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GardenFest to Spotlight Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Feb. 20

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This Green Scene story spotlights an environmentally focused attraction, event, person or place that enriches the Florida Keys

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — The chance to explore a rare open-air “living museum” and view and purchase unique plants awaits nature lovers Saturday, Feb. 20, during “GardenFest Key West: The Green Market Place 2021” at the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden.

The event is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the 5210 College Road property, acclaimed as the only frost-free subtropical moist forest and garden in the continental United States. Currently celebrating the 85th anniversary of its founding, it is among the oldest continuously operating attractions in Key West.

A highlight of GardenFest is the chance to discover and learn about the 15-acre habitat during docent-led guided tours. A popular stop for visitors, the garden shelters many threatened and endangered species of both flora and fauna, showcasing plant life native to South Florida, Cuba and the Caribbean.

Event attendees also can browse and buy a wide variety of tropical and native plants as well as earth-based and nature-themed arts and crafts.

Other planned attractions include a presentation on the iconic Cuban “chugs” or homemade rafts and vessels that carried people across the Florida Straits and are now on display in the garden.

Music, food and beverages, a Kids Kreative Corner, a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle also are on the day’s agenda. In addition, attendees can purchase tickets for a chance to win a silver coin from the shipwrecked Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which sank in Florida Keys waters in 1622.

All GardenFest activities are to be held outside. To protect against potential coronavirus transmission, attendees must wear masks and practice social distancing.

GardenFest is an annual fundraiser for the botanical garden. Rich in biodiversity, the property features two wetland habitats, national and state champion trees, two butterfly gardens, seasonal flowers and many other attractions for nature enthusiasts to explore.

Admission to the event is free.  Event information: keywest.garden

Bellflowers in the Botanical Garden. Images: Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

Bellflowers in the Botanical Garden. Images: Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden

A 15-acre habitat, the garden shelters many threatened and endangered species of both flora and fauna.

A 15-acre habitat, the garden shelters many threatened and endangered species of both flora and fauna.

Event attendees also can browse and buy a wide variety of tropical and native plants as well as earth-based and nature-themed arts and crafts.

Event attendees also can browse and buy a wide variety of tropical and native plants as well as earth-based and nature-themed arts and crafts.

This article was updated on February 20, 2021 at 5:09 PM
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