Wildflower Center Launches Fortlandia Exhibition

Oct 3, 2023 | Pressroom

The Wormhole Fortlandia fort made of wooden boards arranged in a square spiral pattern

PHOTO Bill J. Boyd

Austin, TX– The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s celebrated Fortlandia exhibition opens on October 7 and continues through February 4, 2024.

The family-friendly, hands-on exhibition, began in 2018, inspires people of all ages to interact with the natural world in innovative and powerful ways. Each unique fort is designed to engage the senses and create a meaningful and memorable experience for guests.

The group of nine forts and their designers are:

Bloom Boxes Coxist Studio
Bluebonnet Bend Point B Design Group
Chutes + Ladders Designtrait Architects
Creature Feature Rialto Studio
House of Birds & Words Bluebird Speech
Monkey Bar Fort Ria Bravo, Assistant Professor, UT School of Architecture
Texas Wild Cards Jennifer Robichaux
Wisteria Shelley McDavid
Wormholes Brent Baggett, Oculi Studio

In an ongoing partnership with The Trail Conservancy, one fort – Wisteria by Shelley McDavid – will be placed along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail on Lady Bird Lake. This architectural fort design will allow for an extraordinary level of interaction and engagement in its high-profile downtown location.

“At The Trail Conservancy, we are thrilled to join hands with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for the much-anticipated Fortlandia exhibition. This partnership allows us to bring the magic of Fortlandia to the heart of downtown Austin, along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail on Lady Bird Lake,” said Heidi Anderson, CEO of The Trail Conservancy. “Together, we hope this exhibition will inspire a love for our environment and create lasting memories for visitors of all ages.”

Each themed and unique fort will inspire an appreciation of natural environments though their innovative and sustainable designs, materials, and construction, all while evoking childhood memories of play and wonder.

PHOTO Bill J. Boyd

“Year in and year out, Fortlandia continues to delight,” said Lee Clippard, Wildflower Center executive director. “Through inventive designs and creative content, this exhibition engages the Central Texas community and helps us extend our mission of inspiring the conservation of native plants to an increasing number of people of all ages.”

Fortlandia opens at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 7 and continues through Thursday, February 4. The exhibition is free with admission to the Wildflower Center.

For more information about the 2023-24 forts and their themes, visit our website here.

For press inquiries, contact Scott Simons, director of marketing and communications.

About The University of Texas Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Named the Botanic Garden of Texas by the state legislature, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center welcomes more than 245,000 people to its gardens annually, fulfilling its mission to inspire the conservation of native plants through research, conservation, education, and horticultural programs. The Wildflower Center is part of The University of Texas Field Station network and is complementary to the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs on the UT campus. It is the embodiment of Mrs. Johnson’s environmental legacy, a fact she recognized by noting, “Our Center works for more than the lovely blossoms in our open spaces. We are concerned for all of North America’s native plants, from the smallest sprout to the tallest tree.”

About The Trail Conservancy
The Trail Conservancy’s mission is to protect, enhance, and connect the Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail at Lady Bird Lake for the benefit of all. The Butler Trail is the 10-mile lush, urban path in the heart of Austin that gets more than 4.9 million visits every year. Since its founding in 2003, The Trail Conservancy has achieved restoration and beautification projects to the Trail’s infrastructure and environment while honoring the original vision of the Trail’s founders and ensuring its vibrancy for generations to come.

Press Contact

Scott Simons, Director of Marketing and Communications, [email protected] 

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