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Press Releases

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

October 21, 2010

Changes in Consulting and Sustainable Sites at the Wildflower Center

Austin, TX.  October 21, 2010 —  Dr. Steve Windhager, Senior Director for Land Restoration and Sustainable Sites at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, has accepted a new position as President of the Santa Barbara (California) Botanic Garden in California.  He will leave the Wildflower Center November 19.

Windhager joined the Wildflower Center more than 11 years ago when the Center acquired the additional property surrounding its original 43-acre site.   His legacy includes creation of the Hill Country Restoration research project, development of a high-profile landscape design consulting program, and the launch and management of the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (www.sustainablesites.org), the nation’s first rating system for landscape sustainability.

“Steve’s importance here has never been limited to his specific portfolio: he has been an enthusiastic and effective champion for the Center’s mission and all of its programs.  We thank him for his many years of extraordinary achievement, his contributions to Mrs. Johnson’s legacy and the cause of conservation,” said Susan Rieff, Executive Director of the Wildflower Center.

 “Fortunately, Steve has assembled a talented team that will make sure we stay on track.”

Dr. Mark Simmons, Director of Research and Consulting at the Wildflower Center, will continue to lead not only the onsite research, but also management of off-site consulting projects.  An interim plan for directing the Sustainable Sites Initiative is near implementation and a national search will begin shortly to identify a new director. Windhager will continue to bring his expertise to the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ by serving on the Technical Core Committee..

About the Sustainable Sites Initiative
The Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) is an interdisciplinary partnership led by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin and the United States Botanic Garden to transform land development and management practices with the nation's first voluntary rating system for sustainable landscapes, with or without buildings. For more information, visit www.sustainablesites.org.

*The terms “partner” and “partnership” as used herein to refer to the Sustainable Sites Initiative shall not refer to a legal partnership, joint venture or other transaction or creation of other legal entity, but rather it shall refer to a collaborative effort between independent autonomous legal entities.

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