NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The oldest town in Texas, is now the garden capital of Texas.
"Nacogdoches being designated as the Garden Capital of Texas is just another facet of Nacogdoches that makes us a great city," said Mayor Roger Van Horn.
The recognition was a culmination of hard work from Stephen F. Austin University professor Ab Abernethy and lobbying from State Representative Travis Clardy.
"This is such a beautiful place and what is interesting was as we readied the resolution and looked back in history was how many references there are to gardens in Nacogdoches," said Clardy.
The recognition comes as no surprise for garden lovers.
"We are the people of the earth and we love to garden and we love for people to come through and see what we can do with what we have here; our natural resources," said gardener Joann Carter.
Now that the oldest town in Texas is the garden capital of Texas, the real work begins to keep it that way.
"Once we got declared the garden capital, we thought, 'we have to live up to that now,' said Van Horn.
"We have wonderful gardens here but some of them are new and need to be developed," said Clardy.
The plan right now is to make new trails connecting gardens around town.
Nature lovers are confident that the new capital will only improve.
"It will get bigger, it will get better, and thanks to Dr. Abernathy and all his work and the trails, it gives the young people a place to go and expend energy," said Carter.
Officials hope the gardens will turn into a tourist attraction, being a mix of the San Antonio Riverwalk and the ancient Gardens of Babylon.
"I think we could have the most beautiful gardens in Texas and rival any in the world," said Clardy.