Irving ISD’s outdoor learning center is garnering state recognition. Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) recently announced the Elise Walker Outdoor Learning Center as a winner of the 2020 Sadie Ray Graff Educational Institution Award. 

The Keep Texas Beautiful Awards recognize youth and educators who are working to improve and beautify their communities. The Sadie Ray Graff Educational Institution Award is one of four categories and recognizes individuals, businesses, media outlets and government agencies who have made an impact in their community and helped further KTB’s vision to make Texas the cleanest, most beautiful state in the nation. 

The Elise Walker Outdoor Learning Center was opened in 2016 to give students of all ages and abilities within Irving ISD the unique opportunity to experience science instruction outside the classroom. In addition, it works with students at North Lake College and Singley Academy, in conjunction with Keep Irving Beautiful, to ensure that the wildlife habitat remains safe and beautiful.

“We are proud to receive the Sadie Ray Graff Award in recognition of the work being done at the Elise Walker Outdoor Learning center,” says Chris Dazer, Director of Science Discovery Education for Irving ISD. “We are very intentional in our efforts to promote environmental education and experiences to all stakeholders in the Irving ISD community. We feel very fortunate to have the support of a school district and community that value unique and meaningful science education experiences for all students.” 

Each year, Keep Texas Beautiful recognizes the efforts of students, educators and educational institutions that promote beautification, waste reduction and litter prevention through environmental education and community activism. 

“We are proud to honor and recognize the youth and educators making a difference in our state,” says Suzanne Kho, Executive Director of Keep Texas Beautiful. “Their actions do more than protect the environment: they inspire community members to get involved and help us keep Texas beautiful.”

All winners will be recognized at the KTB Annual Conference in Houston this week. A full list of winners and award descriptions, as well as information about the conference can be found here.