A celebration and groundbreaking ceremony Friday kicked off the launch of the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center expansion project. About 100 people braved the rain and mud to learn more about the JBS Wetland Center version 2.0.
The John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, located at 655 Martin Lane in Seagoville, was created in partnership with the Caroline Rose Hunt Family, The Rosewood Corporation and the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). It provides conservation education to thousands of North Texas students. The expansion project will double the campus’ capacity and allow an estimated 10,000 students to attend classes each year and learn about water conservation, wetland protection and wildlife conservation.
The Wetland Center is located in the middle of the East Fork Water Reuse Project. A 2,000 acre manmade Wetland constructed by NTMWD to recycle up to 90 million gallons of water each day. The water filtration system provides 20% of the total water used by the North Texas population, making it one of the largest constructed wetlands for water recycling in the United States.
“By planning and promoting increased conservation literacy to more students, we can have a measurable and profound impact on conservation behavioral changes resulting in sustaining water resources and protecting habitat in the Trinity River Watershed,” said John DeFillipo, director, John Bunker Sands Wetland Center. “As we expand our horizons, we hope that future conservationists walk through these doors and not just learn how they can conserve on their own, but that they might create the next best solution for conservation.”
“We are so proud to be a part of this partnership that has allowed us to create something that benefits the community today and will continue to do so for many generations to come,” said Terry Sam Anderson, North Texas Municipal Water District.
The 5,700-square-foot expansion will include a 2,500-square-foot amphitheater and terrace, two new 700 square foot enclosed smart technology classrooms made of prefabricated grain silos and a 900-square-foot flexible outdoor education and event pavilion.
The wetland center is located along the banks of the East Fork of the Trinity River outside of Dallas and it was once a working cattle ranch owned by the Caroline Rose Hunt family.
“My first memories of coming to this property were coming here with my father, Loyd Sands, when it was a cattle ranch,” said Patrick Sands, son of Caroline Rose Hunt. “The transformation from what this property was and what it has become has been amazing. The learning center has become world famous. You can come here and witness nature at its best in an urban environment. The John Bunker Sands Wetland Center has become a legacy for all to enjoy.”
“Rosewood and the Caroline Rose Hunt family have a mission and vision of sustainability in our businesses and our projects. Seeing the growth of the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center from an idea on a drawing board to the vibrant organization it is today makes the family and all the Rosewood employees very proud,” said John Dziminski, president & CEO, The Rosewood Corporation.
Funds for the project were raised through a recent capital campaign. Construction is expected to be complete by October. Go to wetlandcenter.com/JBS2.0.html to learn more about the project expansion.