History and Mission

Restoration - Preservation - Education - Research

The Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA) covers four square miles tucked into the soft rolling hills of north central Texas just downstream from Lewisville Lake. LLELA occupies an uncommon ecological position where four different ecosystems are present and transition into one another. The Crosstimbers Forest, the riparian corridor of Elm Fork of the Trinity River, the Hardwood Bottomlands that surround the river and wetlands and the Blackland Prairie. As these habitats change across the property, they create ecotones, transitional areas that are often richer in species than the biological communities on either side. This is an unique island of nature enclosed within a rapidly growing urban and suburban expanse.

With this diversity of habitats, LLELA is home to thousands of species of wildlife and flora. Within its boundaries you may find rare plants like trout lilies and lady’s tresses orchids, false aloe and wild hyacinth growing among the tall grasses of the prairie, or Green Dragon, a forest member of the Arum family, growing along the verges of its namesake trail. There are over thirty species of mammals including bobcats, river otters, white tailed deer and beavers as well as more than 275 species of birds; wild turkeys, northern bobwhite quail, painted buntings, and Carolina chickadees together with dozens of species of warblers, sparrows, raptors, waterfowl and wading birds that all call LLELA home for at least a part of the year. Nearly 200 species of butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and damselflies including the ebony jewelwing, each with their own microhabitat and season, have been found on LLELA.

LLELA, was created in the early 1990s by a consortium of local, and state government agencies, who obtained a management lease from the US Army Corps of Engineers. Today, the LLELA consortium is comprised of the University of North Texas, the City of Lewisville, and the Lewisville Independent School District with support from the Friends of LLELA, a 501c3 non-profit corporation.

The entire area was originally a small thriving farming and ranching community that took root in the 1840’s and slowly dwindled away after the railroad was built further west of the modern town of Lewisville. With the increases in population as the Dallas area grew it was determined that the original Lake Dallas was not going to meet future water needs. So, in the late 1940’s the much larger Lewisville dam and lake were completed and flood control areas downstream of the dam were set aside and lay fallow until the creation of LLELA.


The goal of the LLELA consortium is to develop the area for: the preservation and restoration of native habitat and biodiversity, environmental education, environmental research and outdoor recreation.

Management Goals

The principal goals of management at LLELA are to preserve and protect native biodiversity and to restore degraded ecosystems, communities, and native biodiversity while providing compatible educational and scientific use of LLELA lands.

Hours of Operation

LLELA is opened 7 days a week. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. Winter Hours (November 1 - Feb. 28(29)): 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Summer Hours (March 1 - October 31): 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. For the protection of our wildlife, NO PETS are allowed at LLELA.

Entrance Fees:

$5.00 per vehicle, Credit Cards Only.

Season Passes: $60 per car

This pass is valid for one year from the date of purchase and allows one vehicle and its occupants to enter LLELA without purchasing a day pass. The annual pass holder must be in the vehicle. IT IS not transferable to another family member. Annual passes also allow entry to Lake Park and Tower Bay.

Primitive Camping

Friday and Saturday nights. Check-in no later than one hour before closing. Check-out time is by 1:00 p.m. on Saturday and 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Cost: day-use fees plus $10.00 per campsite per night. Potable water is available in several locations in the campground.

Group Camping

This is available for Scouts and other community groups. Call 972-219-3550 for rates and information. Brochures, Observation Lists (to be used for sightings along trails, etc.) and Maps are also available.