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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for February, 2013

President’s Update Chris Pendleton, President & CEO

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On February 27th

     Beginning in April, Edison Ford will open our new offsite location at the Bell Tower Shops. Beginning April throughpresident report December 2013, this will function as not only an offsite Edison Ford Museum Store, for books, our videos, garden, history and science merchandise but also to provide general information about the Edison & Ford Winter Estates including the homes, gardens, museum and present programs and classes for all ages. This is a very exciting project for us and we will be managing it with a combination of our staff as well as lots of volunteers.

      We will also be a regular presenter and part of the Bell Tower monthly programming for children and families called ‘KIDding Around at the Bell Tower Shops.’  Our first presentation will be Tuesday, April 23 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Every fourth Tuesday from April through December look for the Edison Ford Wild Wizard team with activities for children and families to include: hands-on science, the science of sound, robotics and more. This is a terrific project and we are very grateful to Bell Tower Shops for their support.

      On-site, we are bursting at the seams with our integrated program of science, invention, history and the arts for the schools and public. A look at the 2013 Inventor’s Summer Camp has several of the sessions already filled with waiting lists filling up as well. Summer Camp includes not only classes for 1 – 6 grades but also opportunities for middle, high school and college volunteers to earn volunteer credits through the “Summer Camp Counselor” project.

      Shortly we will begin work on an extension to the Museum to be called the Museum West Porch. This will be a covered 50×25 foot porch which will open to the gardens and interior galleries. It will be used as a gathering area as well as a teaching porch. As usual, we will remain open throughout the work so we will have another exciting project unfold before our eyes once again.

      Thank you again for your participation as Members and interested visitors. With six years under our belt as a relatively new non-profit organization, we have made impressive strides in preservation of the site as well as new education programming. And throughout, the board and staff have continued to develop our plan for the planned steady growth and financial stability that is so important to this institution.

Director’s Tour Update

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On February 26th

     Our weekend Director’s Tours to favorite museums, gardens and historical sites continue throughout the upcoming months. The February 9th trip to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Ringling Museum of Art and Ca D’Zan Mansion was a great success.

      April 6th, the Director’s Tour will visit historic Boca Grande to take in the lighthouse, Gasparilla Inn fordirectors tour boca grande lunch, Boca Grande Historical Museum, and historical Shopping Village. Boca Grande has a rich history and is a beautiful town with many historic homes and vistas.

     We have just added another Director’s Tour to Miami on April 13th to visit the historic Deering Estate, Vizcaya which is located right on Biscayne Bay and historic Fairchild Gardens with its new butterfly house and large collection of palms and other tropical plants. This full day trip is filling up quickly. For more information, contact Cori Cramsey at 239-334-7419 or via email at ccramsey@edisonfordwinterestates.org.



Edison Ford Celebrates Viva Florida with Special Exhibit February – November

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On February 24th

     On Thomas Edison’s 166th birthday (February 11, 2013) the Edison & Ford Winter

Estates will open a special exhibit in the historic Edison Caretaker’s House, “Discovering Southwest Floridaviva Florida exhibit poster with Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.”

      The exhibit features a collection of historic photographs of Edison and Ford’s favorite pastimes in Southwest Florida accompanied with contemporary photographs and artifacts from the Edison Ford collection.

      Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and their families came to Southwest Florida more than a hundred years ago when Fort Myers boasted only a few hundred families. They established riverside neighboring estates, a botanical laboratory, and research gardens from 1885 through the 1930s. They vacationed in Fort Myers and continued working on important projects. They also explored Florida and enjoyed the beaches, waterways, fishing, hunting and visits from their famous friends. In the process they contributed greatly to the history and development of the region. In fact, Edison’s quote, “there is only one Fort Myers and ninety million people are going to find out” became a reality as the area grew.


     “The exhibit is a great opportunity to share Southwest Florida history and natural resources with residents and visitors from all over the world,” say Chris Pendleton, president & CEO. “The Edison and Ford families enjoying much of what we enjoy today about Southwest Florida, fishing, shelling, boating, paddling, and exploring.”

Viva Florida 500      In partnership with Visit Florida, the exhibit celebrates Viva Florida 500, a yearlong commemoration highlighting 500 years of historic people, places, and events in present-day Florida, since the arrival of Juan Ponce de Leon in 1513, to the land he named “La Florida.” The Lee County Library System has scheduled a host of programs and events to highlight Southwest Florida’s treasured history. For more information visit the Lee County Library System, or for a listing of statewide events visit Viva Florida online.   



Registration is now open for Edison Ford Inventor’s Summer Camp

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On February 22nd

     Registration is now open for Edison Ford Inventor’s Summer Camp beginning May 28 through August 2 in science, art and nature. Camps are separated by grade levels, 1st – 3rd and 4th – 6th. Cost: Edison Ford Members $200; non-members $230.

