To help young minds in College Station learn about nature and design, Texas A&M landscape architecture students, led by associate professor Eric Bardenhagen, recently accompanied seven first grade classes from College Hills Elementary School to Schob Preserve, a 7.5 acre nature preserve.
A total of 135 students spent the day exploring the neighborhood park’s system of trails, pollinator prairie area, rain garden and boardwalk, and were read fall and nature-themed books by undergraduates, school district administration and parent volunteers.
Bardenhagen and Scot Shafer, head of the Texas A&M Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism Sciences, are Senior Schob Scholars, who help oversee and manage the preserve for research activities. They also coordinate its outdoor learning laboratory.
Bardenhagen and colleague Robert Brown, professor of landscape architecture, are building a weather station that could become part of the College Hills science curriculum. A spring 2019 Earth Day event is being planned for the school with support from LAUP, RPTS and the Texas A&M Department of Entomology.
The preserve, dedicated in October 2014, is a gift to the university from David E. Schob, a much-beloved university history professor who died in 2007.
LAUP professors have aided in the design and ongoing development of other area parks, including Beachy Central Park, one of the first play areas of its kind in the Brazos Valley.