Join friends and family at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, Texas, at Eco-Fest on April 20, 2013. On that day, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., there will be booths offering eco-friendly products and services, a butterfly release, as well as games and fun for visitors of all ages. Entry to Eco-Fest will be $8 and children under 10 years of age will receive free admission. This fee includes access to all Eco-Fest activities and children will receive a butterfly to release at 11:00 a.m. Entry does not include Outpost Tours and butterflies are available to children while supplies last. Buy your ticket in advance online at www.shangrilagardens.org. 

Prior to Eco-Fest, Shangri La kicks off an Earth Week celebration with three evening programs related to the environmental elements of Adams Bayou and the habitats of animals that live throughout Shangri La. Admission to these programs will be free of charge, however, space is limited for these events and an RSVP is required to attend. For more information or to reserve a seat, call 409.670.9799 or visit  www.shangrilagardens.org to register online.

 Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An Evening on the Bayou (6 – 7:15 p.m.) – Experience Adams Bayou at dusk for an opportunity to see nesting birds returning to Shangri La’s heronry for the night or alligators searching for a bite to eat. This program is for adults and children 4 years of age or older. Make a reservation by calling 409.670.9799 or register online at www.shangrilagardens.org.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Evening Bird Stroll (6 – 7:15 p.m.) – During this peaceful 2 mile stroll around Shangri La’s Ruby Lake, guests will have the chance to view birds returning for the night. This is a family-friendly program and visitors of all ages are welcome. Make a reservation by calling 409.670.9799 or register online at www.shangrilagardens.org.

Thursday April 18, 2013

An Evening on the Bayou (6 – 7:15 p.m.) – Experience Adams Bayou at dusk for an opportunity to see nesting birds returning to Shangri La’s heronry for the night or alligators searching for a bite to eat. This program is for adults and children 4 years of age or older. Make a reservation by calling 409.670.9799 or register online at www.shangrilagardens.org.

During the Eco-Fest celebration, children and adults can participate in activities in three designated Fun Zones, see skits, take part in games and crafts, see live animals shows, including a visit by Maxine the Owl, and visit booths to learn more about the Earth and earth-friendly products and practices. Some of the local business and organizations participating this year are Big Thicket Association, Golden Triangle Sierra Club, Texas Campaign for the Environment, Sabine-Neches Master Naturalists and many others. DB Metal Art will have recycled metal sculptures for sale, and David Self Ford and Granger Chevrolet will have eco-friendly cars on display.

A schedule of events taking place throughout Eco-Fest:

Butterfly Release (11 a.m.) – Visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to participate in the release of hundreds of native butterflies into the gardens at Shangri La. (Butterflies available to children while supplies last.)

Meet Maxine, The Owl (Noon. – 12:30 p.m.) – Visit the Discovery Theater to meet Maxine, the Barred Owl. Maxine is a rehabilitated owl who lost a wing to an injury and now resides at Shangri La. She visits groups to educate the community on animal adapatations.

Cooking from the Garden (12:30 – 1:30 p.m.) – Learn more about using items from a home garden to create delicious and colorful meals and snacks.

Butterflies that Flutter By (1 – 2 p.m.) – Come celebrate butterflies in this family-friendly program. Learn about life stages, join in a butterfly search and then make a take-home craft.

Up-Close with Nature (2 – 2:30 p.m.) – Walk-up visitors will discover which critters are active at Shangri La during spring. Stop by the Discovery Theater to see several live animals and learn about their behavior and habitat.

Outpost Tours – Tours will take place at the following times on April 20 (outpost tour fees are not included in the $8 entry fee for Eco-Fest): 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3: p.m.

Buy your tickets to Eco-Fest in advance at www.shangrilagardens.org!

Noelle Jordan, Environmental Education Coordinator, says, “Shangri La’s mission comes to life during Eco-Fest through games, activities, and outpost tours that ignite curiosity and spark excitement in each visitor. On-hand exhibitors will provide information and stewardship that will help guests expand their knowledge of caring for the environment and the live animal shows will instill a sense of wonder and encourage attendees to explore the world around them. Join us for Eco-Fest to learn ways that you can Be Kind to Your World.”

Located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas, Shangri La is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For more information, call 409-670-9113 or visit www.shangrilagardens.org.