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Exotic Garden Gets Makeover After Irma

12:11 PM, Sep 07, 2018


Rebecca Fath

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - After an intense year in the wake of Hurricane Irma, the future is finally looking promising for the Everglades Wonder Gardens.

Hurricane Irma has been recognized as one of the worst natural disasters in SWFL history. It destroyed residential homes and businesses in a variety of industries, costing millions in repairs.

The natural disaster landed in SWFL on Sept. 10 as a Category 3 hurricane. For Everglades Wonder Gardens, it has been nearly one year to the day Hurricane Irma uprooted nearly 100 trees on the three-acre property.

To help with the cost of cleanup, the tourist spot launched a GoFundMe campaign.

“A lot of the community stepped up to donate,” Thomas Hecker said, who is the president and CEO for the botanical company.

Members of the community contributed a helping hand.

“Without the community and the volunteers, we might still be cleaning up." Thomas said. "It was quite the community effort."

Everglades Wonder Gardens started a GoFundMe campaign to raise capital. It went into more traditional forms of fund-raising, too. The botanical garden raised $30,000 in donations. The capital campagin was instrumental to having the exotic garden begining to process its recovery from damages that occurred during Hurricane Irma .

Everglades Wonder Garden has a new addition that has the public excited about making a visit. It's called, "Flamingo Beach." Prior to Hurricane Irma, the flamingos at the botanical garden were out of reach. But now, visitors have full access to the salmon colored wading birds.


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