Heathcote’s Founding Women
For Women’s History Month we are highlighting the important women who were the founding members of what we now know as Heathcote Botanical Gardens.
Originally a plant nursery on Heathcote Street in Scarsdale, New York, the business was transplanted to Florida and in 1960 moved from the original Florida location on West Orange Avenue to its current Fort Pierce site on Savannah Road by its owners Jim and Mollie Crimmins.
When the Crimmins retired, they put the property up for sale. A group of very determined ladies in a local garden club led by Gloria Moore, Chris Haynes, Jan Bals, Norma Carsens, Laura Baker, Gloria Rooks and Peggy Berg saw the unique beauty of the spot and worked hard to preserve it as a public botanical garden.
Heathcote Botanical Gardens, Inc. was incorporated in 1985 as a non-profit; and in 1986 the property was purchased with private donations raised by Heathcote Botanical Gardens, Inc., and grants from the state, county, and city.
Without these great women Heathcote Botanical Gardens would not be what it is today. The non-profit continues to maintain and operate the Gardens and carry forward its mission.