      To register or for more information call the Edison Ford Education Department at 239-334-7419, or click here to download the forms.  summer camp1 

• Time Travelers – May 28 – May 31

• Space & Rockets – June 3 – June 7

• Kitchen Chemistry – June 10 – June 14

• Animation – June 17 – June 21 

• Movie Making – June 24 – June 28

• Engineering – July 8 – July 12

• FULL Robotics at Edison Ford – July 15 – July 19

• Physics in Motion – July 22 – July 26

 • Smart in Art and Science – July 29 – August 2

 Competitive need-based scholarships provided by donations are available. Students can apply for scholarships through the Edison Ford Education Department with a recommendation from a school teacher.

      Also students above 6th grade can apply to become Junior Camp Counselors and earn volunteer hours. For more information contact Edison Ford Education Department at 239-334-7419 or visit our Web site.    



Tree Plantings for Florida Arbor Day

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On February 19th

     To celebrate Florida Arbor Day in January, the Edison Ford planted citrus trees and a new Royal Poinciana tree (the Florida State Flowering Tree) at Edison Ford. The Royal Poinciana tree was donated by Green Thumb Garden Club in memory and honor of club member Bonnie Guttery.

      Click here to find information about how to be part of the year-round memorial tree project and help Edison Ford keep up its unique collection of old fashioned trees.

 Also check out Edison Ford Garden Blog.


Painting in the Edison Gardens with Leoma Lovegrove

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On February 16th

● March 12 and 13, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

 leoma class    Join Leoma Lovegrove to discover the excitement of Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne and others and see why painting outdoors is so popular. The two day workshop begins with painting and learning principles of impressionism using acrylics. Participants will have the opportunity to tour the gardens. Workshop will teach the basic principles of painting trees, landscapes, flowers,pathways, people and nature with impressionistic and abstract style. Leoma teaches professionals and beginners side-by-side. This is her only workshop in Southwest Florida.

      Leoma’s home-based studio and Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens are located on historic Matlacha Island. Her works are also at Edison Ford and other galleries throughout the world. Her art is instantly recognized for its exuberant technique and tropical color palette.

      Cost: Edison Ford Members $230; non-members $250.


Edison Festival of Light Grand Parade Thomas & Mina Edison Grand Marshals

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On February 12th

• February 16 – 7:00 p.m.edison parade

      Join Grand Marshals, Thomas and Mina Edison for the 75th Annual Edison Festival of Light Parade in Downtown Fort Myers.

      Also, look for the Edison & Ford Winter Estates Wild Wizard and Fort Myers Institute of Technology float celebrating the “life and work of Thomas Edison.”

For more information contact Edison Festival of Light at 239-334-2999 or website: www.edisonfestival.org


In Honor of Thomas Edison, a Performance by the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On February 9th

• February 15 – 11:00 a.m.

      The band will be performing at the Edison Ford Banyan Tree and performance is FREE to the public.  Note that in the event of rain a small group of pipers will play inside in the Edison Ford museum. 

      The Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band has been performing for more than 100 years and is the featured band for the 75th Annual Edison Festival of Light Parade on February 16, 2013.

 kinkardine scottish pipes

Edison Ford Monthly Volunteer Meeting and Program

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On February 8th
fort myers chamber

Photo: Colleen DePasquale, Executive Director, Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, joins Edison Ford Volunteer Coordinators, Holly Shaffer and Bobby Feldman, at the Volunteer Meeting on February 12, 2013.

      The Edison Ford Volunteer meeting will include a welcome by Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson; an overview of the new Waterfront River District Project by Don Paight, Director of the River District and Fort Myers DRA. There will also be time to tour the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce. At 10:00 a.m. True Tours will lead a walking tour of the waterfront public art and landscape features.  Please RSVP for the tour by calling 239.334.7419.

      Meetings and lectures are open to current Edison Ford Volunteers as well as prospective volunteers and public. For additional information contact the Volunteer Department at 239-334-7419.


Upcoming Volunteer Meetings:

      March 12 – Great Women Exploring Nature: How Wild Florida Influenced Their Lives

      April 9 – Annual Volunteer Appreciation Celebration at the Royal Palm Yacht Club

      May 14 – The Wild Wizard and Muckers


Homeschool – Solutions, Mixtures, Compounds

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On February 7th

● February 11 or 15, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. (students grades 1st – 6th)

     The Edison Ford offers a unique opportunity for homeschool families to learn together about the life and work of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford and how our lives are impacted today by their genius.  Students and their parents can enroll in a two-hour program with curriculum that follows the Next Generation Florida Sunshine State Standards.

      Homeschool students will learn about atoms and molecules through solutions, mixtures and compounds.

 Homeschool     Registration required. Upon registration pre-visit curriculum materials will be emailed to registered families. Cost: Edison Ford Members $10; non-members $20 (one adult, one child) additional $10 per child.