River Legacy Living Science Center

River Legacy Living Science Center serves as the gateway to River Legacy Parks. Nestled into a clearing of existing land contours and oak groves, the 12,000-square-foot nature center was designed with minimal impact to the environment. The Center houses the Foundation’s environmental education programs, including Nature School and Summer Classes, and offers public programs and special events.

The Center is open from 9 am to 5 pm Mondays through Saturdays. The exhibit hall may be closed on weekday mornings due to school programming. School groups, daycares, organizations should visit the Group Visits page or call 817.860.6752, ext. 102 to schedule a self-guided tour.

Amenities include:

  • Interactive environmental exhibits
  • Aquariums & Terrariums with native animals
  • Gift shop
  • Nature trails & pond
  • Public programs
  • Education programs
  • Summer Classes

River Legacy Living Science Center is also available for rentals for weddings and receptions.

Sustainable Design

A simple fortress of fallen leaves and broken tree limbs, crafted by the creative hands of children, served as the inspiration for River Legacy Living Science Center, when it was constructed in 1996. The 12,000-square-foot center was developed with the specific objective of minimizing the impact on the environment. To that end, the Center itself is a fascinating study of architecture, conservation and sustainable design.

  • Three enormous red oak trees provide structural support for the roof of the building. The trees were salvaged from a City of Arlington street-widening project.
  • The entrance drive was carefully routed to avoid trees and to minimize paving and vegetative disturbance.
  • The parking lot is constructed of porous pavers that allow air and water to recharge the soil.
  • Walkways are made of decomposed granite with an organic resin that makes them firm, yet pervious to air and water.
  • Restroom walls consist of tiles made from recycled crushed windshields.
  • A gray water system of plumbing is used. The underground system captures the runoff from drinking fountains and sink materials; then stores, treats and recycles it for use in the landscaped areas complementing the structure.
  • Agrosoke, a naturally occurring moisture retention gel, acts as a water reservoir when added to bed and lawn soils.

The Living Science Center serves as an example of sustainable design, but it also serves to educate future generations so they too may sustain and support this natural resource.


Designed by the Jones Studio of Phoenix, Arizona, the Living Science Center has won many awards for its architectural achievements.

  • Citation Award, American Institute of Architects/Arizona, 1999
  • Merit Award, AmericanInstitute of Architects/Western Mountain Region, 1999
  • APS Energy Award, American Institute of Architects/Arizona, 1998
  • Eagle Award of Excellence, Associated Builders and Contractors, 1996
  • Citation Award, American Institute of Architects/Central Texas Chapter, 1996
  • Best New Architectural Achievement, Dallas Observer, 1996