sustainable initiatives

In the next twenty years, 2.6 million acres of Florida land are likely to be converted to urban use, making Southwest Florida’s remaining green spaces all the more precious to future generations. Naples Botanical Garden’s 170 acres of land have been saved from urban development forever, thanks to hundreds of visionary individuals who overcame countless obstacles to secure the site and dream of the possibilities for our community.

What does sustainability have to do with the Garden?

Sustainability describes ecosystems that thrive in a dynamic balance particular to their place. Each element of a sustainable system balances itself against other aligned and competing elements to create a unique fit within its natural context.

The Garden employs sustainable practices in our garden designs, water use, architecture, horticulture practices, and day-to-day operations in our effort to minimize our impact on our native ecosystems.


LEED buildings

In developing plans for the new gardens and facilities, the Board of Directors was unanimous in its support for creating a project that was environmentally responsible. To this end, we have adopted best practices in sustainable design in developing our facilities. These structures are designed to meet the criteria for LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification.

For a building to achieve LEED Certification, they must meet the standards for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

With the help of award-winning architecture firm Lake|Flato of San Antonio, Texas, the Garden’s future Visitor Center has been designed to meet these standards as well as fit beautifully into the site. The Visitor Center will include the highest level of sustainable innovation in construction materials and techniques. These innovations include rainwater collection tanks that allow us to store 18,000 gallons of rainwater for irrigation; orienting the buildings to maximize the impact of shade and cooling breezes and using recycled wood and other sustainable products extensively throughout.

sustainable initiatives – Water

Water is one of Florida's most valuable resources. At times of the year it is in surplus, providing necessary habitat for fish and wildlife, at other times it is scarce, shrinking suitable habitat and stressing urban landscapes. Water availability issues are often compounded by water quality, especially nutrient run-off caused by fertilizers. The Garden strives to be a leader in the wise use of this priceless resource through the use of best management practices to conserve water throughout the year and to reduce run-off of nutrient and other pollutants to our natural systems.

Storm water treatment:

Stormwater treatment is designed and incorporated into the overall garden plan as a feature of the landscape. The multi-award winning system incorporates bio-swales, raingardens, ponds, and the Smith River of Grass, a tribute to the Everglades. The entire stormwater system uses appropriate Florida native plants, creating both a 'sense of place' and habitat for our native wildlife.

Smart watering:

The Garden's irrigation system features the newest in water saving features. A smart weather station records data to determine when gardens need irrigated and when rainfall is sufficient to keep plants healthy. The system also takes advantage of developments in efficient micro- and drip-irrigation and low-flow irrigation heads that reduce water losses to evaporation and run-offportlet_icon_curly.png.


2011 APGA Award of Merit, Brian Holley, Executive Director, Naples Botanical Garden.

2011 Award of Excellence, Goetz+Stropes Landscape Architects Inc.

2011 Award of Honor, Raymond Jungles, Inc.

2011 Annual School Garden Competition, First Place School Garden (Multiple Class) - Avalon Elementary School Global Garden After-School Program.

2010 Impact Award, Goetz+ Stropes Landscape Architects, Inc.

2010 Florida Nursery, Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) Landscape Awards of Excellence.

2010 Summit Award in the category of Best Commercial Project.

2010 Gold Medal Winner / National Building of America Project.

2009 Intelligent Use of Water Leadership Award from the Rain Bird Corporation.

sustainability panels

In partnership with the Garden, The University of Florida IFAS Extension of Collier County offers courses on a wide range of horticultural topics. To learn more about Extension Courses at the Garden or to register, please visit the Extension Agency.

Interested in learning more about native plants? The Naples Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society holds monthly meetings at the Garden from November through April. For more information about the Chapter, please contact the Florida Native Plant Society.

The Greenscape Alliance is a collaborative endeavor working to promote sustainable landscaping practices. The group includes Naples Botanical Garden and City, County, State, Federal, and Regional agencies working together to further these best management practices. For more information on the alliance and training programs offered, please visit Greenscape Alliance and Project Greenscape

Interested in learning more about birds? The Collier County Audubon Society holds monthly meetings and scheduled birding trips to the Garden. Click here to learn more about the Collier County Audubon Society and birding events.

Have a Plant Question and not sure where to ask? Each week, the Collier County Master Gardener Program hosts a Plant Clinic in the Visitor’s Center at the Garden. Master Gardeners are on-hand to answer your plant related questions. For more information on the Plant Clinic and the Master Gardener Programs please visit their website.