Protecting our heritage – and the legacy of Lady Bird Johnson

The future of the Wildflower Center is in peril and we need your help in keeping the Center safe, quiet, clean and beautiful for ourselves and our children, and for everyone who loves the Center as we do.

What's At Stake

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is rushing to extend and expand Mopac adjacent to and immediately south of the Center. If built as planned, the project would deliver high-speed Interstate 35 car and truck traffic to the door step and fence line of the Center.  The resulting air, noise, water and light pollution, visual blight, and traffic disruption would do irreparable harm to the Center and to the visitor experience.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

“We feel that the Selected [SH 45 SW] Alternative as currently designed to funnel 30,000 plus vehicles a day past the Wildflower Center will have significant adverse impact on the Wildflower Center and jeopardizes its viability.”


-Interim Executive Director Mike Abkowitz
letter to TxDOT, August 21, 2015

You Can Help

With your help we can demand that TxDOT protect the Wildflower Center and respect Lady Bird Johnson’s legacy of conservation and preservation. As the guiding force behind the Highway Beautification Act of 1965, Lady Bird Johnson did more for highways and for TxDOT than almost anyone ever. Lady Bird’s legacy and the Center deserve better from Governor Abbott and TxDOT.


Please take a few minutes to sign our letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Governor Abbott’s appointees on the Texas Transportation Commission, and University of Texas President Gregory Fenves.

Tell them that you believe the proposed Mopac and SH 45 SW toll road project should be put on hold, reconsidered, and further studied to better protect the Wildflower Center and its unique and vulnerable Hill Country gardens and environment.   Then ask your friends, family members, and colleagues to sign our letter to Governor Abbott as well.

Sign Our Letter


By becoming part of our effort, you are helping to ensure that the Wildflower Center thrives for generations to come. Please sign up here to receive updates from The Friends of the Wildflower Center.

How We Got Here

On February 25, 2016 The Friends of the Wildflower Center and twelve other parties filed suit against TxDOT and the Austin toll road agency, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, to demand that TxDOT comply with federal environmental protection laws before they build the proposed toll loop. You can read the lawsuit complaint here and the press statement here.

One of our lawsuit claims is that construction of the proposed toll project would cause severe damage to the Wildflower Center in violation of federal highway law. (See pages 28 to 29 of the complaint.) The Center requires quiet, beautiful gardens and clean air and water to serve its conservation and education mission. As set out in former Interim Director Mike Abkowitz’s letter to TxDOT, the project threatens the viability of the Wildflower Center.