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Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Archive for April, 2015

May Daily Tours and Programs

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 30, 2015

May 2015 daily

Edison Ford Members Receive 50% off MOSI Admission in May

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 29, 2015

     During the month of May, Edison Ford Members receive a 50% discount off the ticket price at MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry) in Tampa. Members will need to present their valid membership card to receive the 50% discount.

Remember that all levels of membership receive the AHS (American Horticultural Society) and Time Travelers reciprocals and Extended Family Members and above also receive the NARM (North American Reciprocal Museums). There are over 850 reciprocals nationwide that Members can visit for FREE or at a discounted price.


Edison Ford KIDding Around at Bell Tower Shops

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 28, 2015
  • KIDding Around – May 2, 10:00 a.m. – Noon

Pearce kidding around slime      Bring the entire family for FREE kid’s activities at The Bell Tower Shops. Join Edison Ford at the “KIDding Around” event on Saturday, May 2. Professor Pearce will be making the very popular “slime.” There is always something new to experience at this event. Other activities on-site include a bounce house, face painting, refreshments, and musical fun. Make sure to stop in the Edison Ford Shoppe at Bell Tower and check out the collection of educational toys and books for young readers.  Edison Ford Members remember to show your membership card to get your 10% discount.


Edison Ford Moonlight Garden Walk

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 27, 2015
  • May 5, 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. – Meet at The Marina at Edison Ford, First Floor of Pinchers in the new Marina Room & Bar

      The gardens and historical buildings of Edison Ford look very different in the moonlight. Many plants come alive at night. Blossoms open and the perfumes are stronger in the evening.

Mina Edison hired Ellen Biddle Shipman, America’s first woman landscape architect, to install the Edison Moonlight Garden in 1928, when Henry Ford moved Edison’s first laboratory to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. This beautiful garden features white and variegated plants that are especially fragrant at nighttime. There is a reflecting pool to mirror the stars and the moon.

moon rise      The Caloosahatchee will be the best viewing spot for the Spring Planter’s Moon on the water. The river seawall and the lily pond have just been restored, which will add to the beauty of the evening.

The evening will begin in the new Marina Room & Bar on the first level of Pinchers, at The Marina at Edison Ford. Registration will be available at 7:30 p.m. and extend through 8:30 p.m. We suggest that participants arrive around 8:00 p.m. to enjoy the moonrise at 8:30 p.m. Registration may be done in advance by calling Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 with a credit card number or you can email Leeanne at lcriswell@edisonfordwinterestates.org. A maximum of 100 participants will be able to attend the moonlit tour. Cost: Edison Ford Members $5; non-members $15.

The tour will be led by Debbie Hughes, Senior Horticulturist and members of the Historian Staff. Janice Schmidt, Garden Shoppe Manager and Horticulturist, will have a special Moonlight Garden Plant Sale set up in the courtyard between the Marina and Edison Ford for purchase of plants that night. The Marina Room will be set up with a full bar service and Pinchers will be open for dinner for pre-program dining.

President’s Update ~ Chris Pendleton, President & CEO

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 26, 2015

Just in case you haven’t checked in with us lately, I thought I would bring you up to date on activities and successes in our educational programs.

The Education Department team of Pearce Augustenborg, Nadia Kluesner, Ryan Boyer and JT Telischak are proving to be very talented, capable and hugely creative. Their knowledge of history, science, the arts and love of the outdoors shows in every project they tackle.  They are ably assisted by Leeanne Criswell who follows up with all registration, teacher materials and other needs of the department.

Pearce bubblesNadia bubbles art in the garden     Here are Nadia and Pearce at the opening of the Art in the Gardens outdoor sculpture exhibit (with more than 20 schools from all over Lee County) demonstrating hands-on bubble physics in the butterfly garden. They will also be teaching all of the 11 weeks of summer camp. In addition, we are at the final stage of the selection process for college interns and high school and middle school volunteers to assist with the summer camp. Many of the summer sessions are full, with waiting lists only remaining.

Ryan Boyer now heads the Road Scholar program at Edison Ford. It has been a hugely successful six month program, with participants coming from all over the globe and also registrants from Southwest Florida. Ryan has received accolades from the participants this year because of his history knowledge and presentation skills. In addition to Ryan, frequently Matt Andres, Edison Ford historian and registrar, provides behind the scenes tours and lectures to this program.

Ryan phonograph demo

Ryan Boyer


Matt Andres

Matt Andres

The outreach science and school programs have benefited from the educational skills of historian and outdoor enthusiast, John Telischak (JT). In addition to teaching programs, JT is frequently at Bell Tower Shops for their “KIDding Around” series and in the Edison Ford Shoppe for more hands-on activities.

