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The communications office of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin provides media with timely, accurate information about the Wildflower Center. Below are recent press releases related to Center events and to staff expertise on conservation practices, native plant gardening, nature education, and native plant resources and research findings. For more information or photos beyond those on the newsroom site, please contact:

    Media Manager
Barbra Rodriguez

February 18, 2010

Urban Art Fundraiser

The first ever Balcones Burner Bash, a completely unique urban art contest with an environmental theme, will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, March 6, at Balcones Recycling, 2416 E. 6th St. This free, family-friendly event will give the community the opportunity to see 12 of Austin's best graffiti artists create environmental murals on six Balcones railcars-and it's entirely legal!

Local DJs, dance groups and food vendors will provide entertainment and refreshments throughout the afternoon. The art effort is guided by Nathan Nordstrom, a well-known local urban artist, who teaches "Graffiti as Art" throughout Austin and has exhibited work at the Austin City Hall art show, the Austin Museum of Art and the Arthouse.

Balcones Recycling organized this event in partnership with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the Ann Richard's School for Young Women. Balcones Recycling, a subsidiary of Balcones Resources, is a locally-owned, independent recycling company. For more than 15 years, Balcones has served the Austin community by providing paper, plastic and cardboard recycling services without the use of chemicals. A long-time supporter of the local community and the environment, Balcones will continue these efforts by contributing all net proceeds to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

"We're really excited to be a part of this creative event - it's classically Austin, and reminiscent of Austin GuitarTown, which was such a success," said Susan Rieff, executive director of the center that educates the public about native plants and landscapes. "In these lean financial times it's great to have this support for the Wildflower Center's education and research programs. With our focus on sustainability, Balcones Recycling is a natural partner with us, and we're grateful for its generosity."

In addition to a monetary contribution, Balcones Resources also plans to donate painted recycling containers to the center for use at their facility. Balcones has also partnered with the Ann Richard's School for Young Women in support of local education and promoting the artistic talents of local youth. The Ann Richards School, one of the many schools in the Austin Independent School District serviced by Balcones Recycling, shares the same community values as Balcones Recycling. Art students at the school have the opportunity to design and paint their own recycling container. Once completed, the container on display at the Burner Bash then located on the campus of the Ann Richards School and used for their recycling program.

"Balcones is excited to be holding this one-of-a-kind urban art competition," said Kerry Getter, CEO of Balcones Recycling. "We're in a unique position to offer our rail cars as a canvas for aspiring artists, bring attention to their talent, and support the Wildflower Center. The company also looks forward to creating a unique, artistic outlet for aspiring young female students at the Ann Richards School through their involvement in the event. We believe this is the first event of its kind to be held anywhere in the United States."

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