Our People

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The Green Thumbs are a group of dedicated volunteers with a desire to make a differance in the open spaces of Punta Gorda.
 

Pictured are just 12 of our 34 volunteers.

Get Involved

Volunteering at Nature Park can take many different forms. Some volunteers enjoy having their own garden bed that they take ownership of. Others prefer to engage on varying projects. Most gather on Friday mornings to work as a group; others come on different days that suit their schedule. What works for you, works for us. Come by and check us out!

The Punta Gorda Isles Green Thumbs is a 501(c)(3) non-profit all volunteer organization whose present mission is to establish, maintain, and enhance the Punta Gorda Nature Park.  The 24 acre park is located on the corner of Bal Harbor and Aqui Esta in Punta Gorda Isles.  The PGI Green Thumbs have developed the garden portion of the park under the guidance of the Urban Design Department of the City of Punta Gorda.

 

The PGI Green Thumbs meet weekly to tend the gardens on the West and East sides of the park. Volunteers make up the heart and soul of the group.  The volunteer board oversees general plans and care of the garden.  There are Master Gardener and experienced gardeners that regularly advise. Volunteers can be assigned areas to oversee, help out in special areas, or just show up and help with the day's planned activities.

 

Ongoing Goals:

1.  Promote eco-friendly gardening practices via educational programs

2.  Emulate Florida Friendly landscaping which includes receding water and chemical use

3.  Maintain the health and beauty of the park 

4.  Develop park areas with plant replacement and new plants

5.  Enlist new volunteers to keep the garden thriving

6.  Enlist donors and patrons for the Garden

Our group work day is on Friday mornings from 9:00 am until noon. Stop in for a visit, meet some of our volunteers and tour the gardens. See if there might be a particular aspect of gardening that you would like to do.

We love volunteers and welcome them into the friendliest group of gardeners in the area!

Our Board

Joyce Laubach
– President

Joyce has had a lifelong passion for gardening, and loves now being able to take her hobby to a new level.  She became a Charlotte County Florida Master Gardener in 2018 and applies knowledge gained from this training along with continuing education programs to help keep our park landscape healthy and beautiful.    

Alan Searle
– Vice President

Alan became a Charlotte County Florida Master Gardener in 2021. He maintains the sensory bed and assists with park irrigation and lighting, among other tasks.

Peggy Jensen
– Secretary

Peggy is one of the founders of the Green Thumbs and developed the bromeliad beds on the west side.  More recently, she is involved with the development of the east side of the park.

Helen Cavanaugh
– Treasurer

Helen is one of the founders of the Green Thumbs and created the slogan “Making A Blooming Difference”.  She  created and maintains a hummingbird bed, butterfly bed and the topiaries.

Our History

Punta Gorda Nature Park History

This is a 24 acre park that was purchased by the city in 1994 using Florida Forever Funds from the Florida Communities Trust Program.  In 2011, the park was home to a few oak trees and a field of grass.  Each time these garden lovers would drive past, they would envision more.  

PGI Green Thumbs approached the city with an offer to develop and maintain the Nature Park and in 2012, an agreement was reached to landscape a portion of the park.  

The PGI Green Thumbs organization started in 1999 as a small group of garden loving friends working together in Punta Gorda's History Park.  After 12 years, this creative ambitious group felt the need for a new canvas.  At a 2011 meeting, development of the Nature Park was proposed.

Read the comments below from some of our volunteers, expressing their thoughts on being a Green Thumb.