Shangri La, with its motto of “Be Kind to Your World,” is planning Earth Week festivities for April 22-27, including Eco Fest, plus an appearance by animal expert Jack Hanna at the Lutcher Theater.

Earth Day started on April 22, 1970, as a way to bring attention to the natural world and the environment.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center, owned by the Stark Foundation of Orange, will have a number of activities for six days, under Earth Week.

Shangri La, the 252-acre private gardens of the late timber heir Lutcher Stark, opened to the public for the first time in 50 years on March 11. Shangri La now has an exhibition hall, café, bookstore, along with landscaped gardens and more than 225 acres left in a natural state along Adams Bayou. Boat rides take visitors to the swampy outposts.

Shangri La also received the rare “platinum” LEEDS rating for its construction and operations meeting the strict standards of being environmentally friendly. Solar panels generate electricity, including the electricity to power the boats, and building materials came from recycled items.

Eco Fest will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 26, in the courtyard area of Shangri La. Visitors, including children, will be able to learn how to make their lives more “green” and ecologically friendly.

People will be able to see demonstrations on composting, how to save energy and water, how to make paper, and how to generate “green” energy. Groups like the Audubon Society and Sierra Club, plus gardening clubs, will have exhibits. People will also be able to look at an exhibit on “green” cars.

Eco Fest will include Story Time in the garden from 10 to 10:30 a.m., plus a children’s planting in the garden from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. Shangri La includes a special children’s garden area for fun and education.

Jack Hanna, former director of the Columbus Zoo, has become a media star with his appearances, with wild animals on a variety of network and cable television shows. He began in the 1980s with an appearance on “Good Morning America” and became a frequent visitor with David Letterman on “Late Night,” starting in 1985.

His media appearances took up so much of his time that he became director emeritus of the zoo. He has also hosted his own animal-environment television shows.

Hanna will be at the Lutcher Theater Sunday, April 27, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults and $8 for students.

Shangri La will be having a number of special nature walks and tours on Tuesday, April 22, through Friday, April 25. The events will include photographing birds, flower photography, sunset photography, basket weaving, making bouquets with local florist, painting in the garden, and story time in the garden. A full list of times and events is available through Shangri La. Reservations are required for many of the activities and will be available through409-670-9799. Some of the events are for members only of Shangri La.

Evening lectures, open to the public for free, will be held four nights from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. The subjects include Butterfly Gardening on Tuesday, April 22; Shangri La’s LEED Certification, Wednesday, April 23; Bats, Bats, Bats on Thursday, April 24, and Orchids on Friday, April 25.