Arbor Hills Nature Preserve

The City of Plano spared 200 acres of pristine rolling land from development and presented a hands-on environmental education and discovery park to its citizens and those in the surrounding region. Arbor Hills is a living example of what was once native to Plano: blackland prairie, upland forest, wetlands, and a riparian corridor. The architectural elements of the preserve reflect the Texas farmstead heritage. The cluster of pavilions allows groups of various sizes to utilize the area with the granary-like restroom structure in close proximity. Through site reconnaissance, an old cistern was discovered and incorporated into the plaza space. All of the facilities are constructed of native Texas materials in order to blend the architecture with the landscape of the site. The amenities are connected by a two mile hard surface trail meandering through the park and its various zones. Other sites of interest along the trail include a constructed blind for a bird watching aviary, natural occurring wetlands, and mazes of interpretive paths with learning experiences about nature. Each of these educational stations demonstrates the purpose of celebrating the different ecological zones in the preserve.


Texas Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects
2023 Classic Award

Dallas Chapter American Institutes of Architects
1999 Merit Award

Texas Chapter American Society of Landscape Architects
1998 Honor Award – Design Unrealized


Plano, Texas

Environmental Education