I Have Found Shangri La ~ Random Waves of Insight
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Friday, April 25, 2008

I Have Found Shangri La

I just recently learned about a place called Shangri La… Well, the full name is Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center. This place is awesome! It’s totally green, and I don’t mean inexperienced -- I mean in sync with nature. Over 60 years ago a man named Stark established the Center in Orange, Texas with the goal of improving life in the Southeast of that state. Now, for us in the future, Stark’s vision is a reality. Well, it has been for decades!

I once visited some gorgeous gardens that were so perfect, it felt like Heaven. Seriously. Around that time, I had recently found an old book in a basement detailing one concept of Heaven, and what to do in order to get there. The idea was that Heaven was gorgeous. It was clean, and there were luscious and colorful plants everywhere. Man and nature were in harmony. Serenity overflowed, as well as joy. Well it really surprised me that the gardens I visited reflected that idea so thoroughly. Shangri La reminds me a lot of that.

The Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center occupies 252 acres, and there is a ton of great, natural stuff there. You can see over 300 plant species, birds nesting, a laboratory, and outdoor classrooms -- in a swamp! There’s also a garden for children, a theater, some neat greenhouses, and a café. They’ve even got a Garden Store for all your Shangri La shopping needs.

It really is green. So green, in fact, that the U.S. Green Building Council has certified Shangri La as Platinum, the top level, for LEED®-NC, “which verifies the design and construction of Shangri La reached the highest green building and performance measures.” Fantastic.

The Shangri La Gardens have proven themselves eco friendly, and that goal of being environmentally sound stretches back decades. It looks like a great place, where anyone can find out how we can all live in harmony with nature. If you want to relax and renew yourself, while learning a bit, the Gardens are for you. Even the Shangri La Gardens and Nature Center web site is relaxing! So the next chance you get, hop on over to Orange, Texas and discover Shangri La!

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