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  • Nicolette Beard

Summer Camp is On Rain or Shine!

We’re having a great time at the Naples Botanical Garden summer camp. Campers are flying kites, getting to know the ‘Stinky Plants’ Curator Brett Adams brings in, learning to weave, building rainbow tacos with Julie from Whole Foods and exploring the colorful residents of the wildflower meadow.

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That is only a small taste of the Garden summer camp activities happening all week every week this summer in the Garden. Every day our campers are getting their hands on new art activities, exploring in the Garden and meeting speakers who come from many organizations, from Rookery Bay to the Naples Museum of Art and walks of life, from solar engineers to printmakers.

With access to the plants, butterflies, gardens and staff, the Naples Botanical Garden makes it easy for the counselors, all CCPS teachers, to keep everyone entertained. Our Camp Coordinator, Laura Foht agrees.

“The Garden is the perfect place for curious minds to wander and explore,” said Laura. At least one camper agrees. “This is the best camp ever!  I wish I could go to the Garden all year!,” enthused Trevor. 

  • Nicolette Beard

Tree of Life Rescued from Demo

Our stalwart horticulture assistant and trusted keeper of the plant records, Hetty Ford, and her band of loyal gardeners, removed a mature Lignum Vitae tree, commonly known as the “Tree of Life,” from a demolition lot in Old Naples on Monday, June 18, 2012. The magnificent specimen is now in the Kapnick Caribbean Garden.

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For those novice gardeners (like me) Guaiacum sanctum (Lignum Vitae) is a native Florida tree. Large specimens are rare and, when Hetty learned that this tree was on a demo lot, “I knew we could not let the bulldozers get it,” she said.

  • Nicolette Beard

A Reel Catch - Garden Lake Tarpon

One of the things I like most about the Garden is that people can engage in a variety of experiences depending on their interest area and age level. This last weekend was no exception.

From Catch and Release fishing to another memorable Summer Picnic Concert, we saw a steady stream of visitors; some with fishing poles and major outback gear to early birds toting the classic straw picnic baskets. As one concertgoer claimed on our Facebook page, “The concert today was amazing! (Thank you for that Dolette.)

For years, rumor had it that the Garden Lake was home to tarpon, which seemed like a fanciful tale to many who had heard this story. Lo and behold, a 3-foot tarpon was indeed caught by our very own Director of Horticulture, Brian Galligan.

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One of our longtime volunteers hypothesized that the tarpon found its way into our lake after Hurricane Donna. He suggested that it was the Gulf surge that provided a new home to many of the fish now populating the lake. For those born after 1960, Naples News’ Lighthouse Project provides fascinating tidbits of hurricane history surrounding that devastating day.

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