Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center announces programs for the Beat The Heat lecture series. Many of these lectures include experts sharing knowledge with the public on topics related to wildlife, gardening, habitats and our natural environment. Participants will meet at the Admissions Window at the scheduled event time, with sessions lasting about an hour in the Discovery Theater. All programs offered in the series are free of charge, but an RSVP is required as space is limited. Call 409-670-9799 for reservations.

Woodpeckers of Southeast Texas – Thursday, Sept. 20 (7:30 p.m.): Visitors will learn about woodpeckers of Southeast Texas during a slide presentation and lecture by Cliff Shackelford from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Learn tips on identifying native birds by sight and sound and the role that woodpeckers serve in the forest environments of the area. Shackelford is the statewide non-game Ornithologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife, an avid birdwatcher and has authored more than sixty publications on birds and birding. The whole family is invited to learn more about the wide variety of woodpeckers in this area of Texas.

Organic Gardening – Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 (7 p.m.): Enjoy a presentation by Master Gardener Gundrum Opperman on a variety of topics related to organic gardening. Learn the time and money-saving tips of growing plants by working with the environment. Gardening without the use of chemicals and pesticides can keep the soil of the environment clean and gives gardeners the opportunity to grow fresh fruits and vegetables in an ecologically-friendly way.

The Beat The Heat lecture series has programs for the young and young-at-heart. For those interested in attending, please RSVP by calling 409-670-9799. Located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas, Shangri La is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sundays, noon – 5 p.m. For more information, visit

Photo: Learn about organic gardening and the ecological benefits of growing plants without chemicals during the Sept. 27 Organic Gardening presentation.