For more information visit starkculturalvenues.org/shangrilagardens Throughout history, the term Shangri La has represented a place of beauty, peace and enlightenment. In Orange, Texas, a modern Shangri La has been recreated with the best of both nature and gardens. Nestled within 252 acres in the heart of Orange, Texas, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is a program of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a private foundation whose mission is to improve and enrich the quality of life in Southeast Texas and encourage and assist education, the arts, and health and human services. The unique ecosystem of Shangri La presents an ideal opportunity to further that mission as well as carry on the vision of H.J Lutcher Stark, the man who originally developed the gardens more than 60 years ago. The formal Botanical Gardens contain more than 300 plant species in five formal rooms as well as four sculpture rooms. The Nature Center includes Adams Bayou boat excursions to educational outposts, a 15-acre beaver pond, a state-of-the-art bird blind, a bat house, thousands of nesting birds in Ruby Lake, and more up-close encounters with nature. The combination of gardens and nature at Shangri La presents a serene oasis for retreat and renewal, as well as the opportunity to explore, discover and learn. Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is the first project in Texas and the 50th project in the world to earn the U.S. Green Building Council’s Platinum Certification for LEED-NC, which verifies that the design and construction of Shangri La reached the highest green building and performance measures. Shangri La offers a glimpse of how people can live in harmony with nature, as it strives in its mission to Mentor Children of All Ages to Be Kind to Their World.