Central Texas has been hit by record-breaking heat and drought. Day after day, temperatures soar to 100 degrees and higher under clear blue skies with no rain in sight. Our hardy native wildflowers have taken it in stride, putting on a beautiful display of blooms. But the people who visit the Wildflower Center aren't nearly so hardy and, as the heat and drought drag on, our visitors have faded away.
The Wildflower Center relies on admissions for 30 percent of its budget. More revenue comes from sales at our gift store and café. Fewer visitors mean reduced sales there, too. The entire region is facing restrictions on water use due to the drought. The Wildflower Center also faces serious restrictions on our education and research programs due to the decline in admissions.
We are carrying on the environmental work that can and will change the way landscapes are designed, constructed and maintained. We are conserving native plants threatened by shrinking habitat. We are getting children outdoors and acquainting them with nature. And we are innovating in ways that improve our ecosystems, such as developing a resource-thrifty native lawn grass and green roofs that cool buildings and catch rainwater. We will not slow our progress.
But we urgently need your help. Your donations, no matter how small, could make all the difference. Your donations could make this challenging year a total success.
We can't count on anyone else for rescue. The Wildflower Center is now and always has been totally self-supporting. We greatly value our relationship with The University of Texas at Austin, but the university cannot provide significant financial support. Nor do we receive city, state or federal funds except for some specific grant programs.
We need to raise $100,000 before August 31. Donations of any kind will help us meet our financial needs. Please act now to help us survive the drought! Send your check today to:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
4801 La Crosse Avenue
Austin, Texas 78739
Susan K. Rieff, Executive Director