Funds earmarked for a complete renovation of the education center, wellness programming and enhancements to make the gardens more accessible

The West Orange Healthcare District has awarded a $1 million grant to Gotha’s Nehrling Gardens, a Florida Heritage Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. The funding will enable the not-for-profit to realize its original vision when first purchasing the 6 acres in 2009.

Nehrling Gardens, which focuses on historic preservation, horticultural education and environmental conservation, will renovate and transform an existing garage/workshop wing into a 1,000 square-foot community education, activity and event space to be named the Healthy West Orange Education Center. In keeping with the District’s mission, the Gardens will introduce new wellness programming connecting visitors with their natural surroundings, adding to its existing workshops and classes for both adults and children.

“This year has highlighted just how important green spaces are to health and well-being. We’re excited to support accessibility and new programming at Nehrling Gardens, a local gem right in the heart of Gotha.” Tracy Swanson, CEO, West Orange Healthcare District.

Funds also are dedicated for improvements to parking, facilities and walkways to make the gardens more accessible for seniors and special needs guests. The funds will enable Nehrling Gardens to host additional programs for K-12 schools, and for assisted living facilities and adult daycare centers.

“We are honored and excited for this opportunity so generously provided by the WOHD. This allows us to enter a new phase of making Nehrling Gardens more accessible to our West Orange community. We want everyone to enjoy this unique treasure left to us by Dr. Henry Nehrling and be inspired by his contributions to the gardens of our state and his passion for the natural world.” Angela Withers, President, Nehrling Gardens.

The Healthy West Orange Education Center at Nehrling Gardens is part of the District’s strategy to create branded wellness destinations throughout west Orange County. The District recently announced partnerships to create the Healthy West Orange Heritage and Cultural Center at Winter Garden, the Healthy West Orange Pavilion in Windermere

and the Healthy West Orange Wellness Park in Ocoee. Last year, the Healthy West Orange Arts & Heritage Center opened in downtown Oakland.