In early March 2013, GroundWork Dallas partnered with bcWORKSHOP to develop a design for their new Eco-Classroom. Groundwork Dallas is the local affiliate of the Groundwork USA network. Their mission is to “enable people to realize the merits of the Great Trinity Forest, its surrounding resources, and its impact on our future. And, to encourage the community to use, preserve, and enhance these natural resources.”
They achieve their mission through:
- the construction of trail systems, parks, and gardens,
- transforming vacant lots into community spaces and gardens,
- educating children, adults and communities,
- and by working to revitalize one of Dallas’s greatest assets, the Trinity River.
The Eco-Classroom site is positioned at the confluence of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River and Bachman Creek, which make up the last natural channel of the river before reaching the main levee system. Currently, the area is choked with trash. The designed pavilion will sit tucked into the bend of the river and will act as a launching point for GroundWork teams to clean up the area.
The design allows for large groups to arrive on site, hike through the area, and use the pavilion as a base to learn about the natural ecology and the challenges it faces. From there they can head out on foot or canoe to spend the day exploring this amazing Dallas feature.
bcW worked with the Groundworks staff and Green Team to develop parameters which would guide the design. Other design inspiration came from the shape of the river, the feeling of sitting under a tree at the river bank and the Great Blue Heron, which calls this part of the river home.
The design is currently in the schematic phase as GroundWork raises funds for the project. Check back for more updates soon!