Garden of Lights Path

Garden of Lights Sponsors – 2017

The Garden of Lights is Heathcote’s major fundraising event of the year and brings joy to all who attend. It also helps fund the Gardens’ year-round programs and furthers the organization’s mission to educate and inspire by providing a place of beauty and a resource for the conservation of our environment.

Heathcote would like to give special thanks to this year’s sponsors who helped make this event possible:

 Spotlight

Visit Florida Garden of Lights Sponsor 2017 Harbor Community Bank Garden of Lights 2017 Sponsor Mike & Mimi Brown

 Moon-glow

 Illuminator

 Shining Star

If you happen to spot one of the very dedicated members of the Illuminations Committee while you’re at this year’s Garden of Lights, you’ll know who to thank for their long hours of volunteer work and tremendous talent. Without them, the Treasure Coast’s most innovative and unique holiday illumination would not exist!

Garden of Lights Illuminations Committee

Garden of Lights 2017 Illuminations Committee:
Donna Shay, Terry Van Loo, Rene Stanford, Bruce Stanford, Ken Van Loo, Judy Salmon, Tom Salmon, Nancy Smith, Maureen Melvin
(David Martin and Patrick Shay – not pictured)

Illuminations Committee

  • Judy & Tom Salmon – Head Illuminators
  • Donna Shay
  • David Martin
  • Maureen Melvin
  • Pam Naylor
  • Patrick Shay
  • Nancy Smith
  • Rene & Bruce Stanford
  • Ken & Terry Van Loo

Steering Committee

  • Denise Belizar
  • Lisa Basil
  • Laura Cooper
  • David Martin
  • Donna Shay
  • Judy & Tom Salmon
  • Bob Wade
Hurricane Irma Debris

Hurricane Irma Debris Statistics

According to Martin County Florida’s website, Hurricane Irma generated the equivalent of a year and a half’s worth of debris, or nearly 150,000 cubic yards.

In Indian River County’s unincorporated areas, it is estimated there was enough created to fill a truck more than 6 miles long.

The St. Lucie County Solid Waste Division expected to collect 50,000 cubic yards of materials when all totaled. The City of Port St. Lucie originally estimated that Hurricane Irma left about 70,000 cubic yards, or 19,000 tons, of vegetative debris. That amount has already been collected, therefore the estimates have been revised. The City now estimates Hurricane Irma left 110,000 cubic yards, or 29,700 tons, of vegetative debris. City residents can track the collection status on this zone map.

Harder-hit Collier County may haul off up to 10 million cubic yards

Crews are working hard to collect this vegetative debris in all residential areas of the unincorporated Counties, including private and gated communities.

Multiple passes of hurricane debris collection will occur in all areas.

Martin County officials expect the project’s collection phase to wrap up by October 31, 2017.

Martin County residents can track the status of debris collection in all geographic zones via Martin County’s “Debris Completion Map”.

After Hurricane Irma

Helping Hands Needed For Irma Cleanup

Our treasured Heathcote Gardens made it through Irma but its fairly battered and bruised. There are a lot of trees down and and debris everywhere! There’s a lot of cleanup to be done and many hands lighten the load.

The silver lining is that our historic Heathcote House still stands. Regarding the James J. Smith Tropical Bonsai Collection, bonsai curator Seth Nelson and his friend Juan Andrade had moved many of the trees into the Pavilion and onto the ground away from falling limbs to prepare for the storm. It survived fairly well but will definitely require some tender loving care. The bonsai in the Japanese Garden did not fare as well and ended up with some toppled stanchions and broken pots.

If you can spare any time, treasure or have a special talent to help get our beautiful Gardens reopened, please join us!

Bring your gloves, a hat and you’ll be welcome with open arms!

To offer any help or assistance with the cleanup, please call us at 772-464-4672




Our heartfelt thanks for your continued support!!!

Wednesday’s volunteers were very busy with a big task at hand to say the least!

Citrus Psyllid Research Garden

Did You Know…

There’s a new research garden at Heathcote!

Ladybug at Heathcote

Ladybug at Heathcote

Insect predators like the lady beetle don’t just eat pest insects; they eat a lot of nectar and pollen, too. The nutrients from pollen and nectar help them when prey insects are scarce, for reproduction, and while moving between habitats.

Joe Patt, an entomologist from the USDA Agricultural Research Service is conducting a study at Heathcote to determine if certain plants, like wild poinsettia, can be used to attract and nourish the natural enemies (like ladybugs) of the Asian citrus psyllid (pronounced ‘sil-id’). The psyllid is a tiny insect that transmits the bacterium (HLB) that causes citrus greening disease. HLB is fatal and killing citrus trees across Florida and Texas.

By itself the psyllid is not too harmful but it can carry a bacterial organism that causes huanglongbing or HLB disease and that can kill citrus trees.UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Entomologist
Beth Grafton-Cardwell
citrus psyllid

citrus psyllid

If you have citrus trees and are curious to see if psyllid are present, Grafton-Cardwell says tree owners can take a magnifying glass outside and look at new growth for small yellow eggs, sesame-seed sized yellow bugs, white curly tubules or aphid-like adults that perch with their hind legs up in the air.

The economic damage HLB has caused in Florida alone is alarming. According to University of Florida research, the disease cost the State more than $4.5 billion in lost citrus production. It led to more than 8,200 lost jobs in the 2006/07 – 2010/11 production seasons.

USDA research garden

USDA research garden at Heathcote

A number of USDA-ARS scientists among the three research units at the U.S. Horticultural Research Laboratory in Fort Pierce, Florida, are conducting research in search of solutions to the huanglongbing problem. Let’s hope this research produces some encouraging results.