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:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2007
AUSTIN, Texas?" The Texas Forest Service and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are pleased to announce America's National Tree "The Oak," will be the star attraction at the 118th Official State of Texas Arbor Day Celebration at the Wildflower Center 10 a.m., April 27, 2007.
"The long-lived live oak has served as a backdrop throughout our country's and state's history," said James Hull, state forester and director of the Texas Forest Service. "Of all the oak species found in the U.S., Texas has a striking 75 percent. The live oak branch, which represents strength on the state seal, serves as a symbol of the commitment the State of Texas, the City of Austin and the Wildflower Center share in sustaining green space for present and future generations."
"This won't be just any oak," said Damon Waitt senior botanist at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. "We have secured a descendant of the Treaty Oak, a living symbol of Texas history. It will be a prominent feature of the new Texas Arboretum we are planning to create at the Wildflower Center, where Texas' past will come alive through the propagation of historically significant trees."
Gary P. Smith's design plan for the new 16-acre Texas Arboretum at the Wildflower Center will be on display during the event.
Susan Rieff, executive director of the Wildflower Center, hopes that the Arbor Day event will remind Texans that their remarkable native oaks and other trees are an important part of their heritage. "Native trees help define our sense of place and of beauty. They also shelter and feed wildlife, capture greenhouse gases from the air, cool our cities and shade our homes," she said.
Other events scheduled include the announcement of the State Arbor Day poster contest winner and the recognition of Austin's status as Tree City U.S.A. for 15 years.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is located at 4801 La Crosse Ave., Austin, TX 78739. From downtown Austin, follow Loop 1 South (also known as MOPAC Expressway) past the traffic light at Slaughter Lane. Turn left at the next traffic light at La Crosse Avenue. The Center is on the right near the end of La Crosse.
For more information about Arbor Day, visit either the Texas Forest Service (texasforestservice.tamu.edu) or the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Wildflower Center (www.wildflower.org).