Revel in the beauty of spring and celebrate the Earth

Published 8:54 am Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Special to The Leader


Each year in April, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center celebrates Earth Day with an Eco-Fest celebration and Butterfly Release. Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm is a day full of family fun that highlights sustainability and natural history. Local and regional organizations as well as businesses host booths that provide information about earth-friendly products, services, and opportunities.

Games, activities, and engaging presentations provide entertainment for the whole family. Enjoy the gardens in full bloom and view baby birds in their nests on Ruby Lake. Outpost Tours and strolls through the garden provide relaxing escapes from the hustle and bustle. The day culminates with an awe-inspiring Butterfly Release at 3:30 pm. This year Entergy is generously sponsoring the Butterfly Release, which symbolically celebrates our appreciation and value for the biodiversity that inhabits our fragile planet.


A schedule of events taking place throughout Eco-Fest:

Family friendly games and activities (10:00am-3:00pm) – Take part in the exciting family friendly games and activities throughout the garden. There will be face painting, ring toss, pet rock painting, flower pot ring toss, seed planting, garden bingo (scavenger hunt), fishin’ frenzy, and much more!

Story Time (11:15am -11:45am and 2:00pm-2:45pm) – Join us as our special guests read some

of their favorite stories!

Musical Performance (12:00 pm – 3:00 pm) – Enjoy the musical stylings from Sean “Ukulady’s Man” Hager on the Great Lawn Stage.


Raffles (10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30 & 2:30) – Don’t forget to pick up a new ticket each hour. Winners will be announced throughout the day at the Great Lawn Stage. Must be present to win.


Gator Country (10:30 am – 11:00 am, 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm – 2:00 pm) – Come see a live alligator and other interesting reptiles from the Gator Country professionals.


Up-Close with Nature (11:00 am – 1pm) – Walk-up visitors will discover which critters are active at Shangri La Gardens during Spring. Stop by and see several live animals and learn about their behavior and habitat.


Outpost Tours(10am, 10:15am, 10:45am, 11am, 11:30am, 11:45am, 12:15pm, 12:30pm, 1pm, 1:15pm, 1:45pm, 2pm, 2:30pm) – A knowledgeable guide leads the Outpost Tour and provides interpretation of Adams Bayou, associated habitats, wildlife, and a brief historical overview of portions of Shangri La Gardens and the local community. This abbreviated tour takes approximately forty-five minutes. Note special pricing below.


Butterfly Release (3:30 pm) – Sponsored through the generosity of Entergy, visitors of all ages will have the opportunity to participate in the release of over a thousand native butterflies into the gardens at Shangri La Gardens. (Butterflies available to children first while supplies last.)


Special Event Pricing:

General Admission $8 adults; $5 for students & seniors; Stark Cultural Venues Members free.

Outpost Tour Admission $3.


Shangri La encompasses 250+ acres in the heart of Orange, Texas, along the swamps and wetlands associated with Adams Bayou. Shangri La integrates its botanical gardens and nature center together to create a unique understanding of the natural world in Southeast Texas. Imagine a place where you can stroll along garden paths surrounded by a profusion of flowers, watch birds for hours from the comfort of a Heronry Blind or just spend time relaxing with friends and family. Or, you can explore your wild side and take a naturalist-led excursion along Adams Bayou to discover the wonders of nature, encounter wildlife in their natural habitats, and gain new insights into the importance of preserving the environment. No matter what motivates you to come outdoors, explore Shangri La-it’s a year round delight for the senses.

Shangri La is located at 2111 W. Park Avenue in Orange, Texas, and is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.