History of Palma Sola Botanical Park

Palma Sola Botanical Park is located in the “Old Palma Sola” section of northwest Bradenton. Old Palma Sola has a rich history in Manatee Count, the Bay area, and the State of Florida. From the time of the Timucuan Indians to the Conquistadors to the present, Palma Sola has been host to many cultures.

This 10 acre parcel of land has a protected warm micro climate, and is notably frost-free. Because of these unusual environmental conditions, the Park is able to showcase collections of rare palms, fruits, and flowering trees and other subtropical plants.

The Park began in 1990 when interested citizens and community groups rallied support to save the 10-acre site in northwest Bradenton that had once been the Manatee County Nursery. The Bradenton Herald was instrumental in providing information and editorials that helped build public support for a botanical park on this “surplus” land. Since that time, a number of remarkable things have happened.

The Palma Sola Botanical Park Foundation, Inc. was incorporated in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, created to preserve the former nursery as a valuable green space and Park.

In October 1996, the Foundation entered into a long-term agreement with Manatee County Government to establish the Palma Sola Botanical Park on the site. The Foundation and Manatee County work in partnership to develop the Park.

Since the year 2000, the Park has gained an educational and administrative building (the Galleria), as well as a reception/multipurpose building (the Baden Building).

It has become the site of many beautiful weddings, parties, public events and festivals, as well as educational and volunteer programs.

The Gulfcoast Plumeria Society established a “Lei Garden” with two groves of Plumeria trees from around the world.

The St. Stephen’s School Youth laid a shell pathway for the Park.

The Manatee Rare Fruit Council, planted and maintains a wonderful exotic fruit tree section. Each tree bears an identification post. They also installed a lovely shell walkway with benches. There is a gazebo near the pond, and an attractive bridge connecting the rare fruit tree area to the back of the park.

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