Just as I suspected, I met some amazing people while volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in Vero Beach last week. One of these special people is Pam, a self-proclaimed professional volunteer and all-around fun person!
Pam is a member of the "Women's Build Team" and helps at the build site twice a week year round. I quickly realized that I could learn some "serious construction skills" from her. I also learned about her other passion, botany, and was very happy when she graciously invited our group for an afternoon walk through the McKee Botanical Gardens ... especially since Doug is never really excited about these types of "fun" RVentures!
As a volunteer at McKee Botanical Gardens for many years, Pam is a fountain of information on the palms, bromeliads, water lilies, bamboos and 10,000 other native and tropical plants in the garden. The garden started out as McKee Jungle Garden in 1932, one of Florida's original amusement parks, attracting 100,000 visitors a year.
But with competition from the arrival of that "other" big Florida amusement park in 1971, the park closed in the mid 1970's. Twenty years later a dedicated group of people worked to raise money and restore the beauty of the gardens. The resulting McKee Botanical Garden opened in 2001.
During our walk through the 18 acre garden, Pam shared with us some of her favorite plants and places. Her amazing stories reflected her passion for educating people about the natural beauty of Florida. I wish that I had taken notes, so that I could pass on all that I learned, but I will just leave you with a few of the pictures that Doug and I took.
We did encounter a few "creatures" in the jungle garden ...
McKee's current special exhibit, "Roar of the Dinosaur" featured Guy Darrough's incredible dinosaur replicas. It was fun to see the life-like Allosaurus, Daspletosaurus, and Sordes amidst the tropical vegetation.
Unique natural structures like these towers made entirely of sticks and the Royal Palm Grove added to the charm of the garden.
We are always thankful for the times when RVentures brings us to beautiful places. But moreover, we are grateful to walk with friends like Pam who is willing to share her talents and passions with others!
Until next time ... take a walk with friends ... and enjoy the adventures in your life!