V: Valley Nature Center

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0Shangri-La Days shares peaceful and relaxing places to visit, rejuvenate and restore your soul. Follow us and the posts will go directly to your inbox. Don’t worry, after April we go back to our once a week schedule, so your inbox won’t explode.

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V: Valley Nature Center

Vvalley nature centeralley Nature Center is a 6-acre park and nature preserve in Weslaco, Texas. Its focus is environmental education about the natural history of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

The center’s activities include a summer camp, birding trips, natural history classes and lectures. There are programs for individuals, children and adults.

Secret Garden in the Heart of the Lower Rio Grande Valley Mission “To provide educational opportunities and to foster appreciation and understanding of the Lower Rio Grande Valley’s unique natural communities of flora and fauna.”

Link to Valley Nature Center

For the most information and a slew of terrific pictures, check out this web page by Jan Dauphin

Do you have a favorite place where you like to go retreat and find peace? Where is it at? Leave us a comment about your favorite sanctuary location. We’d love to know!

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S: South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0S: South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center

Venture into the delightful 2600 square-foot screened Butterfly House, and new Bromeliad Conservatory. Experience 2000 orchids, 300 breathtaking roses, quaint Hummingbird Garden, imaginative Sensory Garden with fascinating artscape, Arid Garden and colorful EarthKind Demonstration Trial Gardens. And during our eight warmer months, enjoy the fragrant tropical Plumeria Garden with elevated viewing ramp.

south texas botanicalYour visits to the Botanical Gardens & Nature Center in Corpus Christi will immerse you in serene beauty, followed by an adventurous ‘walk on the wild side’ with 11 uniquely stunning floral exhibits and gardens shouting color, followed by quiet trails and boardwalk through identified native habitat and natural wetlands.

This 180-acre showcase on Oso Creek offers a unique and varied take on botanical gardens– beautiful new Exotic Parrots, or native wildlife in the new Reptiles in Residents exhibit; artistic decorative water features, or vast natural wetlands; majestic Rose Pavilion; or rustic Palapa Grande on scenic Gator Lake– Corpus Christi’s South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center will impress you with its unusual approach to environmental education through creative horticultural design, and fascinating naturescape of natural wetlands and trails through native mesquite forest. Definitely not your grandmother’s botanical garden!

http://stxbot.org/

Do you have a favorite place where you like to go retreat and find peace? Where is it at? Leave us a comment about your favorite sanctuary location. We’d love to know!

O: Mary K. Oxley Nature Center

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0Shangri-La Days shares peaceful and relaxing places to visit, rejuvenate and restore your soul. Follow us and the posts will go directly to your inbox. Don’t worry, after April we go back to our once a week schedule, so your inbox won’t explode.

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O: Mary K. Oxley Nature Center

oxley2The Mary K. Oxley Nature Center, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has 9 miles of hiking trails, each between 0.3 and 1.3 miles. Each trail offers different sights and scenery. There’s a Blue Heron trail, complete with bird blinds, a Prairie Trail through a prairie wonderland, a Green Dragon Trail through woods and alongside a creek … and more.

The nature center is closed on Sundays and Mondays, but the hiking trails are open seven days a week.

http://oxleynaturecenter.org/index.htm

Find a little bit of nature and go get in touch with your inner ‘you’. Where is your Shangri-La space?

oxley1

I: Irwin Prairie Nature Preserve, Ohio

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0I: Irwin Prairie Nature Preserve, Ohio

Here’s a good summer spot in Ohio to visit for a peaceful walk through prairie land and wildflowers.

irwin prairieThe core of this preserve is a treeless, wet sedge meadow dominated by several species of sedges, rushes and wetland grasses. It is the finest remaining sedge meadow in the state.

The preserve is actually comprised of a mosaic of distinctive plant communities based on variations in water table levels.

Tall grass wet prairie communities dominated by big bluestem and spiked blazing-star; sedge meadow dominated by twig-rush; shrub swamp dominated by shrubby species of dogwoods and willows; grass meadow dominated by blue-joint grass and northern reed-grass; and swamp forest dominated by pin oak and cottonwood, are all represented.

