Back in 1922, there was just a large sandhill, longleaf pines, a shovel, and Edward Bok’s vision. Later on, in 1994, the Bok Tower Gardens Board of Directors broke ground to build the current Visitor Center. On Friday, October 24, 2014, hundreds will gather to make history again at Bok Tower Gardens. Gifts received to date for the Preserve the Legacy, Steward the Future capital campaign are fueling the start of Phase I projects this fall.
To celebrate, the park will hold a Groundbreaking Ceremony October 24 at 11 a.m. behind the Visitor Center. This will be followed by docent tours to the sites of the children’s garden, kitchen garden, pollinator garden, and wild garden. Here you are some of the changes coming as part of this project:
Keeping children in touch with nature is important to building their confidence, independent spirit, critical thinking, and ultimately their capacity for environmental stewardship. The new 2.7-acre children’s garden will be a place of hands-on fun, natural beauty, learning, and creative play. There will be beautiful art, cooling water features, vibrant plantings, a boardwalk, performance stage, and music area. Children will have things to climb on, under and through, as well as places to build, dig and create.
Outdoor Kitchen and Edible Garden
Adjacent to the children’s garden will be a new kitchen garden that connects farm to table. Lake Flato Architects of San Antonio has designed an inviting outdoor open kitchen space in harmony with the landscape. Edible display gardens surrounding the kitchen will be a welcoming destination for daytime or nighttime educational programs and events showcasing lifestyle gardening and the culinary arts.
Seven acres of the northern garden are being transformed into a haven for wildlife and native plants. The expanded wild garden, encompassing the existing Window by the Pond and Endangered Plant Garden, will showcase a variety of Florida native plants and landscapes including an oak hammock, wet prairie, sandhill preserve, wetland and bog. A 170-foot boardwalk through this area will provide visitors with an immersive experience into the new landscape.
Oval Lawn and Pollinator Garden
A gentle grade to a spectacular new oval walkway and special event lawn is being constructed behind the Visitor Center to help guests more easily find their way to Pinewood Estate, the Singing Tower, and the new expansion gardens to the north. This new gateway also features expanded outdoor cafe seating and a pollinator garden to attract birds and butterflies.
Refreshments will be served in the Visitor Center where guests can learn more about the projects and watch the premiere of our new orientation film. Admission to the Gardens is free from 8 – 11 a.m. Before you attend, please add your name to their official guestbook.
PHOTOS: ©2014 Bok Tower Gardens - National Historic Landmark. All rights reserved.