Day Trips: Goldthwaite's Texas Botanical Garden
Re-creating a slice of the Texas Hill Country
Texas Botanical Gardens re-creates a slice of the Texas Hill Country in downtown Goldthwaite. The converted block on the highway provides locals and visitors a peek into the region's native landscape in a restful environment.
The park is accessed by a shaded pathway that meanders through the park to a small amphitheater shielded from the road noise by a man-made hill of red stones and native plants. On a rise above the stream, an early Native American hut towers over an earthen cooking pit. "We're trying to show the Native American connection to our area," says Tab Ledbetter, a supervisor with Looking Out Design, the contractor who built the park that opened on Oct. 11 with former First Lady Laura Bush in attendance.
Goldthwaite, the county seat of Mills County, is a town of a little less than 2,000 that has seen busier days. The community holds on with a homegrown mixture of industry and agriculture.
What is most amazing is the active volunteers who have spent nearly a decade planning and building Legacy Plaza, a multi-facet education facility. The gardens are one part that also includes a museum annex housed in a Sears Craftsman Kit House. A visitor and interpretive center next to the gardens is set to open soon. Still to come is a Native American Interpretive Center.
The Texas Botanical Gardens is at the corner of U.S. 183 and Third Street in Goldthwaite. To learn more about Legacy Plaza, go to www.legacyplaza.org.
1,213th in a series. Collect them all. Day Trips, Vol. 2, a book of "Day Trips," is available for $8.95, plus $3.05 for shipping, handling, and tax. Mail to: Day Trips, PO Box 33284, South Austin, TX 78704.