Preservation and Access: Cooperative Agreements and Special Projects (P&A)

Period of Performance

7/1/2018 - 6/30/2019

Funding Totals

$5,040.00 (approved)
$5,040.00 (awarded)

NEH Emergency Grant for post-Hurricane Irma Interpretive Signage

FAIN: PB-263951-18

Heathcote Botanical Gardens, Inc. (Fort Pierce, FL 34982-3447)
Diane Balogh Kimes (Project Director: June 2018 to March 2021)

The purchase of new interpretive signage. The signs would communicate historical information about the trees, many of which have been meticulously cultivated for forty years.

Heathcote celebrates 32 years as a non-profit living museum.  The cornerstone of the 5-acre garden is the James J. Smith Bonsai Collection, the largest public assemblage of tropical and sub-tropical bonsai in the US by one bonsai master (100 trees).  The Bonsai Collection suffered hurricane damage in 2016 & 2017.  Each bonsai tree sits upon Cap rock pedestals, limestone indigenous to Florida.  The storms damaged the rock, as well as the small labels.  Project includes replacing the small plastic labels with more secure interpretive signs which can be removed in advance of impending storms.  Signage has been sourced by Redco International.  Annual attendance peaked at 22,000 visitors in 2017, with more than 40% of visitors from outside the area.  Over 200 volunteers provided 12,700 volunteer hours in 2017.  Veterans enjoy free admission to the Gardens at all times; HBG participates in the Blue Star Museum Program of the National Endowment of the Arts.

Media Coverage

Date: 12/30/2019