The oldest place in Las Vegas, where the city actually originated more than a century ago, has become its newest attraction, the Las Vegas Springs Preserve, opening in June.
The age-old springs – a life-giving source of fresh water near the Las Vegas Strip that has provided habitat for birds, animals, and humans for as long ago as 5,000 years, has been transformed into a major new cultural attraction that embodies the nation’s largest commercial straw-bale construction project and demonstrates the current trend in “green” living.
Fresh water springs, which once sustained weary explorers, traders and settlers cross the desert, inspired the name “Las Vegas,” which means “the meadows.” The springs lie at the heart of the 180-acre preserve complex. Its pools and verdant wetlands are surrounded by a complex of seven new buildings certified platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for using recycled, reusable, energy efficient and sustainable building materials and operating methods that help maintain a clean, healthy environment.
The preserve, several miles west of downtown Las Vegas, is all about encouraging building and living “green.” It shows visitors how to apply these techniques in their own homes and businesses.
The complex includes two historic museum galleries, a children’s gallery, an indoor theater, an outdoor 2,000-seat amphitheatre for concerts, a restaurant with indoor and patio dining, an indoor simulated desert flash flood, botanical gardens, trails with simulated fossils, a manmade box canyon with native plants and wildlife and much more. For more information, visit www.springspreserve.org.