Shangri-La Springs Offers Educational Organic Garden Tours for Schools and Camp Groups
|Berries in Shangri-La Springs' garden. Photography by Michael Owen
Shangri-La Springs, a historic property in downtown Bonita Springs, is offering educational organic garden tours for schools and camp groups this summer.
The 40-minute to one-hour tours will be led by Cecelia Morales, Organic Garden manager, and include a sensory-based walking tour around the garden’s subtropical, tropical, annual and perennial crops and orchard with information on “what makes a garden” including organic garden methods and permaculture principles.
A Southwest Florida native, Morales brings a wealth of organic and sustainable gardening knowledge to the tours. Prior to joining Shangri-La Springs, Morales was a nursery caretaker and plant retailer at Fruit Scapes Nursery in Bokeelia, where she cultivated and maintained a variety of local and imported fruits and plants. While attending Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), Morales dedicated more than three years to the university’s Food Forest, a student-run sustainable permaculture garden, where she assisted in food cultivation and served as the service-learning coordinator. She received her degree in elementary education from Florida Gulf Coast University and certification in permaculture design in 2017.
“I like working with children and the service aspect of giving back and helping children reach their full potential,” Morales said. “I love getting people passionate about growing their own food and getting to share my experiences in the garden.”
Tours are available Monday through Friday, with tour times determined by the group’s need and availability of staff. Minimum tour size is 10 and maximum number per tour is 32. Groups larger than 16 need to have one adult for every eight children. Closed-toe shoes, sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen), and refillable water bottles are recommended. Cost is $3 per child, with water provided. For scheduling, contact the gift shop at firstname.lastname@example.org, 239-949-0749.
|Cecelia Morales, garden manager at Shangri-La Springs