Wildflower Center offers free admission throughout January

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center has waived admission fees during the month of January in an effort to boost attendance and educate the community, according to Damon Waitt, senior director and botanist at the Wildflower Center.

"We want people to come out and see what native plants look like in the middle of the winter, because most of our visitation occurs during the springtime when the bluebonnets are out," he said. "It also gives people who may not feel like they can afford to visit us an opportunity to come see us."

The gardens and research center, located at 4801 La Crosse Ave., aim to uphold the legacy of former first lady Lady Bird Johnson to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native plants and landscapes.

Throughout January, visitors can also view new exhibits and participate in free events.

Center adds features

The center opened a new exhibit Jan. 12 called "Never The Same River Twice" by Texas artist Margie Crisp that consists of lithographs of animals and plants living along the Colorado River. The center also added two exhibits about Johnson's conservation efforts and plans the week of Jan. 21 to unveil a new admission kiosk made with sustainable materials.

Other events include "Tree Talk" on Jan. 26, during which kids can climb an ancient oak under supervision by an arborist; adults and children can sketch trees with Crisp; and native trees and shrubs will be for sale.

"One thing they can do is get a little exercise," Waitt added. "We've got a few miles of different kinds of trails, including the Arboretum Trail, that are really easy to walk on or run a stroller on. We encourage people to come out and do that in January."

The Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. More information is available at www.wildflower.org.