Shangri La Gardens Receives TCEQ Award at Austin Banquet, May 2
ORANGE, Texas - On Wednesday, May 2, 2012, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center staff members attended the 20th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards ceremony in Austin, Texas. These awards are part of efforts by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to protect people and Texas' natural resources while ensuring clean air, clean water and safe management of waste. Shangri La was the 2012 award recipient of the Environmental Excellence Award in the Education category.
During the award ceremony, a short film showcased each winner's contribution to its respective category. The Shangri La video began with a scene of the heronry, showing great egrets taking flight. Audience members were delighted at all of the exciting and educational aspects of the film.
Located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 409.670.9113 or visit www.shangrilagardens.org.
About Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center: Nestled within 252 acres in the heart of Orange, Texas, 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. The unique ecosystem of Shangri La presents an ideal opportunity to further that mission as well as carry on the vision of H.J. Lutcher Stark, the man who originally developed the gardens more than 60 years ago.
Amid nature's pristine ecosystems, the formal gardens at Shangri La reflect a use of more than 300 plant species to paint beautiful landscapes among a series of theme-based garden rooms. Around every corner a new vista awaits the visitor with exquisite sculptures, a great lawn, serene waterscapes reflecting beautiful colors and a Cypress Gate framing blooming plants and soaring birds. The Nature Center includes Adams Bayou outpost tours to educational outposts, a 15-acre Beaver Pond, a state-of-the-art bird blind, a bat house, and more up-close encounters with nature.
Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is the first project in Texas and the 50th project in the world to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's Platinum Certification for LEED®-NC, which verifies that the design and construction of Shangri La reached the highest green building and performance measures. Shangri La was also named by the American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment as one of the top 10 green projects throughout the world.
Shangri La offers a glimpse of how people can live in harmony with nature, as it strives in its mission to Mentor Children of All Ages to Be Kind to Their World.
Photo: Shangri La was presented an award by the TCEQ on May 2, 2012. From L-R: Toby Baker - TCEQ Commissioner, Noelle Jordan - Shangri La Education Coordinator, Bryan Shaw - TCEQ Chair, Michael Hoke - Shangri La Director, and Carlos Rubinstein.