Approximately, three miles from Las Vegas you can find a calm oasis. I know that when you think about Sin City, a mental picture of neon lights, night shows, thematic hotels and rowdiness comes to your mind. Close to this playground you can find Las Vegas Spring Preserve. This is the site of the original water source for the area. Early settlers dwelled around this here because they knew about the precious liquid designed to give them life. Today, the area is protected and modern buildings have been built around it to showcase the history, flora and fauna of the region.
Since you arrive, you can see how compromised with conservation this place is. The shade in the parking area are cell (like solar panels) used to power operations. And you know what, they look cool and modern. The place even has a Wolfang Puck restaurant. So this is not a whole in the middle of nowhere.
You move to the ticketing area thru a small canyon. Once you have your tickets, you can explore the different exhibitons.
This area showcases how native Indians made the most of the desert environment to survive the harsh conditions. In the same way, it presents how animals have adapted to live in this area. One of the most interesting things I learned was about a lizard that can throw a blood spurt thru its eyes. When a big animal becomes dangerous, the lizard uses its defense mechanism to scare the predator away. The distraction let the lizard run for its life. It was also cool to see how some lizard can run using its two back legs. This is another mechanism to escape on rocky areas.
This area is really interactive. Therefore, like the name very well implies, it is an experience. It uses all sorts of modern technology (video, games) to educate. There are also live animal exhibitions (desert animals, of course).
Desert Living Center
The center uses sustainable architecture, interactive exhibits and programming to show Las Vegas residents how to conserve water and live sustainably in the desert.
When we went there was also a photographic exhibition presenting shots taken during the construction of the Hoover Dam Bypass. All the photos were amazing.
The center was constructed using modern architecture which has won numerous awards.
There is a small botanical garden presenting desert plants. The landscape is gorgeous and you can still see some water derricks.
The preserve contains 4 trails. One leads to the cienega or spring.
Many of Las Vegas attraction tend to be expensive (more than 10 dollars each and some are kind of easy to see). If you want to save, consider buying a card that let you go to a wide array of attractions for a fix price. We bought Las Vegas Power Pass. You can buy the card for 1, 2 or 3 days. Reservations must be done online.
Springs Preserve Information
333 S. Valley View Blvd. at US 95
Open Daily From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
For more Friday photos, visit Delicious Baby.