When: 10:30 a.m., Saturday, April 30
Where: Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave.
Background: Thanks to a $1.4 million gift from an anonymous fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation at the request of Mollie Steves Zachry, the Wildflower Center has begun developing the arboretum bearing her name. The Mollie Steves Zachry Texas Arboretum showcases the value of preserving Texas' trees and is the first addition to the Wildflower Center's footprint since it opened at its current site in 1995. It will provide a park-like setting when it opens in spring 2012 and access to examples of all 53 oak species in Texas and other iconic native trees such as black walnut and bald cypress. Among them is a clone of Austin's Treaty Oak planted in February. The arboretum will more than double the Wildflower Center's maintained landscape on its 279 acres. The public is invited to this preview that includes:
- A 10:30 a.m. welcome in the courtyard and arboretum trail ribbon cutting, followed by a tour into the arboretum.
- An 11 a.m. arboretum dedication and tree-planting ceremony with guest speaker Tom Boggus, state forester and director of the Texas Forest Service.
- A 1 p.m. talk in the auditorium by W. Gary Smith, who designed the arboretum and developed the Wildflower Center's master plan. He will discuss his book, "From Art to Landscape." A book signing until 3 p.m. will follow in the store.
- An exhibit until 5:30 p.m. in the courtyard of photos of historic Texas trees by artist Ralph Yznaga, whose images will also be available in the store. His book, "Living Witness," will be published in 2012 by Texas AandM University Press.
Admission prices: $8 adults, $7 seniors and students, $3 children ages 5-12, members and children under 5 years old get in free.