5210 College Road
Key West, FL 33040
Hours of Operation
Closed Christmas and New Years Days
KWBGS Members Free
General Admission $7.00 per person
Military Discount $5.00
Senior Citizen Discount $5.00
Children under 12 Free
General Admission: $7
Seniors (over 65): $5
Military (with ID): $5
Children under 12: Free
Online Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Tammy Fox, Director of Education
Emily Sipe, Facility Rental Coordinator
Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Information
The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden is the only "frost-free" botanical garden in the continental United States and a conservation zone for many endangered and threatened flora and fauna native to the Keys, Cuba and western Caribbean. Its historic roots were set in 1936 as part of a WPA project to vitalize the island as a tourist destination. Today, it continues to be a refreshing, natural oasis for the visiting public. The Forest offers an unusual opportunity to experience native Keys’ biodiversity and learn more about its importance. For instance, the Forest has fresh water ponds, a rare asset that makes it a major migratory stopping point for neo-tropical birds from places as far as South America, as well as being home to many rare Florida Keys species. And sections are planted especially to attract and nurture a variety of butterflies.
8 self-guided tours, 2 wet land habitats and 2 butterfly gardens are available. A full calendar of programs and events make the Forest worth visiting any month of the year. Check the website for the latest offerings and bring your camera. Guided tours are available by appointment; portions of the Forest can also be reserved for private parties or meetings in a “green” setting. (www.kwbgs.org)
Key West Botanical Garden Society, Inc. Mission
The Purpose of this organization is to preserve, develop, expand and maintain the historic Key West Botanical Garden as an arboretum, botanical garden, wildlife refuge and education center.
The garden will showcase flora that are native to South Florida, Cuba, and the Caribbean and shall emphasize cultivation of threatened and endangered species of the Florida Keys.
This organization will encourage study of this collection and promote the benefits of native vegetation worldwide. The society will also provide educational programs for all age groups and various levels of interest geared to Keys residents, tourists, plant experts, and others.
Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden History
Key West Botanical Garden & Tropical Forest is 79 years old
– and Still Growing!
Key West was bankrupt in 1934 when Julius Stone arrived to revitalize it with “New Deal” funds and talents. His idea to develop Key West as a tourist destination, showcasing the Keys as America’s tropical isles, included creating a world-class botanical wonderland on Stock Island, where cows grazed and drank from fresh water ponds. The Key West Botanical Garden was a thriving success from its opening in February1936, until WWII and growing military presence created a more pressing need for much of the land.
Seventy-nine years later, the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden has reemerged as a “green” attraction. Reflecting the current views on ecology, the present-day Garden exemplifies preserving unique native flora and fauna -although a few towering, exotic trees from the first incarnation still stand, now official “Champions”. Hammock forest, rare fresh-water ponds, and butterfly leas are just 5 miles from Duval St, but a universe apart in atmosphere. Twice a year, migrating birds use the Garden as a welcome rest stop & diner.
Celebrating its 80th year is the Garden’s theme for the 2015-2016 Season. As it continues to reclaim more of its original acreage, the Garden also expands in scope. Nature, with its own beauty and tales to tell, also serves as a backdrop for both Art and Culture
As a venue for artwork, the Key West Art Garden exhibits local re-cycle and natural material art pieces throughout the grounds that complement or punctuate the outdoor vistas. April 15 – July 15, 2015.
In February, Gardenfest Key West brings the best efforts of local and South Florida professional horticulturists for a lush garden and houseplant sale. These growers are joined by local craftspeople who create nature-themed art objects in many different genres.
Any time of year, most of the Garden & Forest – an abundance of plants, birds & butterflies - can be enjoyed between the hours of 10am – 4pm from easy trails with a self-guided tour. Special docent-lead tours can be arranged in advance. September/October and April/May are peak times to see feathered travelers feeding on what the Garden offers. Portions of the Garden can be reserved for weddings and other private parties.
For up-dated information, visit KWBGS.org or call 305-296-1504.
Garden Courtyard, stage and waterfall
Community Service Programs
Middle School - High School Nature Programs
Speaker Series (3rd Thursday each Month)
Native Plant Sale (3rd Saturday each Month)
Native Plant ID Workshop (March - April 2015)
Online Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
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