provided to The Santiva Chronicle
The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation is welcoming the pubic back to its Native Landscapes & Garden Center at the historic Bailey Homestead Preserve, 1300 Periwinkle Way, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, Jan. 24.
“We have completed the essential clean-up of the garden center grounds and have set up an outdoor checkout service,” said Adult Education Director Jenny Evans. “The Honey House, where we normally do our retail checkout, is still in disrepair but we know how eager islanders are to start replanting and we want to support that.”
For more than five decades, SCCF has advised residents and businesses on the advantages of planting native to support the environmental integrity of our sanctuary islands. By planting native landscapes in your own backyard, you are helping to create habitats for wildlife and pollinators, protect water quality, conserve water, and provide natural beauty.
In the Post-Ian Replanting Guide published online last month, garden center staff identified 57 of the most resilient species of palms, trees, shrubs, and groundcover, including wildflowers, grasses, and ferns, that survived Ian.
“We are re-opening with limited hours to be able to provide you with in-person guidance as well as many of the native plants that weathered the storm,” said Evans. The garden center will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
While the delivery of hundreds of native plants has brought vibrance and life back to the center’s grounds, please understand that things are not back to normal overall. Due to the loss of vehicles in Hurricane Ian, the center is not able to resume delivery service or the online store plant sales yet. Consults and house calls, which are a member benefit with donations of $100 or more, are available but are on a wait-list which extends to March.
Also, the Shipley Trail, which traverses the Bailey Homestead Preserve behind the garden center, remains closed at this time.
SCCF looks forward to encouraging residents to take this opportunity to plant native. You can also support our mission to protect and care for Southwest Florida’s unique coastal ecosystems by purchasing a SCCF Native Landscapes & Garden T-shirt. SCCF Marketing Coordinator Denise Blough will be on site Tuesday, Jan. 24, for the re-opening to sell T-shirts.
If you are not back on the island, you can visit the center’s online store to purchase gift cards and plant sponsorships to help us revegetate our own grounds that are less green than normal.
“We have already raised more than $30,000 since announcing our ‘Tree-Build’ campaign in December,” said Evans. “We are once again truly amazed by how supportive our island community is. We look forward to seeing our island friends again and to making new friends.”