CSTH visits Luci Banes Johnson

Luci Baines Johnson welcomes volunteers of Citizens for Scenic Texas Highways to her Central Texas home. They are Soc Gonzalez and Shannon Heep, left of her, and Linda Baker, right.

As fundraising continues for the Gateway to the Hill Country Beautification Project, volunteers of Citizens for Scenic Texas Highways (CSTH) carried a report on its progress to Luci Baines Johnson this month.

The organization has dedicated the community-funded project to the 'Legacy of Lady Bird Johnson,' the former First Lady and Luci's mother. She welcomed Soc Gonzalez, Shannon Heep and Linda Baker to her Central Texas home where they shared information about the groundbreaking Dec. 27 on the two-year project to beautify the intersection that welcomes visitors to Burnet County--US 281 and Texas 71 in Marble Falls.

The site has been called the Gateway to the Hill Country and Highland Lakes Region and described as a “welcome mat” at the threshold of traffic from seasonal visitors from within Texas and from far beyond Texas borders.

As such, it was endorsed during the spring and summer by the Burnet County Commissioners Court and the City of Burnet among most of the area's cities and counties. The project was proposed by Citizens for Scenic Texas Highways (CSTH) in a landscape partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Adopt-A-Highway program.

For phase one of the project, professional arborist services have been donated by Mills Services of Kingsland. Bradlee Mills, the company's owner and operator, agreed to provide services in excess of $9,770 in November, making him one of the first on the growing list of businesses to join in. The work includes care for free standing and clusters of native oak trees. Unhealthy and Invasive vegetation will be removed under the supervision of TxDOT Johnson City Maintenance District.

Phase two will take place in the wildflower planting seasons of 2017 and 2018, when 56 acres of grassy medians, easements and cloverleaf sections of the project will be planted in $62,000-worth of native annuals and perennials to bloom from spring – early summer.

Native American Seed of Junction serves as consultant and supplier for the project. The trademarked Lady Bird Legacy Wildflower Mix has been selected for this project qualifying a portion of seed purchases to be dedicated to the Seed Grants to Texas Schools of The University of Texas Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Luci's father, President Lyndon Baines Johnson championed scores of environmental bills during his presidency of the United States. With his wife, Lady Bird, at his side, the two worked tirelessly to clean up America’s highways, promote conservation and preserve the country’s natural landscapes.

Heep promotes the slogan “Be an environmentalist #belikeladybird.”

 For details and to donate to the project, visit the website www.scenictexashighways.com.

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