“Rekindle your sense of wonder.”
Since the publication of the book Lost Horizon in 1933, the term “Shangri La” has represented a place of beauty, peace and enlightenment. In Orange, Texas, a modern Shangri La has been recreated with the best of both nature and gardens. 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 it more than 60 years ago. The formal Botanical Gardens contain more than 300 plant species in five formal “rooms”� as well as four sculpture “rooms”.� Adjacent to the Botanical Gardens is a bird blind which allows visitors to observe nesting birds in Shangri La’s heronry. The Nature Center includes a hands-on exhibit called the Nature Discovery Center, a laboratory, and three outdoor classrooms located deep in the cypress swamp. The Orientation Center includes an Exhibit Hall, Discovery Theater, Children’s Garden, Exhibition Greenhouses, Cafe, and Garden Store. 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 the design and construction of Shangri La reached the highest green building and performance measures. As one of the most earth-friendly projects in the world, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center offers a glimpse of how people can live in harmony with nature. The combination of gardens and nature at Shangri La presents a serene oasis for retreat and renewal, as well as the opportunity to explore, discover and learn. Visit Shangri La and rekindle your sense of wonder. Shangri La is a program of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a non-profit organization.
When visiting Orange, Texas and have at least a week there, then you should definitely check out its no1 attraction, Shangri La Botanical Gardens.
I read kinda few positive reviews about the place before visiting, but believe me; words simply fail to fully describe the magic of this amazing place. If you are into photography, a nature fan, someone who just looks for a place to visit while in Orange or you have a passion for birds or plants, then this is definitely your place to visit. One day is certainly not enough to visit it. You will need at least 4-5 days. And believe me, once there, returning will seem like a great necessity.
There is a little boat with a fully qualified and very communicative tour guide that will provide you with some great info about the plants as well as about the many birds that nest there. The best season to visit it is early spring or early autumn. The colors then are amazing, and during spring is the mating season for birds!! Great place for kids and a great opportunity to come in touch with some great natural beauties! Highly recommended!
A MUST! If you are driving from Houston to New Orleans, this is a diamond in the rough. People come to Orange just to see this. Take the electric boat up the bayou and enter some pristine nature. Bonus points--super sustainable architectural project, and it's educational. It was started by a high school science teacher and now it's world-class.
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Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center
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