St. Edward’s University Wild Basin Creative Research Center serves as an extension of main campus and includes 227 acres within the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve system. In addition to serving the university community, the preserve is open to the public for trail hiking and eventsWild Basin also offers volunteer opportunities and guided school tours

While undergraduate research historically evokes the sciences, this center focuses on “creative research” and is designed to encourage research in all disciplines as well as interdisciplinary and cross-curriculum projects. Examples range from mock crime scene investigations for a forensic science course to future math and science educators exploring water quality issues to art students using the preserve as a backdrop to inspire drawing and sculpture projects and to science and art students working side-by-side to conduct and document field research.

In addition to these types of projects, St. Edward’s University works in partnership with the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve and its many affiliates including Travis County, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, City of Austin, Nature Conservancy, and Lower Colorado River Authority on conservation efforts.

Located along Capital of Texas Highway, Wild Basin Preserve was founded in 1974 thanks to a 25-year grass-roots effort. The preserve was established despite enormous development pressures and was saved from the region’s rapid development and growth. St. Edward’s acquired Wild Basin and took over the land management duties in 2009, and expanded to include interdisciplinary creative research in 2011. The Wild Basin Creative Research Center continues to be a treasured educational resource that provides extensive learning opportunities for students.

Upcoming Events


Dr. Allan W. Hook Endowed Wild Basin Creative Research Fund

Past Hook Scholars

Hook Fellowship Guide
Hook Fellowship Application


New Digital Trail Maps!

Wild Basin trail map (viewable on smartphones)
Trail map for Google Earth (viewable on smartphones with the Google Earth application)

This KMZ file is a download that will open in Google Earth. It contains multiple layers that allow you to view the different trails and amenities within Wild Basin. You can also see yourself in Google Earth in real time as you hike along the trails. Never get lost again! Need to sit down? Know when the next bench is coming up.

**To download the Google Earth app:  (1) Go to the App Store. (2) Search for Google Earth. (3) Install the free application on your smartphone.**