Wildflower is published quarterly by the Wildflower Center. Its content is national in scope with articles about the conservation and use of native plants as well as news from the Wildflower Center. A subscription is provided to Wildflower Center members as a benefit of membership.
|There's exciting news at the Wildflower Center as we become part of one of the nation's finest educational institutions - the University of Texas at Austin. But my words, no matter how heartfelt, cannot match the eloquence of our founder, Lady Bird Johnson. |
This is what Mrs. Johnson said in a letter to our volunteers:
"Those of you who know me are well aware that the Wildflower Center is very close to my heart. I think of it as my 'forever' project. What you may not know is that I graduated from the university. Such a union would be a proud and happy one for me, and I believe in the best interests of the Center and the university. My devotion to both is complete.
"The university opened the doors of the universe to me. By the time I had earned two degrees, I realized that education was the beginning of a quest that lasts, and it enabled in me a greater capacity to enjoy the world. These qualities emboldened me to establish the Center. To come under the wing of the university and their rich resources of outstanding minds and knowledge would be of incalculable value to us."
Mrs. Johnson's vision is rapidly coming to pass, as we fill in the details of the agreement to become an Organized Research Unit of the university, attached to the College of Natural Sciences and the School of Architecture.
Very important things will not change. Most important is our dedication to our mission and to our members and volunteers. We will continue to welcome the public to our site, educate visitors about the benefits of using natives plants and help children explore nature. Tending and improving our native plant gardens will always be a priority, along with our research and restoration programs. I also want to assure you that your benefits as a member will not change. You will continue to receive free admission, discounts at the store, our award-winning publications and all of the other great benefits your membership provides.
The Center will operate under its own executive director, as it now does. The university also has made it very clear that the Center is expected to be self-supporting and raise its own operating funds. This means that your membership support will be as vital to the Center as ever.
The university's Board of Regents voted unanimously on June 20 to approve the merger proposal. It was ratified the following day by the Wildflower Center board, and we hope to complete the transition by September 2006.
We intend to make the most of the opportunity before us, but in fact it is our members and supporters who make it possible for us to continue the work initiated by Lady Bird Johnson to conserve our native wildflowers and landscapes.
- Susan K. Rieff, Executive Director