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Friday, April 25, 2008

Shangri-la



Have you ever heard of Orange, Texas? It is the home of the newly opened Shangri La Gardens and Nature Center. Located in the southeast corner of Texas (near the Louisiana border), close to Port Arthur and the Gulf of Mexico, it is a great location for "green" garden. This is only the 50th project in the whole world to be awarded the U.S. Green Building Council's Platinum Certification for LEED®-NC. That means that this site has reached the highest standard for green building and performance. Most of the structures were built from reclaimed bricks and even their parking lot was made from asphalt taken from a local street before it was repaved. Hurricane Rita hit the site when they were in the beginning phases of construction but they used that as an opportunity and salvaged many of the downed trees to use in their plans.

Their website is full of pictures from this beautiful area. It is also a well organized site explaining many of the programs offered there. They have workshops for teachers, a summer science camp for kids called EcoRangers, and in November they will have an Orchid Festival. This very weekend they are celebrating Earth Week and Jack Hanna will be there giving a demonstration with his animals. I'm sure kids of all ages would find something of interest here. What a great example of how we can use our resources wisely for the benefit of everyone.

I really wish we lived closer. I can see how my family would really like this place. I'm sure Caleb and Eva would love to explore the Shape garden or the Color garden. I know Caleb would enjoy the Line Garden and the Texture Garden. A lot of my readers aren't too far away...maybe you could consider a trip to Orange and the Shangri-La Botanical Gardens.



1 comment:

  1. I wish we were closer, too. It would be a good excuse to visit the relatives in LA. All of us would really love seeing the gardens and nature center. Maybe someday......

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