Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation to host National Public Garden Day on Friday, May 12

The Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation will host a celebration in recognition of National Public Gardens Day from 8 a.m. to noon Friday, May 12, at Lakes Regional Park, 7330 Gladiolus Drive, Fort Myers.

Lakes Park joins more than 500 public gardens in the nationwide celebration. The public is urged to come and see the beauty of the gardens, as well as participate in activities. In addition, a plant sale will be held in the fragrance garden from 9 a.m. to noon. Most of the plants have been propagated using cuttings or seeds from specimens from the garden.

There will be tours of the Botanic Gardens including the Community Garden, the Fragrance Garden, the Rose Garden, Succulent Garden and Water Garden. Refreshments will be available in the Community Garden. A special Community Garden tour will be offered by, Roy Beckford, Ph.D., Lee County Extension director.

Educational talks will be presented in the Railroad Museum. Kids’ activities will be presented in the Children’s Garden, along with opportunities to purchase engraved bricks. A representative from Conservation 20/20, Lee County’s environmentally sensitive land acquisition and management program, will discuss native plants and wildflowers supported by the Conservation 20/20 preserves.

Educational programs are:

  • 8 a.m.               Garden tours begin
  • 8:30 a.m.         Adrienne Diaz, “Gardening in SWFL – Growing Veggies”
  • 9 a.m.               Wesley Higgins, “Everglades Conservation” – Railroad Museum
  • 9 a.m.               Plant watering activity – Children’s Garden
  • 9:30 a.m.         Pre-schoolers StoryTime, followed by seed planting activity – Children’s Garden
  • 9:30 a.m.         Adrienne Diaz, “Gardening in SWFL – Growing Herbs”
  • 10 a.m.             Charles Sobczak, “The Changing Face of Nature” – Railroad Museum
  • 10:30 a.m.       Adrienne Diaz, “Gardening in SWFL – Bug ID”
  • 11 a.m.              Mayer Berg, Riverland Nursery, “Choosing Florida Friendly Plants” – Railroad Museum

“The purpose of this event is to give the public a view of the present gardens, as well as the plans for the Children’s Garden,” said Wesley Higgins, chairman of the Botanic Garden Committee. “It also emphasizes the importance of plants in our daily lives.”

The event is being sponsored locally by the Lakes Park Enrichment Foundation, a non-profit organization that enriches the park with many projects, the latest of which is the planning and construction of a Children’s Garden. The foundation’s main focus is to assist Lee County Parks & Recreation by enhancing the park’s environmental aesthetics, wildlife habitat and recreational amenities for the community to enjoy. Additional sponsorship provided by Lowes Home Improvement Warehouse.

To find information about the Foundation, make a donation, become a member or a volunteer, visit

Lakes Regional Park features 158 acres of freshwater quarry lake on the 279-acre facility. In 1991 the Fragrance Garden was introduced and has been grown from a small area of fragrant herbs, flowers and plants to a botanical type status with a wide variety of plants, trees, shrubs and ground cover.

Free parking is available by downloading a voucher at Lakes Regional Park is located on Gladiolus Drive just west of U.S. 41. Typically, parking fees are $1 an hour per vehicle with a maximum of $5 for the day.

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