Friday, April 25, 2008

Shangri La Botanical Gardens
Friends and relative back home Malaysia are interested to visit us one day. John and I always wondered what places that we should take them to when they come to Texas. Besides Six Flags, San antonio, I just found out another nice interesting travel spot that we should go.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is a program of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a private foundation whose mission is to improve and enrich the quality of life in Southeast Texas and encourage and assist education, and it is nested nestled within 252 acres in the heart of Orange, Texas. The term “Shangri La” has represented a place of beauty, peace and enlightenment.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is the first project in Texas and the 50th project in the world to earn theU.S. Green Building Council's Platinum certification for LEED®-NC, which verifies the design and construction of Shangri La reached the highest green building and performance measures.

The Shangri La Nature Center offers an opportunity for visitors to learn about the unique ecosystems that are located in the easternmost part of Texas. After exploring the hands-on Nature Discovery Center, visitors learn more about Shangri La’s wetland ecosystem in the interactive laboratory. Visitors then travel along Adams Bayou to the interior of Shangri La via specially designed pontoon boats and boardwalks. Arriving at any one of three Nature Center outposts, they experience the flora and fauna of the cypress/tupelo swamp. While in the Nature Center, visitors can view thousands of birds nesting in Ruby Lake or discover the 1,200 year-old pond cypress tree known as The Survivor.

Tickets will be available for purchase at the entrance of Shangri La. Please visit to the website and the city of Orange, Texas! Also, any blogger who can visit the location and take three pictures of themselves at the gardens and can write about their time there, will be rewarded with an additional $100.00 but visits must be verifiable.