Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA)

LLELA needs volunteer assistance in almost all areas of operations on an ongoing basis. Certain volunteer tasks require additional training which is offered only a few times each year. Please ask to be added to the contact list for training if you are interested in one of these specialized opportunities.

 

Volunteer Opportunities

Habitat RestorationRiver Care TeamNest Box Management
1870s HomesteadBirding HikesOutdoor EducationBird Banding

Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area Details –
VisionMissionGeneral Info

 

Volunteer Contact:

Lisa Cole
lcole@cityoflewisville.com
972.219.3550.
https://llela.unt.edu

LLELA Address:

201 E. Jones St.
Lewisville, TX 75057
(corner of Jones/Kealy St.)

 


Habitat Restoration

Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., also monthly Saturday opportunities.

Help in LLELA’s native plant nursery. Assist in workdays to plant prairie grasses, seed wildflowers, or plant wetlands plants. Process seeds to prepare them for planting (can be an indoor, seated job). Control invasive exotic plant species.

Trail Building and Maintenance

Wednesdays 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., also monthly Saturday opportunities.

Help cut new trails. Maintain existing trails, including the kayak/canoe trail.


Certain volunteer tasks require additional training, which is offered only a few times each year. Please contact Lisa Cole to be added to the contact list for training if you are interested in one of these specialized opportunities, below. We will sign you up for the next available training.


River Care Team

Saturdays and Sundays after training
Contact: Lisa Cole, lcole@cityoflewisville.com

Communicate with anglers and other visitors along the Elm Fork at LLELA, discussing river stewardship and proper disposal of trash. Ongoing commitment.

Nest Box Management

Monday – Sunday mornings after training.
Contact: Dr. Ken Steigman, steigman@unt.edu

Assist in maintaining bluebird boxes, warbler boxes, wood duck boxes, and other nesting boxes.

Ongoing commitment.

1870s Homestead

Saturdays (some weekdays) 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Contact: Lisa Cole, lcole@cityoflewisville.com

Give tours of LLELA’s log house and homestead area.
Once a month open house on the weekend; regular school groups during the week.

Musicians are needed to provide music appropriate to the 1870s.

Training provided; there is also a training reference guide.

Birding Hikes

Monday – Saturday – times vary
Contact: Lisa Cole, lcole@cityoflewisville.com

Share your knowledge of birding with the general public.
Lead hikes or assist in leading bird hikes for adults, children, youth groups.

Outdoor Education

Monday – Saturday times vary
Contact: Lisa Cole, lcole@cityoflewisville.com

Lead short nature hikes with students or assist staff with school group labs.

Assist with weekend family events such as Stars on the Prairie, Night Hikes, etc.

Possible to volunteer on a steady basis (weekly, bi-weekly, once a month, etc.).

Bird Banding

Monday – Saturday 6 a.m.-12 p.m.
Contact: Dr. Ken Steigman, steigman@unt.edu

Assist in banding of birds for research purposes.

Ongoing commitment due to extensive training required.

For more information please visit the following links.
http://www.llela.org/ http://llela.unt.edu

 

The Lake Lewisville Environmental Learning Area is a terrific place to volunteer as a TMN. LLELA has over 2000 acres containing a diversity of natural features and activities, and offers a really impressive list of very different volunteer options. I love local Texas history as well as local Texas nature, and have enjoyed sharing both as a docent at the monthly open houses held at the 1869 Log House and Homestead area off the Cottonwood Trail for the last couple years, as well as dabbling in some of the other events and activities LLELA has going on. Lisa Cole and the other staff and core volunteer team at LLELA make it so easy and fun to help: they truly appreciate everyone who steps up, and they respect, value and celebrate all that the volunteers are able to bring to the table. Each visit has been fun and rewarding. If you’re looking for a friendly and beautiful place to volunteer your talents, meet some great people, support some truly first class research and restoration activity, or just get out and enjoy nature, check out what LLELA has to offer!  – Rick Jooster, LLELA Volunteer

 

Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area Details

 

Vision

To heal the land and restore the bond between people and nature, ensuring the preservation of our natural heritage for the future.

Mission

To preserve and restore native Texas ecosystems and biodiversity while providing opportunities for environmental education, research, and recreation.

General Info

The land that we now call Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) is positioned where the Blackland Prairie mingles with the dry upland forests of the Eastern Cross Timbers. The Elm Fork of the Trinity River, with its surrounding bottomland forests, winds through the middle of these two ecosystems. This lucky collision makes LLELA a perfect place to find a diversity of wildlife and plants. Well over 360 vertebrate species make a home at LLELA – from river otters to peregrine falcons, along with more than 500 plant species and uncounted dragonflies, butterflies, and other invertebrates. LLELA’s urban wilderness is indeed a wildlife hotspot, thriving in the midst of a human population of over 6.7 million and growing.

 

But the wilderness here is just a shadow of what once was. The Blackland Prairie stretched uninterrupted over 12 million acres of our state. The Cross Timbers and bottomland hardwood forests covered huge areas until things began to change in the early 1800s. As Americans acted on the urge to expand westward, small towns were established and these settlements grew. Forests were cut. The rich prairie soil was plowed. The river was eventually harnessed. Bison, wolves, cougars, and many other species were eradicated as the environment was changed to meet human needs for food, shelter, water, and commerce. The land that is now LLELA was subdivided among many owners.

 

Curiously, the taming of the river led to the creation of our urban wilderness.  In 1955 the Lewisville Lake Dam was completed, creating a reservoir to supply flood control, drinking water, and recreation. Over 2,000 acres below the dam were set aside for flood control, and the land owners were bought out by the federal government. This land was left idle, and the wild began to creep back in.

 

In the early 1990s, the potential of this set-aside area was recognized by a group of collaborators from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the University of North Texas, the City of Lewisville, Lewisville ISD, the University of Texas in Arlington, and Texas A & M Agri-life Extension. They saw a place where people could interact with the wildlife and natural ecosystems which were already present, preserving it for the future in the midst of the explosive growth in the DFW area. Even more, LLELA could serve as a place where humans acted to repair historic damage to the land and conduct scientific research. These agencies worked together in a partnership to carry out the LLELA mission.

 

In 2014, the City of Lewisville, the University of North Texas, and the Lewisville Independent School District began the process of developing a new organizational structure to carry LLELA into the future. LLELA is now operating under a strategic plan developed by all three partners (with approval from and in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers). Our mission remains the same, and our work continues to improve the habitat quality of this precious land, day by day making it richer, in hopes of giving all North Texans a place where they can connect with what once was, and still is, our natural heritage.

Habitat RestorationRiver Care TeamNest Box Management
1870s HomesteadBirding HikesOutdoor EducationBird Banding

Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area Details –
VisionMissionGeneral Info

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