The Punta Gorda Isles Green Thumbs is a 501(c)(3) non-profit all volunteer organization whose present mission is to establish, maintain, and enhance the Punta Gorda Nature Park. The 24 acre park is located on the corner of Bel Harbor and Aqui Esta in Punta Gorda Isles. The PGI Green Thumbs have developed the park under the guidance of the Urban Design Department of the City of Punta Gorda.
The PGI Green Thumbs meet weekly to tend the gardens on the West and East sides of the park. Volunteers make up the heart and soul of the group. The volunteer board oversees general plans and care of the garden. There are Master Gardener and experienced gardeners that regularly advise. Volunteers can be assigned areas to oversee, help out in special areas, or just show up and help with the day's planned activities.
1. Promote eco-friendly gardening practices via educational programs
2. Emulate Florida Friendly landscaping which includes receding water and chemical use
3. Maintain the health and beauty of the park
4. Develop park areas with plant replacement and new plants
5. Enlist new volunteers to keep the garden thriving
6. Enlist donors and patrons for the Garden
New Goals include creation of signs for plant identification, development of a meditation walk on the east side of the garden, and development of additional native orchid habitats.
The PGI Green Thumbs started as a small group of garden loving friends working together in Punta Gorda's History Park. After 12 years there this creative ambitious group felt the need for a new canvas. At a 2011 meeting development of the Nature Park was proposed.
This was, and still is, a 24 acre park that was purchased by the city in 1994 using Florida Forever Funds from the Florida Communities Trust Program. In 2011 the park was home to a few oak trees and a field of grass. Each time these garden lovers would drive past, they would envision more. PGI Green Thumbs approached the city with an offer to develop and maintain the Nature Park and in 2012 an agreement was reached to landscape the park.
The Punta Gorda Fire Department separates the park into 2 sections - the East and West sides. The West side was developed with what is now 18 garden islands the represent sub-categories of plants or themes. The East side development is committed to all native plant selection.
The park and adjoining wetlands are to be operated in perpetuity as a natural conservation area for public outdoor recreation.
There is a 1/2 mile trail that loops that connects the east and west sides of the garden. There is a fishing pier and several observation decks to enjoy as you stroll along.
Winding among native trees, shrubs, and plantings is an ADA compliant sidewalk leading to a picnic area with tables and benches. Florida Cracker Roses make the rose garden a perfect place to relax. The plantings on this side feature Florida native plants.
The Butterfly gardens, Hummingbird garden, Herb & Spice garden, Bromeliads, Succulent garden are only a few of the garden islands that have been developed for your enjoyment.
The budget and projects have grown since inception and PGI Green Thumbs depend on donors and volunteers to develop and maintain the garden. They set aside 10% of all funds received to fund an endowment to ensure the financial health of the gardens of the Nature Park, so future generations can continue to enjoy this lovely masterpiece.
PGI Green Thumbs is a 501-C-3 Non-Profit Corporation.
Copyright © 2020 PGI Green Thumbs, Inc. - All Rights Reserved.
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