Widerman Malek Law Blog

The McKee Botanical Gardens – Peace and Beauty in the City

McKee Botanical GardenA mere thirty miles south of Melbourne, just off route 1, you will find yourself in Vero Beach. It is here that you will discover the McKee Botanical Garden, one of the oldest tourist attractions in Florida!

Originally established in 1929 as the McKee Jungle Gardens, it was developed with the help of William Lyman Phillips, often viewed as the creator of tropical landscaping. It was at this time that waterways and trails were established and both native and worldwide flora and fauna were planted. By the time the 1940’s rolled around, upwards of 100,000 tourists visited the Gardens each year. Unfortunately, with the opening of some of the bigger theme parks in the area in the 1970’s the Gardens had to close down. Of the original 80 acres occupied by the Gardens, all but 18 were sold off and developed. These final 18 acres sat around undeveloped and untouched for over 20 years. Things turned around in 1995 when the Indian River Land Trust purchased the land after leading a successful fund-raising campaign. The Garden’s formal re-opening dedication was held in 2001.

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