Sarasota Jungle Gardens wins Civic Beautification Award


SARASOTA, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2012) –For more than 70 years, exotic plants and lush foliage have lived in perfect harmony with the reptiles, birds and animals at Sarasota Jungle Gardens. Horticulturists and plant lovers from around the world have been drawn to the family-owned attraction for its unique botanical features. For Priscilla Daniels, member of the Sarasota Garden Club, Sarasota Jungle Gardens was a natural nominee for their upcoming awards.

On Jan. 20, Sarasota Jungle Gardens was honored with the Civic Beautification Award presented at the Sarasota Garden Club.  Nicole Lavick and brother Chris Lavick, Sarasota Jungle Gardens’ chief operating officer, accepted the award on their family’s behalf. Landscape designer Nicole Lavick credits her mother for inspiring the beauty of the Gardens today and for having a strong influence on the family’s hard work.

“My mom has always been focused on education of the natural world,” explains Nicole. “She has always been an advocate for the endemic species of our region and wants to make sure that our plans for the Gardens support the wildlife’s quality of life.”

True to her mother’s vision, Nicole has put her talents toward taking care of the original plants and trees that have been on the property for decades while introducing new species that can withstand extreme temperatures and other challenging environmental conditions. The plants must also serve as food for wildlife.

Some highlights include original Florida coastal hammock, 14-foot tall firebrush shrubs and palms that are up to 60 feet high. There are also myriad native and exotic plants throughout the property.

While the Gardens’ frontage was the award-winning landscape, much more lies within the front gates. Nicole has designed and planted a connecting walkway from the entrance to the educational building. An outdoor garden venue for larger group gatherings is currently underway. And throughout the Gardens, abundant foliage lines every walking path, making each visit a vivid tropical adventure.

“We will continue to beautify the Gardens with plants compatible with the environment,” says Nicole. “People value beauty, and I enjoy inspiring others to appreciate horticulture.”

“We are grateful for this recognition,” added Chris. “We appreciate Nicole’s hard work and look forward to future projects on the horizon.”

For more information on opening hours, the Gardens, and educational shows, call (941) 355-1112, x 313 or visit