Explore Nature

Bird Blind

Bird Blind and Heronry

The state-of-the-art bird blind at Shangri La allows visitors an up-close look at the birds nesting within Shangri La’s Ruby Lake. The lake is approximately 15 acres and provides a home to more than 17 species of birds. During the spring and summer, these birds nest and provide a home for more than 5,000 birds […]… read more
Outpost

Outpost Tours

Three Outpost Pavilions sit deep within Shangri La’s wetlands. These pavilions act as classrooms for school groups and quiet retreats for those seeking refuge from the busy outside world. Since each outpost pavilion is situated close to wetlands, grasslands, and upland forests, visitors can experience a variety of ecosystems as they learn about them. These […]… read more
Frog Ponds

Frog Ponds

The Frog Ponds were a part of the original garden and are bordered by cobbles imported from France.  The plantings are framed by two matching Himalayan fan palms and seasonal color.  The backdrop is formed by a mass planting of needle palms.  Seasonal aquatic plants complete the effect in this area.… read more
Discovery Center

Nature Discovery Center

The Nature Discovery Center is a screened-in pavilion situated in the middle of Shangri La’s cypress/tupelo swamp, offering visitors a unique and interactive way to explore the fascinating world of nature. As the sounds of the swamp echo through the pavilion, some lucky visitors will come eye-to-eye with snakes and other creatures that have found […]… read more
Survivor Tree

The Survivor Tree

The Survivor is a Pond Cypress tree situated within Shangri La. For at least 1,200 years, this old tree has been nurtured by the waters of Adams Bayou, which flows through the middle of Orange. This resilient tree, not normally found in Texas, has “survived” centuries of diseases, axes and storms, including the most recent […]… read more
Cypress Swamp

Cypress Swamp

Cypress swamps are a common ecosystem in Southeast Texas. These swamps play a very important role in providing a habitat for numerous species of animals, and their ability to store excess water benefits the area’s human population as well. The many cypress and tupelo trees give the Shangri La swamp its name. These types of […]… read more
Exhibit Hall

Exhibit Hall

The Exhibit Hall shows the story of Shangri La from past to present.  Visitors can listen to interviews and read accounts of the gardens.  A fog wall separates past Shangri La from exhibits of the present.  An interactive house boat allows visitors to look out on Ruby Lake. The house boat pays tribute to Lutcher Stark as he too had […]… read more
Outpost

Discovery Theater

The Discovery Theater seats 80 visitors.  Shown is an 8-minute movie produced by Donna Lawrence, a filmmaker from Louisville, Kentucky that has produced movies for the Smithsonian, Lewis and Clark Museum and many others.  Ms. Lawrence has won numerous awards and her Shangri La film captures the beauty of Shangri La.  After the movie, the screen […]… read more