Thursday, June 16, 2011

BRIT: The Botanical Research Institute of Texas

One of our missions on the Texas Nature Challenge is the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.  I had never heard of BRIT before, and for good reason.  It just opened this past May. 

Wednesday was their first Storytime with Bella, a Begonia puppet.  I was really excited about taking Leo to the storytime, and letting the kids complete their challenge. 

BRIT is located adjacent to, although it's not a part of, the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens.  We hurried upstairs to the Children's Library, where storytime was taking place.  We walked into a very full room!  It seemed like a terrific storytime, but Leo was interested only in going to find his brother and sister, who were already gathering information for the Nature Challenge downstairs. 

We quietly snuck out and joined in on the Challenge downstairs.  They were busy drawing a picture of BRIT's Prairie Patch located in the back of the building.  This was the second time we had heard the term "Prairie Patch" since we began our Nature Challenge, the first time being at the Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake. 

We then were led to view into a room where BRIT employees were taking plant samples, some from Peru and some from Texas, and attaching them to plates for references. 

Everything about BRIT is as green as it can be.  Employees are encouraged to bicycle to work, and showers are offered so that they can freshen up.  Their water is heated via a long pipe that takes the water underground.  The electricity is solar, and even the rooftop is green.....literally!  They have a living rooftop, that has been planted with sun loving native Texas plants! 

In the side yard is a geological time table of rock taken from the local area.  This was Cole's favorite area, as you can see the changes in the rock, and some fossils, from when Fort Worth was a shallow sea!

Cole and Danielle received their Nature Challenge stamp, and were told that they were the first ones to complete the challenge at BRIT!  They posed for pictures, and Leo spotted a pond that they are building in the front.  We went outside to watch as they worked on the pumps for the pond.

BRIT has an interactive table which allows you to move the cameras on the Living Roof!

If you would like to schedule your own visit to BRIT, follow this link:
 BRIT's storytimes are offered on the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month.  Free tours are offered Tue-Fri from 1:30-2:30pm.  Or visit during their monthly Family Saturday, with hands on activities for the entire family, focused around a different theme each month, for $5.00/person. 

We then drove across University to Trinity Park, which sits along the Trinity River in Fort Worth.  We had a nice picnic lunch, we always pack our lunch, and the kids played on the playground!

 We then sat under the big oak trees that are numerous around the park, watched a fearless raccoon sneak out to raid a trashcan, and read a chapter of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", which is appropriate since there is a bronze statue of Mark Twain in the park.  He is sitting on a bench, arm stretched out to welcome children to sit along with him, read and watch the river as it lazily drifts by. 

1 comment:

  1. we just joined the nature challenge which is how I found your blog. I know we're a little late and my kids are young, but oh well. looking forward to it! it's neat to follow others in their adventures. we're in the bayou region.