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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

Earth day was April 22, but why focus on being ‘green’ for one day? We shouldn’t we should all treasure the beautiful earth and the surrounding nature that can be seen on this earth. We should make an attempt to view the beauty as much as we can, bask in the glory of the sounds, and the colors that nature provides to us.

Why not visit a place that gives us the sights and sounds while teaching us about this beautiful earth that we live on.

Shangri La Gardens and Nature Center located in Orange, Texas is just the place to make all these things a reality. H.J. Lutcher Stark who was a big nature enthusiast founded the first Shangri La in the 1930’s, a snowstorm had hit the gardens in 1958 which kept the gardens closed until the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark foundation started to rebuild it in 2002.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens uses 252 acres of Orange, Texas, and they invite you to a unique ecosystem, one that will hopefully educate and improve the quality of life, especially in Southeast Texas. Shangri La hopes to offer a way to help people and nature live in harmony with each other by using both their gardens and nature center to create a great place to explore, discover and learn about the ecosystem around us. Shangri La’s has a U.S. Green Building Council's Platinum certification for LEED®-NC for their Nature Center, and they use all of the best ways to show us how we can utilize the many ways to reduce energy.

They themselves have reduced their energy cost by 70% by using solar heating and cooling, optimizing overhangs, using soybean-based spray for insulation in the walls and ceilings, and using strategic window placement. They also use a geothermal heating and cooling system which uses water and pumps it from an 800-foot-deep well. The south-facing roofs and fields by the outdoor classrooms generate renewable energy for the building by using 36 solar panels. They also use low flow sinks and toilets as well as waterless urinals to save them approximately 58,700 gallons of water a year.

This is really a call to us, look what we can do to reduce energy and water consumption in our own homes and businesses. The Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is a place to encourage everyone to be kinder to this world.

The botanical gardens has over 300 different plant species, five formal rooms and four sculpture rooms; while the Nature Center includes boat excursions, a beaver pond, bat house and nesting birds, there is so much more to see at Shangri La. Using the combination of both the gardens and the Nature Center it will give all visitors a chance to discover and learn.

Come visit Shangri La Botanical Gardens in Orange, Texas and come discover a place you’ll never experience or forget again.

Thinking of a place to take the family this summer for a great family vacation? Check out beautiful Orange, Texas ( and make a trip out to Shangri La Botanical Gardens while your there.

To find out more about Shangri La Botanical Gardens and to view more beautiful pictures of their ecosystem please visit: Shangri La Gardens and Nature Center

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