Education at the Preserve

We carry a passion for the outdoors and learn from shared experience.
Awakening scientific curiosity
Field-based study

Education Programs at The I-20 Wildlife Preserve

Rigorous Outdoor Education

At the I-20 Wildlife Preserve, we are dedicated to fostering a deep appreciation for nature through our comprehensive education programs. Our initiatives are thoughtfully designed to align with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards, ensuring that students receive a robust and relevant educational experience that meets state guidelines. Our outdoor, STEM-centric conservation programs provide students with hands-on learning opportunities that go beyond the traditional classroom setting, bringing education to life in the great outdoors.

Hands – On Learning

By immersing students in the natural environment, we aim to cultivate a sense of environmental stewardship and a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Participants will gain invaluable skills, knowledge, and a profound connection to the natural world, enriching their academic journey and fostering a lifelong commitment to conservation and environmental awareness.

The Preserve is Midland’s Living Laboratory

The Preserve is a 100-acre living laboratory where students and faculty can actively participate in a hands-on learning experience that reveals the mysteries of this unique playa habitat. Our curriculum serves as a model of expert fieldwork, designed to spur the scientific curiosity of students, empowering them to make meaningful contributions to the next generation of sciences. Whether you’re exploring our diverse ecosystems, collecting data, or observing wildlife, every visit offers a new discovery.

Flexible Learning Options

In addition to our on-site programs, we offer a comprehensive suite of virtual and in-person lessons, allowing for flexible learning that can adapt to various educational needs and circumstances. We invite you to explore these resources and join us in this journey of discovery and learning. Access our full range of lessons and programs below to get started.

Rostered classes ages 18 months - 7 years

Based on Texas Parks and Wildlife's Project WILD curriculum -WILD at The Preserve- is an outdoor class series where learners experience nature in the early years of life. Parents and caregivers accompany their children during each class as the program explores and introduces environmental concepts of West Texas, and beyond. Rostered classes have limited availability. Register to join the waiting list.

Open play session ages 18 months - 7 years

A part of the WILD at The Preserve outdoor education program -PLAYTIME AT THE PLAYA- is offered at no cost to the community! These open play sessions provide WILD at The Preserve activities and an opportunity to build your community. Caregivers will accompany learners to engage in play, learning, and discovery! Check our calendar page for session dates.

Self-guided curriculum ages 18 months - 10 years

The Little Ecologist school is a self-guided outdoor education program. Parent, caregivers, and educators are provided with a digital booklet containing the course curriculum, a certificate, and 6 stickers to mark their learner's progress through the lessons. Complete at your own pace, in your favorite outdoor spaces. Curriculum is designed for ages 2- 10, but may be adapted for a wide range of ages.

Push-in program grades Kindergarten - Second

This K-2 push-in curriculum uses hands-on activities in the classroom to introduce young students to the essential features of the ecosystems and history of the Preserve. Each grade level is theme-based and has an accompanying song, student journal, and extension activities.

Preserve Program grades Third - Fifth

Our grades 3-5 curriculum uses interactive teaching stations at the Preserve to introduce the students to essential ecological principles. The experience has three parts: a classroom introduction with pre-test, a curriculum-based Preserve visit, and a final post-test.

Preserve Program grades tenth - twelfth

This high school curriculum introduces environmental studies students to the challenges of Preserve management. The experience has three parts: an introduction and self-study on playas, a curriculum-based Preserve visit, and a findings presentation to Preserve staff.

We look forward to seeing you at tThe Preserve with your class! If you have any questions about registering for a visit, please contact us.

We are thrilled about how our education programs at the I-20 Wildlife Preserve will create a positive enduring impact on our community and its students. We can’t wait to see you join us in these enriching, hands-on experiences. Our team is dedicated to making sure our programs meet your needs, and we’re ready to adapt and evolve to provide the best learning opportunities possible. We believe these outdoor, STEM-focused activities will inspire a lasting appreciation for nature and conservation. If you have any questions or want to know more, please reach out. Let’s work together to nurture the next generation of environmental stewards.


For those interested in becoming a trained docent please contact us.