Education at the Playa

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

The Preserve is an 86-acre living laboratory where students & faculty can have a unique hands-on experience. The playa environment awakens scientific curiosity and inspires the next generation of students to become educated 
in the sciences.

Organizations wanting to visit the Preserve must contact us before visiting. Please use the form below to contact us.


The I20 Wildlife Preserve is a hands-on environment where significant research and youthful wonder can explore 
the principles of playa wetlands. 
We sincerely value and hope to inspire the next generation of students to become educated 
in the sciences.


We are continually developing 
and improving scientific curricula for our educational and research partners in local schools and communities. We have developed targeted educational experiences for Pre-K, K-2, Elementary, and High School aged students respectively. We also offer mentored independent projects.


The preserve is a wild space that supports ambitious learning programs and encourages uncommon scientific research opportunities for secondary, undergraduate and graduate-level students, faculty & staff.

The Jenna Welch Nature Study Center

The Center is the cornerstone of a tremendous opportunity to educate the students and citizens of West Texas. The Preserve offers a productive environment for field-based study and natural laboratory exercises for students of all ages. Please email us for more information.


I20 Wildlife Preserve introduces Starting Out Wild, an educational program where toddlers, ages 18mo – 3yrs, may learn to love and experience nature in the first years of life. Parents and caregivers accompany their children during each class as the program explores and introduces the nature of West Texas here in Midland.


The curricula explore scientific investigation and reasoning to introduce student groups in the Permian Basin to the ecological systems of a playa habitat. Our K-2 and Elementary School curricula are based on TEKS and STARR standards and provide authentic hands-on experience with environmental concepts. The High School curriculum is aligned to an environmental studies class and requires students to apply their knowledge on developing a resource management scheme for the Preserve.


The Center's Education Directors can assist in the development of custom, authentic, and supported hands-on outdoor learning experiences to help students examine the natural world.