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!

P: Prairie Fest – Tandy Hills Natural Area

prairie festA2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0P: Prairie Fest – Tandy Hills Natural Area

prairie fest3Just in time to celebrate this gorgeous spring weather in north Texas is the 10th Annual Prairie Fest – next Saturday, April 25th, from 11am to sunset.

The 10th annual Prairie Fest is a free outdoor festival celebrating the natural world at the best place to see wildflowers in north Texas.

The event is held at Tandy Hills Natural Area, a 160 acre indigenous prairie remnant, located in the middle of Fort Worth.

Along with arts, entertainment, and tasty local food and beverages you’ll find prairie wildflower tours, storytellers and nature-science hikes on rolling hills, spontaneous happenings inside the Prairie Circle of artists and green exhibitors.

Free & open to the public

http://www.tandyhills.org/fest

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?

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N: J. T. Nickel Family Nature & Wildlife Preserve

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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N: J. T. Nickel Family Nature & Wildlife Preserve

JT NickleThe J. T. Nickel Family Nature and Wildlife Preserve is the largest privately protected conservation area in the Ozarks. The preserve was formed in 2000 as the result of a land gift from the John Nickel Family. This 17,000-acre landscape rests in eastern Oklahoma’s rolling Cookson Hills and overlooks the Illinois River. Spring-fed creeks meander amid a rugged topography of steep slopes and narrow valleys harboring a mosaic of oak-hickory forest, lofty pine woodland, and a diverse mix of savanna, shrubland, and prairie. The preserve provides optimal habitat for a suite of uncommon breeding bird species, including some whose survival requires large blocks of intact habitat.

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/oklahoma/placesweprotect/j-t-nickel-family-nature-and-wildlife-preserve.xml

M: McDowell Grove Forest Preserve, Naperville, Illinois

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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M: McDowell Grove Forest Preserve

mcdowell groveThis 465-acre McDowell Grove Forest Preserve in Naperville, Illinois, is comprised of mature woodlands, open fields with eastern bluebirds and Cooper’s hawks, and a floodplain forest with towering butternuts and black maples. It’s recently been the site of a dam- modification project, which will return the stretch of river to a healthier, more natural waterway and improve aquatic habitats.

  • Picnics: Picnickers can reserve either the 25-person shelter along the river or the 150-person picnic area to the southeast through Visitor Services at (630) 933-7248 but must do so at least three business days before their visit.
  • Trails: McDowell Grove features nearly 7 miles of looped turf and limestone trails for hikers, bicyclists, cross-country skiers and horseback riders. The trails connect to the Regional Trail, which links with four other preserves.
  • Fishing: Anglers can access the 22-acre Mud Lake and the West Branch of the DuPage River from McDowell Grove Forest Preserve. The state has stocked the river with smallmouth bass for catch-and-release fishing. Anglers will find catfish, bass, carp, sunfish and bluegill in Mud Lake.

http://www.dupageforest.com/Conservation/Forest_Preserves/McDowell_Grove.aspx

J: John F. Burke Nature Preserve

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J: John F. Burke Nature Preserve

Located only 10 miles from DFW Airport, the John F. Burke Nature Preserve sits waiting to be discovered by someone looking for a Shangri-La spot to relax in the middle of the big city.

Located in Farmers Branch, this 104-acre retreat is an ideal place to escape into nature.

http://visitfarmersbranch.com/Play/JohnBurkeNaturePreserve.aspx

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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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!