MOODY GARDENS RE-OPENS RAINFOREST PYRAMID
As a great way to celebrate Earth Day, our friends at Moody Gardens are re-opening the Rainforest Pyramid next weekend (April 25th-26th). It was just a little over 7 months ago when Hurricane Ike barreled through, and the hardest hit part of Moody Gardens was the Rainforest Pyramid. That pyramid received the most significant damage from the storm due to flood water rising through the basement. Saltwater caused damage to ductwork as well as the loss of fish in some of the freshwater ponds. Animals were relocated to other zoos and aquariums as repairs were made.
Remarkably, nearly all of the plants inside the Rainforest escaped harm with credit given to a resourceful horticultural staff that began their work soon after the storm. Soil remediation was used on affected areas were flooded with fresh water. Soil tests were implemented to determine salt levels. Humic acid was applied to neutralize salts and increase microbial activity, as well the use of a horticultural form of molasses to supply nutrients, minerals, vitamins and enzymes to the soil. Super Seaweed also helped to enhance plant color, increase chlorophyll content, build stronger roots and promote growth.
Another exciting aspect to this Earth Day Re-Opening, if you will, is that Moody Gardens is also joining up with the Oleander Festival to help further celebrate Earth Day. Plus, they are offering a special discount ticket will feature a combination ticket of just $15.00 for admission to both the Rainforest Pyramid and the Aquarium Pyramid April 25th and 26th. And I've got to tell you, if you've never been to the aquarium, you've got to go at least once in your life. But since I'm talking to gardeners and not fellow scuba divers, I won't go too much further into that aspect.
However, as your GardenLine host, I got to tell you how excited I am that the Rainforest Pyramid is re-opening, because it can really show you so many things about how important the real rainforests are to all of our lives. Throughout the exhibit, you'll see signs like utensils, medicine bottles and shirts, which indicate the practical uses of the plants. Even you chocolate-lovers can find something to appreciate as they display chocolate trees and cocoa plants that also come from the rainforest.
The edible plant collection will also include coffee, coconut, citrus, vanilla and black pepper, all marked by a fork and knife sign. Visitors will find plants such as the screw pine, from which leaves are used to make baskets and hats, and rosy periwinkle which contains cancer-fighting properties.
In addition to the practical plants, visitors can expect the exotic environment the 10-story pyramid has become known for since it first opened in 1993. The exhibit features freshwater ponds, waterfalls, a 55-foot tall canopy and over 2,000 species of lush plants such as orchids, violets, bromeliads and palm trees. On their self-guided tour, wanderers will also meet several species of colorful macaws, as well as turtles, freshwater fish and an anaconda. A new kid-friendly Rainforest Adventure maze will take guests into four layers of the rainforest full of mysteries, while teaching them about biodiversity. As one of the most complete reproductions of the actual rainforest, the exhibit will stress the importance of conservation.
To further celebrate the important day, not only is Moody Gardens hosting an Earth Day celebration, but as I noted earlier they are partnering with the Oleander Society for the annual Oleander Festival. Again this takes place next weekend, April 25th & 26th. The festival will feature a wide variety of activities, such as birding tours, eco-friendly gardening technique demonstrations, cultural performances, floral design competitions, live music and plenty of oleanders for sale, as well as Kids Kraft sessions and face-painters. Guests are encouraged to return to the beloved Rainforest Pyramid and also check out the free festival activities for a weekend full of fun. For additional information visit www.moodygardens.org
Until next issue, here's to Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively, 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, only on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
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