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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Friday - April 06, 2007

From: dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: More on bluebonnets
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

What role did Mrs. Johnson play in preserving the bluebonnet, our state flower?

ANSWER:

In her endless travels as a politician's helpmate, Lady Bird discovered that America's roadsides were becoming cluttered with billboards and junkyards, and that our nation's once vast natural beauty was quickly vanishing. Mrs. Johnson viewed roadsides as a window through which we learned about our ecological heritage. As First Lady, she recognized an opportunity to start a national revitalization effort, and she fought to make America more beautiful by restoring and protecting our natural habitats. She made headlines by planting bulbs and trees on roadsides and parkways, and called attention to the growing crisis created by habitat and species loss. In 1965, the Highway Beautification Act (known as "Lady Bird's Bill") was passed. It was the first milestone on a long list of accomplishments protecting and preserving the environment.
 

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