LOLA History

Since the year 2000, the Lakewood Elementary Parents, community and nature experts have contributed countless volunteer hours and funds to create, support and continuously improve LOLA.
The following outlines LOLA's contributors and partnerships:
  • In 2000, Susan Campbell, a Master Naturalist and founder/director of Science Safari, started the LOLA with a $18,000 grant from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Her vision was to give all 700+ students the opportunity to use and learn from the nature trail in LOLA.
  • In 2010, Ann Willis-Brown, a Master Naturalist and Lakewood parent, received a $10,000 grant for the LOLA from Dallas Loving My Community. The grant funds were used to build an amphitheater, benches and a boardwalk to the creek classroom area.
  • In 2010, Ann Willis-Brown received a grant for $2,500 for trail improvements, erosion control and native plant restoration.
  • In 2014 the PTA and LECPTA began providing $50,000 annually to the LOLA Outdoor Science and Environmental Curriculum implemented through a partnership with the Trinity River Audubon Center. LOLA is the ONLY DISD outdoor-based science curriculum and the only Dallas school with a nature preserve and outdoor classroom.
  • In 2015, a $500 grant was received for trail improvements and extension of the trail.
  • With considerable funds from FOL, PTA and a local nonprofit, Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, several improvement projects were completed.
    • Renovation of the steps at the eastern end of the trail
    • Maintenance of the current trail
    • Restoration of the LOLA prairie and removal of invasive plants
  • Kevin Rudy, biologist and outdoor educator, created an investigative tool for students to walk the trail and study a variety of unique trees in the LOLA. 
  • In 2019 the LOLA committee, LWE administration and the DISD Facilities Department began work revamping the entrance to LOLA. This extensive project was completed in 2022 and provides access to LOLA for all individuals.
  • In the Spring of 2022 LOLA was reopened for student education sessions. Funded by PTA and LECPTA, LWE entered a new partnership with the Dallas Arboretum to provide custom lessons to the 900+ students at the school.
Contributors and Supporters
  • Lakewood PTA
  • Lakewood Early Childhood PTA
  • Texas Master Naturalists
  • Dallas Arboretum
  • Texas Discovery Gardens
  • Trinity Trust Foundation
  • For the Love of the Lake
  • Trinity River Audubon Center
  • Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center
  • John Bunker Sands Wetland Reserve
  • Blackland Prairie Raptor Center
  • Friends Of Lakewood (FOL)
  • Teas Historic Tree Coalition
  • Boy and Girl Scouts of America


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