NAPLES, FL – March 14, 2022 – Naples Botanical Garden this month begins construction of the Evenstad Horticulture Campus, a $15.5 million growing facility that will promote its development of nature-based environmental solutions, expand its collections of tropical and subtropical plants, and enhance its 170 acres of cultivated gardens and native habitat, which draw some 250,000 people a year.

Media are invited to attend a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday, March 21, at 11 a.m. Senior executives and members of the Board of Directors will be available for interviews following the outdoor event.

The approximately 66,000-square-foot Evenstad Horticulture Campus will consist of specialized greenhouses, nurseries, and laboratories. It also will house the Garden’s seed bank, which currently stores more than 200,000 seeds from Southwest Florida and the Caribbean for restoration projects and long-term genetic preservation. It is named in honor of Grace Evenstad and her late husband, Ken, longtime Garden benefactors and lead donors to this project. Mrs. Evenstad is a member of the Board of Directors.

The new center propels the 12-year-old botanical garden—one of the nation’s youngest—into its next phase, as a regional resource for plant science, conservation, and education. In addition to private donations, the project’s funders include the Florida Legislature, which recognizes the Garden’s role in advancing environmental solutions.

The Garden’s ongoing projects include:

  • Beach dune restoration
  • Trialing drought- and salt-tolerant trees for public landscapes
  • Seed banking
  • Environmental education, including stormwater management training

“The Evenstad Horticulture Campus is key to the Garden’s evolution and our ability to contribute to our community’s environmental health,” President & CEO Donna McGinnis says. “At the same time, it will allow us to refine and expand our display gardens, honoring our legacy as a cultural resource and place of respite for residents and visitors.”

Construction is expected to last one year. P.K. Studios Inc. is the architect, and Manhattan Construction the general contractor.