Dogwood Canyon is a wild, special rich in diversity place, where plants, animals and people all sustain each other for a healthy future. It includes a 6,000 square foot Audubon Center and Dogwood Canyon Trails
with 200+ acres of pristine forest. The Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center opened in 2011.
Located 16 miles southwest of Downtown Dallas, Dogwood Canyon is part of the White Rock Escarpment. The center is within a 50-minute drive of four million people and 15 minutes from 24 schools. The Canyon features a visitor center, two canyon trails, academic programs, conservation workshops and facility rental where guests are surrounded by nature. If you just want to hang out or chill at the canyon with family and friends, The Wood offers a shady retreat with picnic tables and an unstructure children's nature play area.
The West Rim Trail offers scenic overlooks across Joe Pool Lake all the way to Cowboy Stadium, 15 miles to the northwest, in Arlington. Also available is an ADA accessible trail on the canyon floor. Both trails total approximately 2 miles and a total of 4 miles of trails are in development at Dogwood Canyon.
On April 23, 2008, John Flicker, former president of the National Audubon Society, led the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center. The center was part of Flicker's vision to connect people with nature and its wildlife in urban areas such as Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.
"To be able to conserve over 200 acres of important wildlife habitat in a major metropolitan area is incredible," said Flicker. "Dogwood Canyon will reveal a world many people in the area rarely see, and provide an unrivaled opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds to experience, understand, and grow to care for the natural world."
The groundbreaking ceremony included planting a dogwood tree by local school children to celebrate the conservation of the canyon and the science education programs that will serve 5,000 students at the center each year.
The $7.4 million project was the result of a partnership between the City of Cedar Hill and Audubon Dallas local chapter. Audubon Dallas, in cooperation with Audubon Texas and National Audubon Society, developed the sanctuary. The center's building is named the C. E. Doolin Education and Visitors Center for Frito-Lay, Inc., co-founder C. E. Doolin.
Dogwood Canyon derives its name from the flowering dogwoods that are found on the site. The flowering dogwood is common to the piney woods and post oak belts of Texas, but is generally absent from shallow clay soils of the limestone regions. Plants and animals from East, West and Central Texas converge here at the outer limits of their ranges, making Dogwood Canyon home to a unique combination of flora and fauna. Most importantly, the canyon supports mature Ashe Juniper trees, the last known nesting habitat of the federally-endangered Golden-cheeked Warblers and the Black-chinned Hummingbirds (both songbirds).
Dogwood Canyon also provides outstanding habitat for migrating and nesting birds. Orioles, tanagers, warblers, hummingbirds and others feed on the rich nourishment provided by its lush vegetation. White-eyed, Red-eyed and Warbling Vireos, Red-bellied and Downy Woodpeckers, Chuck Will's Widows and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, sing their songs seemingly from every tree.