Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens opens in Punta Gorda, Fla.

By Diane Daniel

“Steel Palm,” by Boston sculptor Jacob Kulin, at Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens in Punta Gorda, Fla.

After more than a decade of planning, the new privately run Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens has opened in Punta Gorda, Fla. The waterfront gardens, which will continue to grow over the years, features botanical collections and contemporary art. Phase I opened in late October with 11 sculptures placed throughout the grounds, including two works by Boston sculptor Jacob Kulin.

Punta Gorda residents Roger and Linda Tetrault, working through their nonprofit family foundation, started developing their property along the Peace River in 2006, providing one of the largest endowments for public botanical gardens in the state.

Eventually, the gardens will cover 27 acres, of which 17 will be developed and 10 will remain as waterways, marshland, and heritage mangroves. This includes the Tetrault home and 4-acre property. Currently, 11 acres have been developed and as well as the Garden Community Center, with a café and rotating visiting exhibits.