OUR MISSION - Connecting people with plants by conserving and researching the biological diversity of our collections and the ecosystems of the 26 latitudes; engaging our visitors in learning about plants, gardens and ecosystems; and inspiring our visitors to value plants, gardens and natural habitats.
education, plant collections, subtropical, tropical, botanical, environment, conservation, preservation, landscape design, horticulture, sustainability
4820 Bayshore Drive
Naples, FL 34112 USA
Botanical Gardens, Arboreta and Botanical Organizations (C41)
Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)
Natural History, Natural Science Museums (A56)
IRS Filing Requirement
This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.
How does this organization make a difference?
Self-reported by organization
Naples Botanical Garden (NBG) was founded in 1993 by a visionary group of local plant enthusiasts. The organization incorporated with the IRS with 501 C (3) status in 1994. In 2000, a $5 million gift from the Kapnick Family and the Kapnick Foundation resulted in the purchase of the current 170-acre site. The Garden's theme is to represent the landscapes and flora of regions between 26 degrees north (Naples latitude) and 26 degrees south. Currently gardens representing the Caribbean, Brazil, Southeast Asia and Florida have been completed. The Garden has undergone a dramatic expansion which now includes preserve areas, a mosaic of themed cultivated gardens, lakes, and special event areas. In May 2008, construction began on several cultivated gardens while restoration of the natural habitat began on 90 acres of the site. The specialty gardens and preserve areas showcase 20,000+ tropical and subtropical plants from around the world. NBG also has an extensive collection of Southwest Florida native plants and is home to The Herbarium of Southwest Florida. The extensive use of native plants, solar powered pumps and classrooms, an award winning storm water management system and highly efficient irrigation system allow us to demonstrate the newest sustainable technologies. Additionally, future buildings are designed to meet LEED Gold Standards for sustainability and environmental impact. NBG offers a variety of educational, artistic and entertainment programming for people of all ages. The Garden has become a treasured community and family gathering place for festivals, holidays, and milestone celebrations. To further increase awareness locally, nationally, and internationally, NBG utilizes a multi-media-channel strategy that features print, television/radio ads, and online (Facebook, Twitter, Mobile Apps, Email, banner ads, YouTube, and email) marketing. The Garden is committed to being a place of enjoyment, education, and conservation as well as a cultural landmark that will inspire visitors for generations to come. In 2011, NBG was voted the ""Best Place to Bring Visitors"" by readers of Gulfshore Life magazine.
Self-reported by organization
What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?
"Conserve" takes on many meanings at the Garden including: the wise use of water and other resources; the restoration of ecosystems; the preservation and documentation of extensive botanical collections; field research to develop baseline information on botanical diversity; and proactive programs to mitigate the impacts of introduced pests and diseases on our native flora. Early in the planning of the Garden's site it was decided that significant acreage should be set aside in perpetuity as natural areas in perpetuity. It took a great deal of imagination to see beyond the masses of invasive species that populated these areas and understand the underlying, diverse beauty they held. Today the Smith Uplands and the Collier Enterprises South Wetlands are thriving, vibrant ecosystems with an incredible diversity of plants and animals.
Our commitment to the preservation of biodiversity goes well beyond the Garden's gates. Botanist George Wilder, PhD, has undertaken three major floristic studies of regions in South Florida to document current diversity as a baseline for tracking future changes in plant populations. Wilder is also curator of the Herbarium of Southwest Florida, a collection of 36,000 preserved plant specimens that are at the Garden.
Naples Botanical Garden is also working with Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park and Marie Selby Botanical Gardens to keep the endangered, giant air plant, Tillandsia utriculata, from being extirpated by the Mexican bromeliad weevil. Naples Botanical Garden has also just entered a partnership with several agencies including the Smithsonian Institution and University of Illinois to repopulate this region's natural areas with native orchid species that have been decimated by development and poaching.
Engagement with Children
One of the most important ways to protect the future of our planet is to engage people - young and old - in creating an awareness of and appreciation for the Earth's web of living systems.The Garden's engagement programs for CHILDREN include field trips to the Smith Children's Garden for Collier County School students; a partnership with Collier County Public Schools to develop a field trip/classroom instructional program called Budding Botanists; a decade-long summer camps for neighborhood children, many of whom live in poverty; participation in Avalon Elementary School's Global Garden; and involvement in the Collier Greens program, which provides Garden support and expertise to 20 school and community gardens.
To date, nearly 5000 children visited the Gardens on field trips on the 2013-14 school year and 3000 have participated in the Budding Botanists program. In 2012, the Garden began partnering with the Naples Children and Education Foundation (NCEF) to serve more children through summer camp programs; in 2014 that partnership expanded to include children with special needs and over 300 youngsters attended camp. Global Garden instructors engage 30 children at Avalon Elementary in a broad curriculum of plant-based activities the provide life skills and reinforce math and science concepts.
Thousands of children have enjoyed and learned from their visits to the Naples Botanical Garden. And the Garden was recognized in 2010 and 2013 when Avalon Elementary's Global Garden won the award for "Best Multiple Class School Garden in Florida" from the University of Florida's Environmental Horticulture Department. In addition, participation in the new Collier Greens program - which will expand from Collier to serve Lee County as well - will allow Garden staff to assist the community in learning about a wide variety of topics from fundraising to organic gardening. Thousands of school children use these gardens each year as a resource for many different school subjects.
Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Engagement Through Therapeutic and Vocational Horticulture
With the opening of the Buehler Family Foundation Enabling Garden in 2010, the Garden began developing gardening programs tailored to meet the needs of people with a variety of challenges including special physical, psychiatric or developmental needs. The Garden partners with the Collier County School District on two vocational training initiatives, funded through the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Both high school and post-secondary culinary arts students at Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology attend weekly classes at the Garden to learn how to grow vegetables and herbs, as well as to integrate tropical produce into their dishes. Through another program, the Garden hosts special needs students from Lely High School for pre-vocational training that provides basic employment skills and valuable life skills. In 2002, the Garden and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) formed the partnership that would result in the establishment of the Harvey Kapnick Education and Research Center, with its state of the art labs and classrooms on the Garden's campus.
The Buehler Enabling Garden has become a hive of activity with weekly programs for special education students and regular classes for participants in the Alzheimer's Support Network and Lighthouse of Collier County for Blindness and Vision Loss. Many other groups have used the Enabling Garden for specialized programming.
The opening of the FGCU Kapnick Center at Naples Botanical Garden and the establishment in 2011 of the Juliet C. Sproul Chair for Southwest Florida Habitat Restoration and Management attracted an exceptional group of faculty and a burgeoning research program. The emphasis on research has led to the permanent funding of five interns who concentrate their projects on opportunities at the Garden. The Naples Garden Club funds three summer internships for college students. Typically the Garden has 10-12 interns each summer.
Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)
Other Named Groups
Engagement Through Lifelong Learning
The Naples Botanical Garden provides an exceptional context for a wide variety of adult education programs. Students can study art and design with classes in photography, botanical illustration or flower arranging. Nature lovers can take guided birding walks. If health is an interest, the Garden offers yoga, tai chi, healthy cooking classes and a walking club. For gardeners, classes range from landscape design to orchid growing. Collier County Extension Service Master Gardeners are on site each Thursday to answer the community's gardening questions.
Each year, the Garden has built the number and quality of its adult education programs, offering nature lovers a chance to "botanize" with the Garden's experts..
Perhaps the most effective education thayt takes place in the Garden is through the interactions between the trained volunteer docents and visitors. On any given day, docents answer dozens of questions and explain some of the interesting aspects about the gardens. Their commitment to learning about the gardens is remarkable: their guidebook is more than 125 pages long.
Throughout time and around the world, gardens have always played an important role as a source of artistic inspiration. Providing such inspiration to visitors is a core value at the Naples Botanical Garden Many nationally known landscape architects have made significant contributions to the Garden's dynamic and inspirational design that immerses and involves visitors from the moment they pass through the entrance.In addition, the Garden inspires visitors of all ages through many special events and exhibits. Its beautiful venue has hosted performing and visual arts spectaculars ranging from concerts, plays and ballets to the holiday-themed Night Lights in the Garden extravaganza with tens of thousands of lights, as well as the annual Flower Show of the Naples Garden Club.
As the Garden matures it will only provide more inspiration to its visitors, not only from its lovely plantings and themed gardens but also from its variety of innovative programs. Among the Garden's enthusiastically received recent offerings were the 2014 exhibit, Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks; and two shows in 2015: All Creatures Great and Small, the Garden's first national, juried sculpture show and Unearthed - Dinosaurs in the Garden, featuring animatronic giants including a 40-foot T. Rex and an 82-foot Brachiosaurus.
The Naples Botanical Garden has been a place of continuing inspiration for more than two decades. Through the years attendance has grown from about 90,000 when the Garden expansion's first phase opened in 2009 to 150,000 in 2014. Attendance is projected to hit 180,000 this year. Charity Navigator reported that the Garden was the 7th fastest growing not for profit in the United States in 2013.
Self-reported by organization
Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.
The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
Brian Holley has been executive director of Naples Botanical Garden since 2005. He also served as executive director of Cleveland Botanical Garden (CBG) until February 2007. Prior to moving to Cleveland, he spent seventeen years at Royal Botanical Garden (RBG) in Burlington, Ontario. During that time he also published numerous articles, two children's books and hosted both a radio and a TV show. Holley led a successful $50 million capital campaign at CBG to fund an extensive expansion of facilities including a glasshouse that recreated Costa Rican and Madagascan environments. This project resulted in several international partnerships. The Green Corps, an urban farming program targeting at-risk youth was established during his tenure. This nationally acclaimed program currently has six inner city farms and employs over 100 at-risk youth. In 2010, Naples Botanical Garden completed a $30 million construction program that included 70 acres of gardens featuring the plants and cultures of the tropics and restoration of 90 acres of natural habitat. In October 2014 the Garden opened the Eleanor and Nicholas Chabraja Visitor Center, a 25,000 sq. facility designed to LEED Gold standards. The Garden is currently working to develop a $10 million endowment to support the Garden's operations. He has served on the boards of many organizations including The American Horticulture Society, Herb Society of America, Holden Parks Trust, Parkworks and The American Horticultural Therapy Association. He has also received The Key to the City of Cleveland from Mayor Michael White; The Professional Service Award from The American Horticulture Society; the Award of Merit from the American Public Garden Association; Award of Honor from the American Society of Landscape Architects and was Honorary President of the Herb Society of America. Holley is a graduate of Greater Naples Leadership, Class XIII.
Thomas D McCann
GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization
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Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?
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Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?
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Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?
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Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?
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Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?