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    Campus & Community

    Celebrating the legacy of Lady Bird Johnson

    By Christopher Palmer and Electro-Fish Films
    Published: March 12, 2012

    Devoted wife of the 36th president, environmentalist and revered first lady, the woman who became known as Lady Bird Johnson walked the crowded corridors of power with grace and uncommon courage. Her warmth, graciousness and Southern courtesy helped her beloved husband, Lyndon Baines Johnson, negotiate a difficult path as president after John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963.

    Celebrating Lady Bird Centennial 1912-2012

    She would say later that her joy and her solace came from her connection to nature, and that her life’s work sprang from a hope that future generations could experience nature’s beauty as she had.

    Her legacy to us is wildflowers and wilderness. She lives on in Texas bluebonnets and native plants along the nation’s roadsides, urban parks and trails – and an unprecedented portfolio of legislation devoted to clean air, clean water and the conservation of our magnificent natural heritage. As Lady Bird Johnson noted in 1967, “The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share. It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.”

    In honor of Mrs. Johnson’s 100th birthday, centennial celebrations have been planned throughout the year.

    From March 17 to May 28, “A Bouquet for Mrs. J,” an outdoor sculpture exhibit of giant metal wildflowers by Logan Stollenwerck will be on display in the gardens at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

    Stollenwerck created this exhibit in loving tribute to Lady Bird Johnson to commemorate what would have been her 100th birthday year.

    • Quote 2
      Lisy Kilkenney said on June 22, 2012 at 9:55 a.m.
      She did so much for myself, my children and my grandchildren to "Beautify America". I am saddened that more Americans today don't remember or know of her dedication to nature and the environment. I wish I could thank her, but instead I will thank her family for sharing her with us!
    • Quote 2
      joe said on May 18, 2012 at 8:43 a.m.
      That blue flyer really doesn't do the Lady Bird Johnson wildflower legacy any justice.
    • Quote 2
      Melody said on March 25, 2012 at 11:43 p.m.
      Just this past weekend a friend and I decided to do a wildflower tour through Fredericksburg and up through Llano - that part of the journey was breath-taking. It was more than worth the trip to see the blankets of blue stretch as far as the eye can see. Also there were fields of a lavender-colored flower, giving off an ethereal glow - it looked otherworldly. We were blessed with great photo opportunities and a very lovely journey. Thank you Ladybird for all that you did!
    • Quote 2
      naseem said on March 22, 2012 at 7:44 p.m.
      What an amazing lady.
    • Quote 2
      Helen said on March 22, 2012 at 12:06 p.m.
      Ladybird is dead; the DOT man who first put wildflowers on the roadsides to reduce the need for mowing is dead, and so is the idea of highway beautification. Look no further than the triangle bounded by Red River, I-35 So. service road and MLK. It once was covered with bluebonnets. They sold post cards of the scene in the stores when I came to Austin. Some years ago, rye grass and weeds were planted there. The rye grass died out after a year or two. The weeds are thriving! There are no more bluebonnets. Highway 290E toward Elgin is posted on 183 as "Bluebonnet Highway", which it was only 3-4 years ago. Now the median and roadsides are mowed [in mid-March] from Austin to Manor and from there on out, you will see more mustard than anything else. The long weedy grass which DOT is currently using for groundcover chokes the bluebonnets and the evening primroses. Apparently nobody who could change this and bring the wildflowers back cares about doing it.
    • Quote 2
      Cheryl said on March 22, 2012 at 11:55 a.m.
      I was privileged to be at UT during the years LBJ and Lady Bird were in the White House. What a great lady of vision she was! I thank her for her foresight for my kids, grandkids, and future descendants.
    • Quote 2
      Yvonne said on March 15, 2012 at 11:55 a.m.
      Mrs. Johnson was before my time but I always think of her when I see our Texas roadsides in full bloom. Thank you Mrs. Johnson for your beautiful legacy.
    • Quote 2
      Danis said on March 13, 2012 at 1:38 p.m.
      Lovely video!
    • Quote 2
      R. Peters said on March 13, 2012 at 12:24 p.m.
      Who do we have to carry on Her quest for our nations national parks and our environment? Who will 'reclaim' our national parks from being sold-out to other countries? We, as she did, need to stand and create a legacy for our children and the sovereignty of our nation. Thank You Lady Bird Johnson !
    • Quote 2
      Bill said on March 13, 2012 at 11:54 a.m.
      Mrs. Johnson was a wonderful, gracious lady who set a fine example and left behind a wonderful legacy we can all enjoy.
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