Highlights Include Ecofestival, Jungle Jack Hanna

Boat rides, nature hikes, outdoor classes, and stories for children are just some of the many activities taking place April 22 – 27 at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, 2111 West Park Avenue, in honor of Earth Week, with Earth Day on April 22. The celebration culminates on April 26 with the Ecofestival and on April 27 with a special appearance by Jungle Jack Hanna at the Lutcher Theater. All Earth Week activities are open to the public with the purchase of a regular admission to Shangri La, although several require advance reservations or additional ticket purchases.
Activities offered daily at Shangri La during the period April 22 – April 25 include a boat ride activity and a separate nature walk activity, each beginning at 7:15 a.m. The boat ride activity is limited to guests ages four and older. Participants should park at the Lutcher Theater, 707 Main St., for shuttle service to Shangri La at 7:00 a.m. Additional events occurring daily April 22 – 25 include an evening boat trip at 6:00 p.m. (with shuttle service from the Lutcher Theater at 5:45 p.m.), a Bird Blind Walk at 6:30 p.m. (with shuttle service from the Lutcher Theater at 6:15 p.m.), and story time for children at 10:00 a.m. in the Water Demonstration Garden. Each child attending the story time must be accompanied by an adult. Because spaces are limited, an RSVP is required for each activity, with the exception of the children’s story time.

Other activities include daily lessons around the theme of nature. On Tuesday, April 22, at 9:00  a.m., Shangri La staff will offer a lesson on photographing birds and at 1:30 p.m., the staff will give a lesson on cooking using ingredients from the garden. On Wednesday, April 23, a lesson in floral photography will be offered at 10:00 a.m. and a lesson in making bouquets will take place at 1:30 p.m. The lessons for Thursday, April 24 are “Painting in the Garden” at 1:30 p.m. and “Photograph in Black and White,” also at 1:30 p.m. On Friday, April 25, Shangri La will offer a lesson at 1:30 pm. in basket weaving as well as a lesson at 7:00 p.m. in photographing a sunset. Space is limited for each lesson; therefore, an RSVP is required to attend.

In addition to the daily lessons and activities, Shangri La will offer lectures at 7:30 p.m. April 22 -25 in Shangri La’s Discovery Theater, all of which require an RSVP. The lecture topics are as follows: April 22, Butterfly Gardening; April 23, LEED® Certification; April 24, Bats; April 25, Epiphytes.

On Saturday, April 26 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Shangri La will host the Ecofestival, which will educate the public on ways to be kind to their world. The entry courtyard to Shangri La will be filled with informational booths offering tips on composting, ways to save on energy and water, making paper, recycling, and more. The festival will also include a scavenger hunt, face painting, crafts for kids, and a green car exhibit. The Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Gardening Club, and additional environmental groups will be at the festival to share information about protecting the planet. Boat trips with activities along the way will be offered throughout the day as well as story time for children at 10:00 a.m. and a planting activity in the children’s garden at 11:00 a.m.

As a grand finale to a week of highlights, Jungle Jack Hanna will give a presentation at the Lutcher Theater on Sunday, April 27 at 6:00 p.m. He is director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio, and has touched audiences around the world with stories of his adventures with animals, which he will highlight with DVD clips. He will introduce animals to audience members and tell inspirational stories about conservation, travel, and wildlife. Tickets are $18.00 for adults and $8.00 for students and may be purchased at www.lutcher.org.

The full itinerary of Earth Week activities is available online at www.shangrilagardens.org. Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas, with parking available at the Lutcher Theater, 707 Main St., and shuttle service from there to Shangri La.
Members of Shangri La receive free admission for all activities and events at Shangri La. General admission to Shangri La for adults (ages 18-64) is $6 for entrance to the gardens only, $6 for the bayou tour only, or $10 for both. General admission for seniors (age 65 and up) and students (ages 13-17, with ID) is $5 for the gardens only, $5 for the bayou tour only, or $8 for both. General admission for children (ages 4-12) is $4 for the gardens only, $4 for the bayou tour only, or $6 for both. Toddlers (age 3 and under) receive free admission if accompanied by a parent or guardian but are not permitted on the Outpost Tour due to age restrictions.

For more information, please contact the Shangri La office at 409.670.9113.