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The Shell Bayou Lab represents one component of a larger Bayou Lab Initiative at Armand Bayou Nature Center that is designed to enhanceexperiential learning for year-round education programs for all ages, starting at four years of age and continuing through college. The Shell Bayou Lab building will also serve as a research site for university students training to be the next generation of conservationists and ecologists through long-established partnerships with San Jacinto College, the University of Houston Clear Lake, Lee College, and others.

“Shell has a long standing relationship with Armand Bayou Nature Center as our Projects and Turnaround team holds an annual work day here each year. This not only benefits the center but also our employees who develop team building skills that are being put to use right now during our Big Block Turnaround,” said Greg Willms, VP, Shell Deer Park. “Similar to our work days, the Shell Bayou Lab started out as a smaller project to build a space for students to study the ecology of the Bayou. But the project has certainly grown into something we should all be proud of. Tim and the ABNC team have brought in Harris County Precinct 2, the City of Pasadena, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, the University of Texas School of Architecture, and many others to further enrich the education and experiences of our future leaders.

Other elements of the Bayou Lab initiative include:

  • an outdoor classroom for seining and water sampling;
  • a 16-passenger pontoon boat funded by Farish Fund and Albemarle Foundation;
  • a floating boat dock and kayak launch funded by Farish Fund;
  • as well as a brand-new fleet of 19 sit-on-top kayaks, funded by Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation;
  • and students and guests will soon be transported to the site on two 23-passenger electric vehicles funded by H-GAC.

The building’s lights, the electric vehicles, and other amenities will be 100% offset by a solar array generously provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation through funds from Shell Oil Company. While the Shell Bayou Lab building is still in the design phase, it is intended to provide a permanent seining site, a bayou observation deck, a water testing station, educational materials and equipment, and storage for the kayaks and the pontoon boat.

Armand Bayou Nature Center is also very excited to announce that Shell’s Bayou Lab building will be designed through a partnership with The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Architecture and their Gulf Coast Design Lab. 

About Armand Bayou Nature Center

Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) is a non-profit established in 1974 with the mission of preservation and environmental education. The largest urban wilderness preserve in the U.S. with 2,500 acres of preserved natural wetlands, forest, prairie and marsh habitats, ABNC provides the local community with educational programming and fun for all with more than five miles of hiking trails, the historic Martyn Farm, and organized activities including pontoon cruises and guided canoe and photo tours.

Through generous funding from public donors like Harris County Precinct 2 and private donors like Shell Deer Park, ABNC provides educational programing for the public at large, as well as multiple public schools from all over Harris County, including programs for young people with special needs and youth who are at-risk.

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