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National Wildflower Research Center opens on Lady Bird's birthday


On this day in 1982, the National Wildflower Research Center in Austin opened to the public on the seventieth birthday of former First Lady Claudia (Lady Bird) Johnson, the driving force behind its establishment. She formulated the idea of a national center to study wildflowers and native plants in response to her lifelong interest in the natural world and her concern, especially during the 1960s, about the rapid disappearance of natural areas. Mrs. Johnson envisioned the center as a nationwide clearinghouse for information about wildflowers and native plants. Through research and education, the Wildflower Center strives to bring about a fuller understanding of the ecological, economic, and aesthetic benefits of native plants. Research at the center includes studies on the propagation, cultivation, management, and reestablishment of native plants and their relationships and dependence upon other species in natural systems. A primary research objective is to provide appropriate information about native, indigenous plants so that every individual can participate in the conservation and reestablishment of our native flora at all levels--from home gardens to large natural areas.

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