For Immediate Release

Distributed January 2000

Tour a Tropical Garden with a Smithsonian Botanist

Botanist Emeritus Dr. Robert W. Read conducts his second year of tours through 52-acres of the eighty-year-old Caribbean Gardens

From Sri Lanka to South America, Dr. Robert W. Read has seen and studied the earth's tropical plants. On five select days this winter you can travel the world of tropical plants with this Smithsonian Institution scientist inside the Caribbean Gardens, the zoo in Naples. Following the morning tour through the 52-acre garden, Dr. Read will answer questions from the small tour group.

"Dr. Read's accomplishments and knowledge represent a practically unique opportunity for any plant enthusiast. His research is documented in over 100 published articles and textbook contributions," said Nancy Jane Tetzlaff, CEO of the 52-acre zoological garden. "This is Dr. Read's second year conducting tours through the botanical garden. I'm grateful that the people who missed last year's tours will have this opportunity again."

Indeed, Dr. Read brings a rich knowledge to the 80-year-old botanical garden from his many years of experience with tropical plants including palms, bromeliads, and orchids. Dr. Read served as botanist at the renowned Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami. Dr. Read also retired from the Smithsonian Institution where he was a Curator in the Department of Botany in Washington, D.C. He remains Botanist Emeritus for the world famous institution. Dr. Read's research has taken him throughout U.S. and Caribbean and down into Central and South America and to gardens as far away as England and Sri Lanka.

The botanical walks with Dr. Read begin with the first tour on Saturday, January 22nd. He will also conduct tours on Thursday, February 3rd and Saturday, February 19th. This year's tours will conclude with Thursday, March 2nd, and Saturday March 18th. These morning tours begin at 8 a.m. before the zoo opens and last until 10 a.m. The tour will conclude with Dr. Read answering any additional questions. The cost of the tour is $24.99 and includes same day admission to the Caribbean Gardens. The walks are by RSVP only and are prepaid. Each tour will be limited to twenty guests. Anyone interested in more information or in signing up for the tour may call (941) 262-5409 extension 34.

Caribbean Gardens is a 52-acre botanical and zoological preserve located in the heart of Naples at 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road. In addition to the historical plantings dating back to 1919, the garden features a variety of zoological exhibits including big cats, antelope, birds, and many rarely exhibited animals. A variety of innovative presentations are offered all day including the live animal/multimedia presentation known as Safari Canyon. Small colonies of monkeys, lemurs, and apes live in natural habitats on the islands visited by the Primate Expedition Cruise. The garden is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Although you can enter as late as 4:30 p.m., the zoo recommends an early arrival to enjoy all their activities. You can visit the zoo on the internet and learn more about their plants and animals at www.caribbeangardens.com or by calling the ZooLine at (941) 262-5409.

Caribbean Gardens 1590 Goodlette-Frank Road Naples Florida 34102 ZooLine: 239.262.5409 www.caribbeangardens.com

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