Key West Art Garden
Key West ART Garden 2013 is a special exhibit at The Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden being staged through July 31. The outdoor pieces of sculpture and art are made by Key West artists using recycled materials, and are designed to complement the natural beauty of the setting, such as xylophone sets installed beside the lake, a popular interactive display by one Key West artist. There is also a display of 12 Cuban refugee Chugs helping visitors to appreciate another slice of Florida Keys’ history.
Located at 5210 College Road, the 55-acre gardens originating as a 1935 WPA project are a top tourist attraction which is also much-loved by residents of Key West. The area represents one of the areas last vestiges of green native habitat, giving visitors an idea of what the islands were once like, as well as being of critical importance as a wildlife shelter.
This one-of-a-kind botanical garden supporting 450 species of plants and animals is the only one in the continental United States which is entirely frost-free, due to its South Florida location. In addition to the tropical flora and fauna, visitors see an acre of butterfly habitat supporting 23 species, iguanas, migrating birds from South America, a fresh water pond, two wetland habitats, a place where one can occasionally spot a bald eagle, too.
The gardens are open every day except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Independence Day. Admission is $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and active military, free for children under 12. Tours of 90 minutes in length can be requested at $15 per person, or $25 for two. The gardens are located on the northern side of Stock Island on the grounds of Key West Community College, adjoining Key West via the bridge, with free parking onsite.