Irving Independent School District

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Irving ISD Dedicates the Elise Walker Outdoor Learning Center

The Elise Walker Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) is a unique facility born out of collaboration between Irving ISD, the City of Irving and Dallas County Community College District. In 2015, the three entities partnered to realize Irving ISD’s vision for a center where hands-on, environmental education is made possible for the next generation.

The OLC is designed as a natural classroom sprawling across 25 acres of grasslands, wetlands and marsh. Its transparent structure and open landscape houses numerous nature trails, an amphitheater and an indoor museum-style space for interactive exploration.

Using the surrounding ecosystem and natural habitat, students visiting the OLC have the opportunity to observe and dissect the elements of nature intimately. From studying food chains and plant life, to conservation and water reclamation, students’ textbooks will come to life as they learn state-mandated science requirements through firsthand experiences.

On November 2, the district hosted an official dedication ceremony and recognized the center’s namesake, Elise Walker, for 42 years of service as a former Irving ISD teacher. Special guests included Mayor Beth Van Duyne, city council members, North Lake College President Dr. Christa Slejko and representatives of the Dallas County Community College District. The event concluded with guided tours along the trails and interactive displays showcasing lessons students are currently working on.

See photos from the event on the Photo Gallery.