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Orange County
Astronomical Society of Southeast Texas
News Release
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Shangri La to Host ASSET Star Party on Thursday, November 3


ORANGE, Texas - The Astronomical Society of Southeast Texas (ASSET) will be at Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center for a Star Party on Thursday, November 3, 2011, from 6:30 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. ASSET is a friendly group of amateur astronomers from Jefferson, Hardin, Jasper, Newton and Orange counties. Members will be on hand with more than 20 telescopes to allow visitors to enjoy the night sky. This event is free to the public and children accompanied by an adult are welcome.


Lonnie Mosley of ASSET says, "It's a great time of the year for astronomical observing. The skies have been really clear and there are many objects to enjoy. Andromeda Galaxy, the double cluster in Perseus, several Messier objects, the Moon and Jupiter are just a few of the wonders that visitors will be able to see. Best of all, ASSET astronomers will be there to explain the objects that visitors observe in the night sky."


Located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange, Texas, Shangri La is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m. For more information call 409.670.9113 or visit


Photo: ASSET members with telescopes in courtyard of Shangri La.


About Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center: Nestled within 252 acres in the heart of Orange, Texas, Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is a program of the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation, a private foundation whose mission is to improve and enrich the quality of life in Southeast Texas and encourage and assist education. The unique ecosystem of Shangri La presents an ideal opportunity to further that mission as well as carry on the vision of H.J. Lutcher Stark, the man who originally developed the gardens more than 60 years ago.

Amid nature's pristine ecosystems, the formal gardens at Shangri La reflect a use of more than 300 plant species to paint beautiful landscapes among a series of theme-based garden rooms.  Around every corner a new vista awaits the visitor with exquisite sculptures, a great lawn, serene waterscapes reflecting beautiful colors and a Cypress Gate framing blooming plants and soaring birds. The Nature Center includes Adams Bayou boat excursions to educational outposts, a 15-acre Beaver Pond, a state-of-the-art bird blind, a bat house, and more up-close encounters with nature.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center is the first project in Texas and the 50th project in the world to earn the U.S. Green Building Council's Platinum Certification for LEED®-NC, which verifies that the design and construction of Shangri La reached the highest green building and performance measures.  Shangri La was also named by the American Institute of Architects and its Committee on the Environment as one of the top 10 green projects throughout the world.

Shangri La offers a glimpse of how people can live in harmony with nature, as it strives in its mission to Mentor Children of All Ages to Be Kind to Their World. 

Other programs of the Stark Foundation include the Stark Museum of Art, The W.H. Stark House and the Frances Ann Lutcher Theater for the Performing Arts.

Remembering Jim Guidry

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