Welcome to NSEC
All GPISD PreK-5 students attend the Natural Science Education Center annually for a hands-on experience using nature as a context for learning and understanding concepts taught within our classrooms. These lessons are part of the enriched GPISD Science Curriculum and are important in making elementary science relevant to our students. 15,000 students each year are engaged in this wonderful learning opportunity.
Through a partnership with the city of Grand Prairie, the NSEC program occurs within Kirby Creek Park. This park setting offers students the opportunity to learn in a natural setting which includes a pond, community vegetable garden, butterfly and herb garden, a wooded area and trail along Kirby Creek.
NSEC Program Coordinator Brenda Townsend works with classroom teachers, Instructional Coaches and Curriculum Specialists to develop and maintain the programs lessons and the experiences students will experience.
What began as an outdoor field experience for biology students at South Grand Prairie High School in 1976 has evolved into an environmental learning center for the entire community. In 1995, the City of Grand Prairie and Grand Prairie Independent School District entered into a partnership to begin developing Kirby Creek Park into a first class education center for the school district and community.
The development of the center was accelerated in 1996 with funding made available by the city of Grand Prairie from a grant provided by the North Center Council of Governments in cooperation with the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. In 2008, the City of Grand Prairie entered into a consultant agreement with Oliver WIndham, LA, for an update of the master plan for Kirby Creek Natural Science Center. The new plan was a bold vision focused on improved access and "hands-on" experiences of the components of the gardens for school age youth, as well as, enhancing the training and experiences of those involved in the master composter program. Through this planning effort, capital funding was approved to initiate a complete renovation of the overall site. The result of that effort is an expanded educational center with dramatic stonework, outdoor classrooms and improved accessibility throughout the gardens site.