The Wonder Gardens, with work managed by the City of Bonita Springs, has reopened its historic Welcome Center and Wonder Shoppe, both of which have been closed due to damage since Hurricane Ian in September. While the building was being restored from tree damage and flooding, guests entered the gardens through a temporary gate in a fence near the building.
“We are so grateful for our partnership with the City of Bonita Springs to finally reopen our Welcome Center to guests and our staff,” said Neil Anderson, executive director of the Wonder Gardens. “We strive to provide the best guest experiences, so having this beautiful gateway to the Gardens is important. In addition, we count on sales from our Wonder Shoppe to help fund the care of our animals and gardens.”
The renovation and restoration of the building was conducted by the City of Bonita Springs and included replacing damaged walls and flooring. A tree also fell on a corner of the building, damaging the roof. In 2017, the City of Bonita Springs Historic Preservation Board dedicated a historic designation plague at the visitor center.
The Wonder Shoppe offers animal and plant-themed toys and gifts, many of which support local businesses and artists and promote conservation and education. Visitors do not need to be paid Wonder Gardens guests to shop.
The Wonder Gardens does not receive taxpayer funding or support. The City of Bonita Springs owns the land and buildings, and nonprofit Wonder Gardens manages the animals and gardens. Improvements, maintenance, staff and animal care are paid for by admissions, memberships, giftshop sales, fundraisers and donations.
About Wonder Gardens
The Wonder Gardens, a charitable zoological park and botanical garden established in 1936 in Bonita Springs, is home to rescued birds and reptiles nestled among sprawling banyan trees and plantings. While preserving the best of this site’s history, the nonprofit cares for rescued, rehabilitated, and non-releasable animals, is upgrading wildlife enclosures and growing the botanical beauty of the property, while delivering education programs and events and further engaging the community to enjoy this jewel in historic Downtown Bonita Springs. The Wonder Gardens at 27180 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs is one of the few remaining cornerstones of Old Florida, an enduring symbol of the history of the region, as well as a resource for learning about the environment and wildlife. For information, visit wondergardens.org or call 239-992-2591.