Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Another Side of Springs Preserve

About three Red Rock climbing trips ago, Andrew and I discovered Springs Preserve and have gone there on a rest day each time since. While Andrew focuses his blog posts on photos of birds and flowers, I thought I'd post another view because there's just so much to do. Interesting, informative, mostly quiet and environmental. Other than a bit of traffic noise at certain locations, you'd never know you were right in the middle of Las Vegas.

In addition to about 4 miles of trails, there is a botanical garden and butterfly garden. I love wandering or just sitting and listening to the birds in the garden while Andrew takes photos.

The gardens are far more informative than most. In addition to information about the plants themselves, there is a large focus on desert gardening, water conservation and much more. Uniquely, there is a demonstration "enabling garden" that "demonstrates ways to make gardening accessible and enjoyable for everyone regardless of age or physical ability."

Not just wall gardens, raised beds, and enabling tools that make things more reachable but also thinking about looking, listening to and touching the garden for those who are visually impaired.

There is also a butterfly garden but it's not open during the winter.

Inside several buildings there is a sustainability centre, the Ori-gen Museum and the Nevada State Museum. Admittedly, we've never been in the State Museum. By the time we get through everything else that interests us, we've had enough for one day. The Waterworks Museum will hopefully be opening sometime later this year. The changing displays at the Ori-gen Museum are always fun. The display on now is the history of chocolate. I don't know how they did it, but the whole place smelled like chocolate even though there was no real chocolate on display.

There is a large children's play area with some unique features such as a wooly mammoth skeleton, giant bee, snake and falcon structures,  a sandbox and train. And there are always events, crafts and classes designed for kids. Cooking and gardening classes are geared towards adults. There is also a farmer's market every Thursday.

Kitchen, dining, living room area.
My other favourite part of the Preserve is the DesertSol demonstration house. It's a solar powered home that also uses a multi-purpose water system, strategic window placements and sun screens on the deck as well as sustainable materials and durable materials that will hold up in the strong desert sun. It was created and built by the University of Las Vegas Solar Decathlon Team and "is described as one of the finest examples of sustainable living on the planet." I would love to have a house like this!

The deck and sun screens.
View from the bedroom.

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