Sneed Prairie Restoration Project Is Texas Environmental Excellence Award Finalist
More than 11,000 Grayson County area elementary students have participated in free field trips to Austin College’s Clinton and Edith Sneed Environmental Research Area to witness the Prairie Restoration Project that hundreds of Austin College students and faculty have been involved in since 1996.
The Prairie Restoration Project was named a finalist for the Texas Environmental Excellence Awards in the Education category at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s annual banquet in May at the Austin Convention Center.
Nine experimental fields are monitored each fall by Austin College students and faculty to track the progress of native prairie restoration. Every year since 2002, hundreds of local third, fourth, and fifth grade schoolchildren have enjoyed field trips to Sneed Prairie where they take part in activities and lessons to learn about prairie ecosystems, regional history, and the potential of ecosystem restoration. Austin College students lead the learning sessions. Dr. Peter Schulze, professor of biology and environmental science, oversees the prairie restoration efforts.
The field trip program has been funded by various donors over the years and is currently funded by the Oliver Dewey Mayor Foundation of Sherman. For more information on Sneed Prairie field trips or the restoration project, contact the Austin College Environmental Studies Coordinator, Kelby Archer.
This is just one of many programs Austin College students undertake each year on behalf of the environment. Austin College is regularly included in the Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges and similar listings.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with 46 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. This year, the campus recognizes 100 years of co-education and has had several opportunities to recognize the history of women and accomplishments of current alumnae. Austin College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.