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Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Jun 26, 2008
Texas wildflowers are celebrated throughout the state of Texas thanks to the efforts of the late former first lady Lady Bird Johnson, and Austin is home to the institution she helped created, named in her honor. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is a unique attraction, paying homage to the woman who helped elevate and preserve the native plants and the natural beauty of Texas.

The Wildflower Center works daily to educate the public on sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes. With beautiful gardens, expansive meadows, and woodland trails to explore, visitors can experience the plentiful offerings of Texas's native plants up close. Tours are available, but visitors can enjoy the grounds at their own pace with the available printed information or with an audio podcast to guide them.

In addition to the gardens, the Center curates rotating exhibits, many of which include art. Whether viewing oversized bronze insects throughout the grounds, or viewing sculpture and paintings on display indoors, the beauty of nature is enhanced by its pairing with visual arts. Many exhibits are mounted in their McDermott Learning Center, which also holds a permanent exhibit, and features a large picture window from which to view the natural surroundings. A docent is often available in the learning center to answer questions, and to help visitors identify the plethora of different flowers and plants they will see on the grounds.

Children will find a world of fun and education designed especially for them. A tiny door indicates that the room within is dedicated to the wee ones, with puppets, books, arts and crafts that help illustrate the wealth of nature that exists at the center and throughout the state. This is also a great place to take a break and beat the heat while discussing the different plants located on the trails and in the gardens. A popular destination for school field trips, the Wildflower Center also offers teacher resources to maximize a class visit. They also offer summer camps a perfect way to engage school-age youngsters in nature and science during their summer break.

The Wildflower Center is home to a delightful cafe. Featuring fresh and inventive sandwiches, salads, baked treats and thirst-quenchers such as hibiscus mint tea, the cafe is almost a destination in itself. Soups are made from scratch, and vegetarian including the sensational Wildflower Wrap (Roasted Poblano & Portabella Mushroom wrapped in a tomato basil flour tortilla with lettuce and tomatoes,sun dried tomato spread) are available.

Events including fundraising galas, artisan nights, plant sales, and nature nights are held throughout the year, in addition to guided tours. Their website is an extensive resource both for planning a trip, and for learning more about the myriad of things encountered on a trip. They publish a newsletter and magazine in Austin, in addition to the materials available at the main office.

The last stop of the visit should be to their gift shop featuring clothing, books, gifts and educational toys that will commemorate and unforgettable visit.
About the Author
Escapeso Austin Real Estate is a small realty company in Austin. They help clients interested in Austin real estate and provide a free web search of the Austin MLS. They also provide visitors updates on the Austin market on their Austin real estate blog.
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