In this 70-acre area, Center researchers study how prescribed fire and periodic mowing affect the growth of native grasses and wildflowers. Visitors can walk the John Barr Trail and Simmons Research Trail to observe how the land responds to these management techniques, which have applied since 2001 to 54 large experimental plots.

What You’ll Find:

  • About 1 mile of trails – a short loop and a longer one
  • An up-close look at our long-term fire and land management research
  • Sweeping meadows filled with wildflowers and grasses
  • Wildlife galore, from roadrunners and painted buntings to coyotes


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Click on the areas below to view the gardens and spaces before you arrive

Central Complex

Central Complex

Iconic buildings nestled among gardens welcome visitors and evoke a sense of place

Theme Gardens at sunrise

Central Gardens

Our original core gardens display native plants from across Texas in a variety of styles

Family garden watering hole

Family Garden

Connecting families with nature through interactive features

Texas Arboretum trees

Texas Arboretum

A classic arboretum featuring a diversity of Texas trees

Restoration Trail

Savanna Meadow

Take a hike and learn about karst landscapes and the Edwards Aquifer

Hill Country Trails

Seventy acres devoted to land management research