CONSERVANCY OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA
The Conservancy’s Nature Center hosts 25,000 visitors each year and focuses on Southwest Florida’s water, land, wildlife, and future. To accomplish its mission, the organization employs a comprehensive conservation approach that includes environmental education, science and research, environmental policy and advocacy, and wildlife rehabilitation.
Each year the von Arx Wildlife Hospital rescues and rehabilitates over 3,500 birds, reptiles, and small land and sea mammals.
The Nature Center helps educate the public on the behind-the-scene efforts of Science, Policy, Education, and Wildlife.
CORKSCREW SWAMP SANCTUARY
Audubon’s Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary is a 13,000-acre nonprofit nature preserve and environmental education center in Collier County. Host to 100,000 visitors a year, the sanctuary is a pristine wilderness that dates back more than 5000 years.
Audubon Florida’s Western Everglades Research Center, housed at Corkscrew, studies wetland hydrology and the ecology of our native plants and wildlife. The data collected protects Corkscrew and other bird-friendly communities and influences the restoration of America’s Everglades.
CYPRESS SWAMP SANCTUARY
Cypress Cove Conservancy is part of an old growth tropical forest that includes one of the oldest cypress trees in Florida as well as many other Southwest Florida natural wonders. For decades, Dr. Robert Gore invited elementary through college-aged students to come to his home to learn about good stewardship of SWFL’s natural heritage.
The Conservancy’s vision is to continue his legacy and build upon it. The Gore Property, Naithloriendun, as Dr. Gore called it, also provides critical habitat for many listed and endangered species and is a well-known wildlife corridor. Preserving it will allow us to leave green space behind for future generations.
ECHO provides life-changing, agricultural trainings in places where hunger and poverty are daily realities. In the last year alone, the lives of more than 1.8 million people were impacted through ECHO’s transformative resources. Each year, ECHO distributes thousands of appropriate seed packets free of charge to Asia, East Africa, and West Africa, as well as Latin America and the Caribbean.
ECHO’s Global Farm tours and programs educate students about nutrition and inspire our local community to take sustainable action against hunger while also caring for the environment.
The mission of Grace Place for Children and Families is to put faith into action, providing pathways out of poverty by educating children and families. The Bright Beginnings family literacy program prepares children for kindergarten. The AP Leadership college and career access program work to ensure that students graduate high school, pursue higher education, and enter the workforce prepared to succeed. The Adult Education program offers English language and literacy, digital literacy, financial literacy, and citizenship courses.
Recognizing that food security and good nutrition are essential to learning and well-being, Grace Place also operates the Friday Food Pantry each week, serving more than 220 Collier County families with low incomes.
The Guadalupe Center exists to create endless possibilities through education for students of Immokalee, fostering personal and academic success leading to economic independence. The Guadalupe Center has consistently been one of the top preschool providers in Collier County.
By strengthening the educational foundation these underprivileged at-risk children receive, we help them to not only succeed now, but also reach their potential in the future. With the partnership and support of the Naples Garden Club the Guadalupe Center will design and build a Learning Garden at the Jubilation Campus. The Learning Garden will serve as an integral part of the early education curriculum.
HABITAT COLLIER AVENUE
Habitat for Humanity of Collier County is the only resource for affordable housing available to low-wage workers in Collier County. Since its founding in 1978, Habitat Collier has partnered with more than 2,100 families, helping them purchase a safe and decent home where parents and children have housing stability.
Before purchasing their home, families complete a thorough application process. They demonstrate they are living in the United States legally, they have steady employment, and they have lived or worked in Collier County for a minimum of one year. Their final approval is determined by their need for a safe and decent home, their ability to pay their interest-free mortgage and their willingness to partner with Habitat. Homeowners work alongside volunteers completing 500 hours of sweat equity building their home and the homes of their future neighbors prior to purchasing their Habitat home.
NAPLES SENIOR CENTER
The Naples Senior Center is a dynamic gathering place with a safe, nurturing environment for seniors to socialize, learn, and stay active. More than 100 different activities are offered. Some of the classes include art, tai chi, bone builders, chair yoga, card games, book club, knitting, Guy time, a weekly hot lunch with entertainment, and of course the Farm to Table group.
Naples Senior Center (NSC) Farm to Table program looks at the connection between nature and health through a combination of healthy eating and gardening. The program’s goal is to foster a greater appreciation and connection with nature and to promote better health by learning about the effects of gardening and plants, as well as diet, on the body. This year the Farm to Table program will focus on the creation of indoor spice gardens, oxygenating plants in the home, and outdoor butterfly gardens in addition to healthy cooking classes and some field-trips to local garden spots.
New Horizons of Southwest Florida is a local, faith-based nonprofit, dedicated to helping at-risk students in grades K-12 who are growing up in an environment of poverty, academic failure, and hopelessness. New Horizons’ vision is for its students to graduate from high school with a plan for their lives. The mission and vision are realized with its students’ 92% graduation rate from high school over the past 10 years, almost double the graduation rate of their at-risk peers.
From its humble beginnings with 20 children in 2002, New Horizons, together with 630 volunteers, annually provides over 100,000 hours of after-school tutoring, mentoring, and faith-building at no cost to students’ families.
SEACREST COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL
Seacrest Country Day School is an early learning through grade-12 college preparatory independent school with more than 450 students. Seacrest has five organic gardens that are cultivated, planted, maintained, and harvested by students.
The school community collaborates to nurture these gardens’ growth while learning about botany, hydroponics, science, entomology, engineering, math, chemistry, and cooking. This is inquiry-learning at its best!
Youth Haven is home to more than 70 children ages 6-18, who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. Specialized programs and activities are provided 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, with around-the-clock staff who are highly trained in helping children and youth in crisis.
Youth Haven’s Community Garden Project is dedicated to exceeding the creative needs of the children and improving their overall quality of life. Youth engage in a hands-on activity, and see it through from start to finish, while learning valuable lessons regarding sustainability and self-sufficiency. The garden has become a sanctuary for youngsters who want to sit, relax, and talk with their counselors and friends While being productive outdoors, this project facilitates healing and recovery, and improves the social and emotional well-being of youth.