Now You Know: Marco to host school board candidates, Botanical Garden celebrates Mexico

Botanical Garden celebrates Mexico

Will Watts

Marco Island will host Collier County’s school board candidates on Sept. 27, so that you can vote informed for the Nov. 8 general election.

The event is 6:30 p.m., Sept. 2,7 at the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island, 991 Winterberry Road. 

Sponsoring the event is the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce, the Marco Island Civic Association and the Coalition for Quality Public Education.

“Funding for public schools represents a significant portion of taxpayer dollars annually, and schools have much to do with the quality of life in any community,” said the news release, sent by Marco Island Civic Association’s President Jerry Swiacki. “Your attendance is encouraged.”

On the ballot are Jerry Rutherford, who is running against incumbent Jory Westberry for District 1; Kelly Lichter, who is running against incumbent Jen Mitchell for District 2; and Tim Moshier, who is running against incumbent Roy Terry for District 5. 

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A yearlong exploration of Mexico’s plants

Naples Botanical Garden is presenting a yearlong exploration of Mexico’s plants and their cultural connections. The season features major exhibitions — including a botanical homage to artist Frida Kahlo — new festivals, and the return of annual favorites. 

Plants can offer a window into culture, lifestyle, faith, and tradition, as well as an opportunity to consider connections between communities. Southwest Florida and portions of Mexico share a tropical wet forest ecosystem and many overlapping plant species. Mexico is the birthplace of crops essential to cuisines around the world, including corn, beans, and tomatoes. It harbors 10 percent of the world’s flora, making it one of the most biodiverse places on Earth and underscoring Naples Botanical Garden’s commitment to plant conservation throughout South Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean. 

Some of the events included in “Mexico: A Celebration of Plants & Culture” include:

La Calavera Catrina features eight towering sculptures of La Catrina, one of the most recognizable figures of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). An elegant female skeleton and an icon of Mexican heritage.

La Calavera Catrina, Oct. 1-Jan. 29 

La Calavera Catrina features eight towering sculptures of La Catrina, one of the most recognizable figures of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). An elegant female skeleton and an icon of Mexican heritage. La Catrina approaches death not through sadness, but as a colorful celebration of life. Designed by Los Angeles-based artist Ricardo Soltero, these 8-foot-tall, brightly adorned sculptures will add an element of surprise to your Garden stroll. La Calavera Catrina is organized by Denver Botanic Gardens. 

Día de los Muertos celebration, Nov. 5, 6

With origins in Mexico, this colorful holiday is a time to share memories of loved ones, and celebrate families and friends. Discover the holiday’s significance and its rich culture though special displays, tours, and arts and crafts stations. Immerse yourself in live music, dance performances, and delicious dishes. Bring the whole family for an adventure in color, aroma, and flavor.  

Frida and Her Garden, Jan. 14-Sept. 10, 2023 

Venture into the world of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) as you explore a re-creation of La Casa Azul, the artist’s iconic blue home in Coyoacán, Mexico City. A year in the making, this exhibition is a garden within the Garden, teeming with plants that inspired her paintings, those that embellished her home, and those that reflect Mexico’s rich heritage. Throughout the Garden, you’ll also encounter monumental animal sculptures adorned with folk art representing important influences on Kahlo’s life and work. Special thanks to Banco de México Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums Trust.   

Frida After 5 

Celebrate first Fridays with Frida! Bring your friends and family to meander through the Frida and Her Garden exhibition after hours, sip on themed cocktails, and enjoy festive music and dance on select nights. Included with Garden admission.

Viva la Vida: Plants, Stories, and Cultural Heritage, April 7-Sept. 4

Through photography and storytelling, discover how more than 20 Southwest Florida women of Hispanic origin keep their traditions alive through plants. Artist Lisette Morales McCabe captures her subjects immersed in the plants that connect them to homeland and heritage. 

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Reminder: Road resurfacing

Marco Island’s annual road resurfacing project is set to begin this week. Where? Copperfield Court and the side streets (approximately 1.45 miles) and North Barfield Drive between North Collier Blvd. and San Marco Rd. (approximately two miles).

City Council approved this project in August for $1.6 million. It includes road resurfacing, manhole and valve adjustments, pavement striping, raised pavement markers and thermoplastic striping, according to a city press release.

Work zone signage will be posted, and flaggers will direct traffic. Watch for workers and drive with caution. Mail and trash collection will not be impacted during this project.