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The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at
The University of Texas at Austin The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin, UT, or Texas) is a public university, public research university in Austin, Texas, founded in 1883. The University of Texas was included in the Association of American Universities in 1929. The i ...
is the state
botanical garden A botanical garden or botanic gardenThe terms ''botanic'' and ''botanical'' and ''garden'' or ''gardens'' are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word ''botanic'' is generally reserved for the earlier, more traditional gardens. is ...

botanical garden
and
arboretum An arboretum (plural: arboreta) in a general sense is a botanical collection composed exclusively of trees. More commonly a modern arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants and is intended at least in part for ...

arboretum
of Texas. The center features more than 900 species of native Texas plants in both garden and natural settings and is home to a breadth of educational programs and events. The center is 284 acres and located 10 miles southwest of downtown
Austin, Texas Austin (, ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usuall ...

Austin, Texas
just inside the edge of the distinctive
Texas hill country #REDIRECT Texas Hill Country The Texas Hill Country is a geographic region of Central and South Texas, forming the southeast part of the Edwards Plateau. Given its location, climate, terrain, and vegetation, the Hill Country can be considere ...

Texas hill country
. It straddles both
Edwards Plateau The Edwards Plateau is a geographic region at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, ...

Edwards Plateau
and Texas Blackland Prairies ecosystems. The center is dedicated to "inspiring the conservation of native plants" and promoting the environmental benefits of native plant landscapes. It is home to the most comprehensive native plant database in the U.S., which features profiles of more than 9,000 North American native plants along with a number of other resources (se
Native Plants of North America
. The Wildflower Center has 9 acres of cultivated gardens, including the Luci and Ian Family Garden and the Ann and O.J. Weber Pollinator Habitat Garden. Its 16-acre Mollie Steves Zachry Texas Arboretum features collections of tree and shrub species from across the state of Texas. Miles of walking trails, educational exhibits, a gift store, cafe and biannual sales of native plants round out the offerings. In 2013, the
syndicated Syndication may refer to: * Broadcast syndication, where individual stations buy programs outside the network system * Print syndication, where individual newspapers or magazines license news articles, columns, or comic strips * Web syndication, w ...
television series A television show – or simply TV show – is any content produced for viewing on a television set A television set or television receiver, more commonly called the television, TV, TV set, tube, telly, or tele, is a device that combines a ...
, ''
Texas Country Reporter ''Texas Country Reporter'' is a weekly TV syndication, syndicated television program, hosted and produced by Bob Phillips and Kelli Phillips, which airs in all twenty-two Texas media markets, generally on weekends, and nationally on the satellit ...
'', hosted by
Bob Phillips Robert Leon Phillips, known as Bob Phillips (born June 23, 1951), is an American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States ...
, declared the center the No. 1 site from which to view wildflowers within Texas.


History

Former first lady
Lady Bird Johnson Claudia Alta "Lady Bird" Johnson (Maiden and married names, née Taylor; December 22, 1912 – July 11, 2007) was an American socialite who served as first lady of the United States as the wife of President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1963 to 1969. Sh ...
and actress
Helen Hayes Helen Hayes MacArthur ( Brown; October 10, 1900 – March 17, 1993) was an American actress whose career spanned 80 years. She eventually received the nickname "First Lady of American Theatre" and was one of 16 people who have won an Emmy, a G ...
founded the National Wildflower Research Center in 1982 to protect and preserve North America's native plants and
natural landscape A natural landscape is the original landscape that exists before it is acted upon by human impact on the environment, human culture. The natural landscape and the cultural landscape are separate parts of the landscape. However, in the 21st centu ...

natural landscape
s. The original center was located on a 60-acre site in East Austin. Public demand to view native gardens and learn more about native plants soon overwhelmed the original site, and led the Board of Directors to build a larger campus to accommodate public interest. The current campus opened in 1995 on a 42-acre site in Southwest Austin on La Crosse Avenue. Five acres of native plant gardens and landscapes, designed by J. Robert Anderson, FASLA (principal), Eleanor McKinney (EMLA) and Darrel Morrison (FASLA), were installed throughout a complex of award-winning buildings designed by Overland Partners to reflect the land and regional architecture of the
Texas Hill Country #REDIRECT Texas Hill Country The Texas Hill Country is a geographic region of Central and South Texas, forming the southeast part of the Edwards Plateau. Given its location, climate, terrain, and vegetation, the Hill Country can be considere ...

Texas Hill Country
. The center was officially renamed the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in 1997. By 2002, in response to rapidly encroaching land development, the center acquired an additional 237 acres of adjacent land through purchase and donation. This expansion of the campus made possible the development of larger scale research on the ecology of the Central Texas region and how best to restore healthy landscapes in the region. It also established education and public outreach as core functions of the center. The inscription on the presented to Lady Bird Johnson in 1977 by President Gerald Ford concludes with the words "Her leadership transformed the American landscape and preserved its natural beauty as a national treasure." The Wildflower Center joined The University of Texas at Austin in 2006 (see below). With its focus on native plants, research and education, the Wildflower Center has gained national recognition as a leader in plant conservation and environmental sustainability. In partnership with the U.S. Botanic Garden and
American Society of Landscape Architects The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is a professional association A professional association (also called a professional body, professional organization, or professional society) usually seeks to further Further or Furthur may ...
, the center led th
Sustainable Sites Initiative
a program that established performance benchmarks for sustainable land design and is now offered through GBCI.


Mission

The current mission of the center is "inspiring the conservation of native plants."


Incorporation and Development

On June 20, 2006, the
University of Texas System The University of Texas System (UT System) is an American government entity of the state of Texas Texas (, ; Spanish language, Spanish: ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the South Central United States, South Central region of the Unit ...
Board of Regents announced a plan to incorporate the Wildflower Center into The University of Texas at Austin. In 2010, a donation of $1.4 million from the San Antonio Area Foundation was designated toward the establishment of a 16-acre arboretum. The Mollie Steves Zachry Texas Arboretum, which was dedicated on April 30, 2011 and opened in the spring of 2012, displays all 53 species of oak trees that are native to Texas. In April 2012,
Luci Baines Johnson Luci Baines Johnson Turpin (née Johnson, formerly Nugent, born July 2, 1947) is an American businesswoman and philanthropist Philanthropy consists of "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life Quality of life ( ...
, daughter of Lady Bird Johnson, and her husband Ian Turpin donated $1 million toward a family garden that will be named in their honor. The 4.5-acre native plant garden features a wading creek, a maze of 3-foot-tall native hedges, and a walk-in grotto. It was opened in May 2014.


See also

*
List of botanical gardens in the United States This list is intended to include all significant botanical gardens and arboretums in the United States.Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower CenterNative Plant Information Network
{{Coord, 30, 11, 07, N, 97, 52, 14, W, format=dms, display=title, type:landmark_region:US-TX Organizations established in 1982 Botanical gardens in Texas Environmental organizations based in Texas University of Texas at Austin Tourist attractions in Austin, Texas Culture of Austin, Texas Protected areas of Travis County, Texas Mission Revival architecture in Texas Industrial Style architecture 1982 establishments in Texas University and college buildings completed in 1982