The site just south of old Naples, including an old strip mall and parking lot, has been transformed into tropical gardens and native habitats that open to the public Nov. 14th. The garden was designed with green-building practices, including an 18,000-gallon cistern for irrigation, and bioswales in the parking lot that capture rainfall and carry it to a rain garden. A feature dubbed the “River of Grass” filters water naturally before slowly releasing it to a preserve. The garden’s primary irrigation system uses soil moisture detectors that direct water as needed through drip emitters. The system slashes water use by 50%.
California-based irrigation company Rain Bird sponsored the award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize. For more information, visit www.naplesgarden.org