Discovery Hill Outdoor Learning Center

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Keys to Success:

  • The stock tank is easy to acquire and fill
  • The pond was filled with water in 1 day. The plants and fish were added the next day
  • It draws a lot of attention and excitement!
  • We were able to order beneficial bacteria and dye online
  • Gambusia fish and aquatic plants are easy and inexpensive to get ahold of in town!


  • The pond is subject to vandalism. Plants are removed from their pots and the pots are then used to throw water out of the pond.
  • Austin ISD allows ponds to be 6 inches deep or have a 6 foot fence around the area. To solve this, we filled the pond to 6 inches with river rock and the rest with water. All plants and fish now need to survive in a 6 inch depth.
  • The pond is in the middle of a path so we had to consciously add plants and rocks to make it accessible to wildlife.

The Discovery Hill Outdoor Learning Center is the Austin ISD demonstration habitat and outdoor classroom.

Located at the Science and Health Resource Center, Discovery Hill is a location for field trips and teacher trainings. Installed through a partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, Discovery Hill is working to connect kids and educators with nature.