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:
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Nature Trails at the Wildflower Center
The Wildflower Center Trail System
The Wildflower Center features four different trails:
- The Savanna Meadow Trail (1/4 mile) tells the story of the Texas savanna. Wildflowers are highly dependent on plenty of fall rain, so color display varies from year to year providing visitors with a unique nature experience each time. Visitors will see a cave where, over thousands of years, the soluble limestone of the Edwards plateau slowly eroded, creating this cave. Water flowing through the cave filters into the Edwards Aquifer. (For safety reasons, visitors may not enter the cave) This trail features an outdoor classroom, the Cedar Elm.
- The Woodland Trail (1/4 mile) is lined with many Hill Country woodland species, including pecan, juniper, post oak, red oak, live oak, and elm. This trail is mostly shaded and provides a comfortable hike in summer months.
- John Barr Inner Loop (1/4 mile) is wheelchair-accessible and features native trees, shrubs and cacti of the Texas Hill Country. In the spring, this colorful trailhead garden will feature bluebonnets, damanita, coreopsis, pavonia and bitterweed.
- Restoration Research Trail (3/4 mile) is wheelchair-accessible and features the Center's restoration research area, a living laboratory where ecological research on the Texas Hill Country is conducted. Along this trail visitors can learn how fire, grazing, and other land management techniques affect the Hill Country ecosystem. Eleven interpretive signs are carefully placed in shaded areas, allowing visitors to stop and learn about their surroundings and the ecology of Central Texas. The trail features three water fountains and numerous shaded rest areas with benches.
Outdoor Classroom - Teaching in a natural setting
The Center's trails feature two outdoor classrooms: The Cedar Elm classroom and the Persimmon classroom. The Cedar Elm classroom offers convertible benches that can be used as seating and tables. This classroom has vast views of the Savanna meadow. The Persimmon classroom can accommodate up to 25 students and is located at the entrance to the John Barr Trail. Two additional sites on the trails have been set aside for future outdoor classrooms. All outdoor classrooms feature shaded areas with chipped mulch serving as the classroom "floor."
Funding of the John Barr and Restoration Research Trails
- LCRA granted the Wildflower Center a $100,000 grant; the grant is part of LCRA's Partnership in Parks program, which funds community park and recreation projects on public land within LCRA's service area.
- Texas Parks and Wildlife granted the Wildflower Center a $50,000 grant
- Additional support was received from friends and family of John Barr
- Cedar Elm classroom is sponsored by 3M.
- Persimmon classroom and John Barr trailhead are sponsored by Burlington Resources
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