Visit Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center for a new series of public programs, “Third Thursdays,” to start Feb. 16, and continue every third Thursday of each month from Feb. through April.

The programs begin at 6:30 p.m. and each will last one hour. Seating is limited and a reservation must be made.

On Feb. 16, the Third Thursdays programs will debut with “Bring Nature to Your Backyard.” Children and adults will discuss how to transform their backyards to attract wildlife. Learn about plants that attract different animals and insects that live and migrate through our area. Information will be presented on how to create food, water, cover and safe haven sources for wildlife around your home. Participants will plant seeds of native plants, make bird feeders and create a bird house out of reused materials. All of these items can be taken home so participants may begin their backyard transformation.

On March 15, the “Special Birds of Shangri La” program will discuss the birds that reside at Shangri La year-round, as well as special migratory visitors, with the aid of photographs. Two of the birds highlighted in this program will be the Prothonotary Warbler and Chestnut Sided Warbler, only two of the more than 200 bird species that migrate through Shangri La. Birdwatchers consider these species to be rare and a prize to see. This presentation is appropriate for adults and children over 12 years of age.

On April 19, during Earth Week, Shangri La will present a “Twilight Hike.” Visitors of all ages are invited to participate in a short hike through the forest and swamps of Shangri La. Participants will watch and listen for any active wildlife. Learn to distinguish between animals that are diurnal (active during the day), nocturnal (active at night) and crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk). Participants will also play games to understand how these different animals hunt and communicate.

Because of limited seating, all Third Thursdays programs require a reservation. To make a reservation, please call 670-9799. If all seats are taken, walk-up visitors without a reservation may not be able to attend.

Located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Shangri La is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5:00p.m. For more information call 409.670.9113 or visit