More than 26 state-listed species of plants occur here including red baneberry, Sartwell’s sedge, fringed gentian, Kalm’s St. John’s-wort, Riddell’s goldenrod and grass-leaf arrowhead.

Rare animals sighted at Irwin Prairie include sedge wrens, Bell’s vireo, least bittern, golden-winged warbler and the purplish copper butterfly.

The preserve has a handicapped accessible boardwalk which provides access through Irwin Prairie. The boardwalk is a 1 1/4 mile loop trail beginning at the parking lot. This boardwalk does not have kick rails for wheelchairs. We suggest that wheelchair users have assistance when using this trail system.

The best time to visit Irwin Prairie is during July and August to view the summer wildflowers.

http://naturepreserves.ohiodnr.gov/irwinprairie

Do you have a favorite place where you like to go retreat and find peace? Where is it at? Leave us a comment about your favorite sanctuary location. We’d love to know!

E: Eaton Hill Nature Center

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0Shangri-La Days shares peaceful and relaxing places to visit, rejuvenate and restore your soul. Follow us and the posts will go directly to your inbox. Don’t worry, after April we go back to our once a week schedule, so your inbox won’t explode.

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E: Eaton Hill Nature Center

eaton1Located in Sonora, Texas Eaton Hill Nature Center boasts a unique 37 acre landscape complete with hiking trails, an educational facility operated out of a 110+ year old historic home, interpretive exhibits and more. Whether you’re after adventure, education or simple outdoor appreciation, we’ve got you covered.

Situated just between the Edwards Plateau and true West Texas, the acreage at Eaton Hill is truly a living classroom in which to study the botany and fauna of both the Texas Hill Country and the Chihauhuan Desert. More than 3 miles of hiking trails meander through the 37 acre property and vary from the rocky outcrops of Agave Ridge to the densely wooded and seemingly secret corridors of Zed’s Cut. Watch as the landscape transforms with each step.

eaton2

Do you have a favorite place where you like to go retreat and find peace? Where is it at? Leave us a comment about your favorite sanctuary location. We’d love to know!

B: Bob Jones Nature Center & Preserve, Southlake Texas

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0It’s April! Time for the A to Z Blog Challenge. Each day through April (except Sundays) we’re writing a blog post to the Letter of the Day. The 1st is ‘A’, the 2nd is ‘B’ … and so on until we get to ‘Z’.

Some of the participating blogs have themes – and some don’t. Shangri-La Days shares peaceful and relaxing places to visit, rejuvenate and restore your soul. Stop back by tomorrow to see what we added. Or, better yet, follow us and the post will go directly to your inbox. And don’t worry, after April is we go back to the once a week schedule (if that), so your inbox won’t explode.

We’re on Facebook too! https://www.facebook.com/ShangriLaDays?ref=hl

B: Bob Jones Nature Center & Preserve, Southlake Texas

Bob Jones Nature Center is one of my favorite places in Texas to retreat and regroup. Of course, it’s just about in my backyard, which is nice.

Bob JonesI’m also probably a little partial to it because it’s named for a Jones, my mother’s maiden name. Not only that, I admire what Bob Jones accomplished with his life. After the Civil War, he and his mother were freed from slavery. He purchased 60 acres from his father and start about building an empire of almost 1,000 acres. At the time of his death, people thought so highly of him, that his funeral was attended by over 500 people. In 1936. People came from all over to pay their tributes. He’s buried at Medlin Cemetery, one of my three favorite cemeteries in the area, which is how I discovered Bob Jones initially.

When construction began on Lake Grapevine in 1947, many families were displaced. Except for Eugie Jones Thomas, one of Bob Jones’ daughters. She fought the Army Corps of Engineers … and won. She received a letter from Washington telling her she could keep all of her property.

Bob Jones barnBecause of Eugie’s determination and grit, taking on the fight ‘against City Hall’, residents in the area now have a refuge and place of beauty to visit. 758 acres full of natural beauty. Hiking trails through a Cross Timbers ecosystem, birdwatching, children’s classes and more are available here.

http://bjnc.org/default.php

Do you have a favorite place where you like to go retreat and find peace? Where is it at? Leave us a comment about your favorite sanctuary location. We’d love to know!