The UTEP Centennial Museum is teaming up once again with the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens for FloraFEST this weekend April 25-26 at the UTEP campus.

FloraFEST is the annual fundraiser for the maintenance and operation of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens and is the biggest sale of its kind in the region. One of the advantages of FloraFEST is that most of the plants they offer are not available at local nurseries or retailers and shoppers who purchase native plants can visit with local Master Gardeners and other plant experts for advice on how to care for their plants at home.

This year’s FloraFEST theme will be ‘Celebrating West Texas’, and as a new FloraFEST feature, there will be a series of lectures and events leading up to the big two-day native plant sale.

Events for FloraFEST 2015 – “Celebrating West Texas”:

  • Exhibit: “Authentic Texas: People of the Big Bend” can be seen from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily Tuesdays through Saturdays.
  • Wednesday, April 22 -- Earth Day Tour of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens. Meet at the museum’s front entrance at 10:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, April 22 – 12 p.m. In observance of Earth Day, Lois Balin, West Texas Urban Wildlife Biologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, will give a lecture on “Attracting Butterflies and Hummingbirds with Native Plants.”

Featured Lecture – 6 p.m., Friday, April 24, 2015

  • 6 p.m. Friday, April 24, 2015
  • UTEP’s Undergraduate Learning Center, Room 106
  • Cost: Free and open to the public. Participants will get the opportunity to preview the plants to be sold and light refreshments will be served.
  • Information: 915-747-5565 or 915-747-8994

Gary Nored, an avid photographer and blogger of the Big Bend, will present the lecture “Tough Beauty: Remarkable Plant Life of the Big Bend” as this year’s keynote FloraFEST speaker. Nored is a full-time volunteer for the Big Bend Ranch State Park and has written two visitor guidebooks for the park. In addition to his photography and blog, he is also working on a guidebook of the northern Chihuahuan Desert and a young person’s guide to common plants of the area.

  • 2015 FloraFEST – Native Plant Sale.
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 25 and Sunday, April 26, 2015
  • Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, corner of Wiggins and University on the UTEP campus.
  • Information: 915-747-5565 or 915-747-8994