Friday, April 10, 2009

Celebrate Earth Day at Bok!

One of our favorite gardens in Florida -- Bok Gardens sent this announcement of their upcoming celebration. I've included a few photos we took on our last visit to the unique sanctuary in Polk County, Fla. It is so beautifully and tastefully maintained. A great place to go when you need a retreat-- Dawn

What: Earth Day Celebration 2009

When: April 16 & 17 from 9 a.m. to noon

Where: Bok Tower Gardens

Bok Tower Gardens’ Earth Day Celebration April 16 & 17

Lake Wales, Fla. – Bok Tower Gardens expects more than 1,700 students to attend its “Going Green” Earth Day Celebration on April 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. to noon. Sponsored by AT&T Real Yellow Pages, Lilly, O’Toole & Brown, LLP, Progress Energy and Ridge Printing, the two-day event will feature hands-on activities offered by environmental exhibitors from Central Florida. Pre-registration is recommended, but everyone is welcome. The $5 fee for students and chaperon's includes general Gardens admission.

Planned activities will include a ladybug release, fossil dig, whale listening and more. In addition to the popular Bok Butterfly House filled with live butterflies and plants, there will be exhibits with live wildlife to demonstrate their role in the balance of nature. “By showing why snakes are our slithery friends and how honeybees protect our planet through pollination, we can engage young minds to take action now so we can all live green in the future,” explains Jennifer Beam, Gardens’ director of Visitor Services and Programs. Other learning experiences include how to raise earthworms for composting, the benefits of organic farming and how to identify animal tracks as well as beneficial insects.

Participants include Archbold Biological Station, Central Florida Ecotours, entomologist M. Lewis Wright Jr.’s display of good and bad bugs, Explorations V Children’s Museum, Florida Division of Forestry, Florida Institute of Phosphate Research, Keep Polk County Beautiful, Keep Winter Haven Clean & Beautiful, Lake Kissimmee State Park, Master Gardeners, Polk County Cooperative Extension Service, Ridge Audubon, Roosevelt Academy’s Horticulture Program, Struthers Honey, Southwest Florida Water Management District, Tibet Butler Preserve and Whale Listening with Paul Knapp.

Gardens’ founder Edward W. Bok was a well-respected environmental activist who was one of the early leaders in the green movement. The Pulitzer-Prize winning author and humanitarian was instrumental in saving Niagara Falls and initiated efforts to preserve Florida’s Tiger Creek, a pristine blackwater stream that runs through the Lake Wales Ridge. Bok’s son, Cary, along with The Nature Conservancy and numerous other groups, raised the funds to purchase and preserve the 4,000-plus acre habitat. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Gardens’ Visitor Center has educational displays on the natural history of the islands of biological diversity that make the Ridge one of the most endangered habitats in the world. Visit for more information.

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About Bok Tower Gardens:

Bok Tower Gardens, a National Historic Landmark, is located 55 miles southwest of Orlando and 60 miles east of Tampa near Lake Wales, Florida, and is open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., last admission at 5 p.m. The Visitor Center, Café and Gift Shop are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Members and children under 5 are admitted free. For more information contact Bok Tower Gardens, 1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales FL 33853; 863-676-1408 or visit