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Mrs. Bush said prairies — which consist of 75 percent grass and 25 percent wildflowers — are a haven for animals, giving cover to ground-nesting birds, for instance, and providing food for them. She added that the flowers will attract butterflies.

The park already has attracted one new resident: a red-tailed hawk, Mr. Sweeney said.

Another feature of the park will be a small amphitheater-like area with seating made from limestone. Limestone is a recurring theme at the center and is included in accents on the red-brick building. Mr. Langdale said all of the limestone used is from Texas, except that used for the indoor flooring in the center’s Freedom Hall, a light-filled 67-feet-high open space. That limestone, he said, comes from Tunisia and symbolizes the start of the Arab Spring movement.