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Fortlandia: Where Creative Play Meets Natural Environments in Austin

The Wildflower Center’s brand new lineup of custom-designed forts is now open through February 4

Wormholes by Brent Baggett at Fortlandia
Wormholes by Brent Baggett at Fortlandia. (photo by Cassie Butterfield)

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s celebrated Fortlandia exhibition has returned for its sixth year with custom-designed forts created by local architects, designers and artists.

The family-friendly interactive exhibition inspires people of all ages to engage with the natural world. Each unique themed fort aims to inspire an appreciation of natural environments through innovative and sustainable designs while invoking a childlike spirit of wonder and creativity.

Monkey Bars by Ria Bravo. (photo by Cassie Butterfield)

A collection of innovative designs

“Through inventive designs and creative content, this exhibition engages the Central Texas community and helps us extend our mission of inspiring the conservation of native plants to an increasing number of people of all ages,” said Wildflower Center executive director Lee Clippard.

This year’s collection features a variety of innovative forts, such as the native Texan-inspired fort called Texas Wild Cards, created by Jennifer Robichaux, which has native species of plants and animals designed on Texas-sized cards.

Texas Wild Cards by Jennifer Robichaux. (photo by Cassie Butterfield)

Hands-on creation and exploration

Plenty of other masterpieces will be available for families to explore, including a fort-build center where visitors are encouraged to make their own forts using materials provided on-site.

Upon check-in, guests can pick up a free Passfort journal filled with a map and creative prompts to document, doodle, and reflect on observations found in the gardens. Passforts are available in English and Spanish for explorers of any age.

Photo courtesy of Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

An additional fort outside of the Wildflower Center

In partnership with The Trail Conservancy, one of the forts, Wisteria by Shelley McDavid, will be placed along the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail on Lady Bird Lake. This whimsical architectural fort design will provide an exciting new interactive space for play at Auditorium Shores.

Fortlandia is free with regular admission to the Wildflower Center. Check out the website for more information on planning your visit.