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Fortlandia event at Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center offers families a fun escape

Fortlandia is now open for its third year, helping families connect with nature and learn about native plants.

AUSTIN, Texas — The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center offers people a chance to explore beautiful landscapes while also learning about native plants. 

"The whole point of this, and most of everything we do, is really to get people outside to connect with nature, to learn more about nature," said Texas Arboretum Manager Phillip Schulze.

This is the third year of the Wildflower Center's Fortlandia event, something that Schulze calls an antidote to screen time.

"They can come out here and they can get away from all that and really engage with their surroundings," he said.

Fortlandia is set up in the Texas Arboretum. It's a one-mile trail where forts are discovered as you go.

"Each one is meant to inspire imaginative play and create connections with the outdoors, and just to be something fun and artistic for the public to enjoy," said Schulze.

Each of the displays are designed, built and installed by a different local group. Some of the builders are artists, designers or architects. Each fort is a unique experience.

There's also a spot for kids to build their own forts. Texas Arboretum offers an area with materials including loose parts of tree branches, bamboo and wooden blocks for kids to construct their own forts. 

It's a chance for people of all ages to break away from computers and cell phones and connect with nature. 

Fortlandia will be up through Jan. 31. Reservations are required to enter the Wildflower Center. Facial coverings are required for those aged 10 and up. 

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