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Botanic Research Institute in Fort Worth Gets New Home

By BJ Austin, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-875476.mp3

Dallas, TX –

In Fort Worth this morning the Botanical Research Institute of Texas breaks ground on a new site. KERA's BJ Austin says there are two big benefits to the new location.

The new site for BRIT, the Botanical Research Institute of Texas, is the old Fort Worth Public Health Center on University Drive next door to the Botanic Gardens. BRIT director Dr. Sy Sohmer says that is going to create a synergy that will make Fort Worth one of the most important botanical resources in the country. And, the new site will increase BRIT's size from 20 to 70 thousand square feet.

Sohmer: Ultimately, we'll be able to have three million specimens in that space where we have about a little over a million now. The collections building itself will be able to house almost two million specimens, so almost double the capacity that we have at this moment.

BRIT's mission is to conserve plant life, protecting bio-diversity, and educating people about the importance of that. Dr. Sohmer says they will have space to bring-in retired botanists who want to do research. There's already been an inquiry about the new facility from a botanist in Sweden. BRIT makes the big move in the spring of 2011.

Email BJ Austin