Shangri La Debuts New Website

ORANGE, Texas, May 14, 2008 – As part of its highly anticipated reopening this past March, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, Texas, launched a new Web site, www.shangrilagardens.org. The site offers an overview of Shangri La as well as information about upcoming events, membership, admission, hours of operation, and more.

The site opens with a flash presentation that features images of the gardens and nature center while unveiling Shangri La’s mission statement, which concludes with the overriding philosophy of Shangri La: Mentor Children of All Ages to Be Kind to their World.

A user-friendly navigation helps visitors locate information about Shangri La, including its history, its prestigious LEED®-NC Platinum certification, and its individual attractions such as the beaver pond, heronry, and themed gardens. The site also features information about parking, temporary shuttle service, hours of operation, admission, tours, and upcoming events. In addition, a Programs section highlights Shangri La’s many educational and community activities, including the annual Adams Bayou Trash-Off and the summer EcoRangers sessions.

A highlight of the site is the Photo Galleries section, which displays the numerous flora and fauna in Shangri La, including amphibians, epiphytes, reptiles, and birds. Additional site features include an overview of membership options and application information, volunteer information, career opportunities, and a sign-up form for news and updates about Shangri La and other Stark Foundation programs.

The website can be viewed at www.shangrilagardens.org. For more information, please contact the Shangri La office at 409.670.9113.

About Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center

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 operating foundation whose mission is to improve and enrich the quality of life in Southeast Texas and encourage and assist education. 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. ,/p>

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.

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.