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Everglades Wonder Gardens and City of Bonita Springs work toward agreement

Everglades Wonder Gardens
Posted at 9:44 PM, Jan 23, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-23 21:44:37-05

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — The Everglades Wonder Gardens in Bonita Springs is undergoing a change.

The City of Bonita Springs says it has been paying for the facility and much of its repairs for a long time.

People walking downtown say it's a staple of the city and has been for decades.

Brian Morrissey and Melinda Erdberg spent the afternoon walking through the garden, home to hundreds of rescued birds and reptiles.

"This was what the original Floridian tourist place was back in the 1930s,1940s, and 1950s," Morrissey said.

The Gardens, opening nearly a century ago, is now facing some needed changes, exacerbated by Hurricane Ian.

After years of going rent free, the non-profit running the Wonder Gardens must come to an agreement with the City of Bonita Springs on how to move forward financially.

Neil Anderson is the president and CEO of the Wonder Gardens. This is his statement to FOX 4.

"We are working with the City of Bonita Springs to develop a lease/partnership agreement that will be beneficial to both parties and the community we serve. We are committed to creating a truly positive relationship," he said.

It's welcome news for Brian and Melinda among all the people who want to see the Wonder Gardens stay.