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Naples Botanical Garden unveiled its new website – www.naplesgarden.org. Designed by the New York based design firm ESI, the new site features construction photos that allow visitors to track the progress of the Garden’s expansion as it builds out the 170-acre tropical garden paradise due to open November 2010. The Garden closed to general visitation in June 2008 to begin construction on the site at Thomasson and Bayshore Drives in Naples, and offers special visiting days by preregistration.

“We are very proud of the new website,” said Brian Holley, Executive Director, “it provides the opportunity to “virtually” visit the Garden, as well as giving the online visitor the opportunity to get involved in the Garden community. We hope to inform and entertain all users, and let them experience all the excitement of the new Garden. The website, like the Garden, will continue to grow and offer new opportunities for visitors.”

The site features interactive capabilities such as commenting on staff diary blogs – Director’s Blog, Gardens Blog and Preserve Blog. The Community Forest Blog allows people in the community to post information and images of trees they are growing for use in the future garden. Online visitors can also upload personal garden photos and link to garden games. The Garden’s construction process can be monitored with the Construction Slideshow of aerial and ground photographs that are updated regularly.

The website showcases the plans for the new Naples Botanical Garden that will incorporate gardens representing the plants and cultures found between the 26th North and South latitudes -- Florida, Asia, Brazil, the Caribbean and an interactive Children’s Garden, each designed by the world’s top landscape architects. A 90-acre sanctuary of seven natural ecosystems will make up the Preserve area that includes 300 species of native plants. A roll over interactive map allows web users to easily retrieve information from the exact area that each garden will be within the overall Garden. Descriptions, sketches and each landscape designer’s website can all be accessed.

Detailed information on opportunities for becoming a Garden member, volunteering and attending special pre-arranged visits to the Garden throughout the expansion process can be found on the website as well.

Naples Botanical Garden is in the process of creating a world-class tropical garden paradise that will feature cultivated gardens of Asia, Brazil, the Caribbean, Florida, and a hands-on interactive Children’s Garden along with 90 acres of beautifully restored natural habitats. Currently, the Garden offers pre-registered visitations on specific dates. For more information call 239-643-7275 or visit www.naplesgarden.org, where the Garden is virtually open.