Fifteen years in the planning and planting, Naples Botanical Garden is ready to bloom.
The 170-acre site in East Naples at Bayshore and Thomasson drives opens to the public on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009, with special ceremonies at 11 a.m. Its history will be written by the people who visit to learn, recharge, mingle, celebrate and share special moments there.
For now, its story is told by the numbers:
Children 4-14: $4.95
Children 3 and under: free
Annual memberships: $50 for individuals, $75 for families (good for members and all their children and grandchildren up to 18 years old)
Open daily: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kinds of orchids: 1,000
Kinds of fruit, palm and other trees: 900
Kinds of cycads: 100
Kinds of heliconia: 100
Kinds of plumeria: 300 plus
400 parking spaces
70 acres of melaleuca and Brazilian pepper cleared for current and future development
1000s of yards of usable mulch material created from melaleuca
2 existing lakes excavated to create gardens with topography
1 acre of limestone blasted from the ground.
230,000 yards of dirt moved around the site
12 acres of invasive cattails treated in the south wetland
Over 25 acres of viewing area opened up by dropping and stacking melaleuca
1000s of native plants rescued from the footprint of the site before construction began
Rescued plant material planted across the 90 acres of preserve
70 acres of cultivated areas and 90 acres of restored natural habitats
Kapnick Center, shared with Florida Gulf Coast University, is 15,000 square feet with an auditorium that seats 150 and three classrooms for 30 students each
$32 million raised so far
$18 million more to go
643-7275: number to call the Naples Botanical Garden for more information