include
animal study, hiking, wetland exploration and water testing.
A geothermal heating/cooling system will provide 100% of the heating and air
conditioning for the Pond Center This system, a series of nine "wells" drilled
down to 250 feet and connected by a water line loop, takes heat (or cool
temperatures) from the earth, replacing the traditional AC condensers. A great
cost savings is realized in terms of monthly energy bills vis-a-vis reduced
Gateway to the student learning and discovery experience, the Heron Plaza
provides a place for orientation to the diverse plant and animal life in the
28 ponds which are remnants of a 1950s fish hatchery Outdoor exhibits, an
observation deck and overlook, rest rooms and a miniature wetland are part of
the visitors' initial educational experience.
Student orientation takes place at the Pond Center; a reused former fish
hatchery building commissioned in 1956. The existing building expansion
includes visitor orientation and exhibit space, a covered pavilion for student
gatherings, indoor classroom, lab space and rest rooms.
School children get a chance to walk over a pond (via a boardwalk) to an
outdoor covered classroom in the middle of the water Here students can
observe pond wildlife in the domain of the fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and
mammals living there. TEKS-aligned aquatic lesson plans include wetland
ecology water sampling and animal study
SLELC is located in an area that once was coastal prairie dotted with seasonal
wetlands. Prior to the park's existence and over the last century the wetlands
were eliminated so that the land could be cultivated and farmed. Several
wetlands at the park have been recreated to show students what the
environment was like in its original natural state. The wetlands also provide
habitat to area wildlife and allow migratory birds to stop, feed and rest.
Wetland plants are indigenous to the area.
A respite from study and hiking is offered to students and teachers at this covered
pavilion, located in the woods at the half-way point along the Pond LoopTrail.
The main trail (Pond Loop Trail) is nine feet wide and offers access to all
outdoor classrooms in the pond area. Other trails (Bent Pine Trail, Swamp
Rabbit Trail, Kinglet Trail and Armadillo Trail) are five feet in width and offer
hiking and learning opportunities for students and visitors. All trail surfaces
are decomposed granite and conform to the new ADA Guidelines for
outdoor developed areas, allowing wheelchair access to the pond area.
Interpretive information and exhibits will augment "teachable moments" in
the natural environment.
SOLAR HOT WATER
Solar hot water for Heron Plaza rest rooms will provide warm water for hand
washing throughout the year Remote solar collectors will heat the water
which will be stored in an insulated tank and circulated to the rest rooms.
SOLAR PV ARRAY
Two photovoltaic arrays (one solar tracking and one fixed) have been installed
for solar electric power to the Pond Center, providing up to two kilowatts of
power at peak capacity
All facilities at SLELC incorporate "green design" in efforts to be sensitive to
the environment and reduce impact on limited resources. Sustainable features
include recycled brick and concrete, fly ash concrete, Forest Stewardship
Certified (FSC) lumber, solar hot water, recycled oilfield pipe, rainwater
collection, geothermal cooling and heating, and natural daylighting.
Instead of traditional high-energy use wastewater treatment, SLELC has built
a wastewater wetland to treat all wastewater generated on-site. Indigenous
plant life will filter and clean the effluent, producing excellent (tertiary) quality
water and capturing C02 in the organic material rather than releasing it into
A wind turbine providing I.5 kilowatt of electrical power to the Pond Center
provides another demonstration of alternative energy for school children.
The turbine is a three-bladed 6.5-foot diameter low speed wind turbine,
mounted on an 80-foot tower
This map can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this side or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current side of this Map.
Texas. Parks and Wildlife Department. Sheldon Lake Environmental Learning Center, map, September 2006; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth624587/m1/2/: accessed May 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.