John Telischak

John Telischak

As in any program though, funding is important and we have had some very dedicated donors over the years including Don and Arlene Keehan (Advance Polymers), Trustee Steve Niehaus (GE), Charles and Sass Edwards (George M. Cox Trust), Fred Quinn (Quest Specialty Chemicals), and James English (Energid Robotics). In addition there are dozens of donors providing financial scholarships for summer camps and other programs throughout the year.


Edison Ford Garden Tours

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 25, 2015
  • Every Wednesday & Saturday – 10:30 a.m. 

garden propagating nursery     Horticulturalists lead behind-the-scenes garden tours which include 20 acres of historic gardens, crop gardens, propagating nursery, and Garden Shoppe full of exotic, heritage and edible plants for gardens and containers. Ticket includes free time to tour Edison Ford and participants receive a 20% discount in the Garden Shoppe. This tour also includes the NEW Gardner’s Update tour.

Cost: Edison Ford Members FREE (one time); non-members $30. Group Tours $25. To arrange a Group Tour call 239-334-7419.


Edison Ford Community Garden for Members and the Public

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 23, 2015

The garden plots are flourishing this spring and there is more help on the way for this new project thanks to our friends at Forestry Resources.

We are adding a new material manufactured by Forestry Resources, which produces the Playsafe Plus Wood product locally. It is specially designed for safe play areas, playgrounds and walking paths and is soon to be the walkway material around the garden plots. Playsafe Plus Wood is used throughout our county in recreation areas. For Edison Ford, this will be a great help with all 20 of the original plots in use. It’s helpful to move easily around the garforestry resources logodens as our vegetables grow.

Edison Ford is now in the process of adding more garden plots so call Leeanne Criswell at 239-334-7419 to reserve your plot. Remember that horticulture and garden staff are always on hand every day at 10:30 to field questions for gardeners … like summer vegetables for gardens, herb beds and more.

For more information about Playsafe Plus Mulch materials contact Forestry Resources at 239-334-2493.


Weddings and Special Events at Edison Ford

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 21, 2015

wedding april 2015     Edison Ford is the perfect venue for an outdoor wedding and reception, corporate event, cocktail hour in the Coconut Grove or a stunning location for a family portrait. With historic homes, romantic gardens, and spectacular river views, Edison Ford has something to offer for every special occasion.

Interested in a Wedding? Ceremony Packages include a wedding ceremony, one-hour wedding rehearsal, a two-hour engagement photo session, the opportunity to take photographs throughout the property on the day of your wedding, complimentary passes to Edison Ford for your guests, and an event staff member to coordinate and supervise your ceremony, as well as necessary support staff.

There is no substitute for viewing Edison Ford in person. Contact the Edison Ford Event Coordinator, Cori Cramsey at 239-335-3689 to schedule a site walk and check the availability of your wedding date or special event.

events april 2015

Edison Ford to be Recognized for Ford Programs and Events

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 19, 2015

      This March, for the second year, an historic 1928 Ford Tri-Motor aircraft joined the exhibit of Edison Ford at Page Field for viewing and flights over the city, for several days. Thanks to the work of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the historic jim and mr ford tri motor page fieldaircraft came back to the area for flights around Fort Myers, including the historic estates of Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. Henry Ford was very active in aircraft manufacturing and an advocate for commercial flights as well as military usage.

If you did not catch the Tri-Motor, the 1937 Ford Coupe is on display year-round in the large public area at Page Field, along with a gift shop.

Because of the work of Edison Ford to educate about the Ford legacy and his impact on the world, this year, the Henry Ford Historical Association is honoring this site with its highest award for achievement. The HFHA is comprised of The Henry Ford, Greenfield Village, Fair Lane Henry Ford Estate, the Edsel Ford Estate, the Piquette Avenue Model T Plant, Model A Foundation, and the Early Ford V-8 Foundation and Museum.

eBella Honors Pendleton in Magazine and Portrait at Berne Davis Center

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On April 17, 2015

eBella magazine     In an article about women trailblazers in Southwest Florida, Edison Ford CEO was honored with a feature story about her work at Edison Ford, as well as a portrait in the exhibit at the Sidney and Berne Davis Center in downtown Fort Myers.

Pendleton says that, “she is delighted to be included and be able to share her work and love for the award-winning site.” She adds “anything we can do to help spread the word and communicate what a wonderful and world class, old Florida site this is here at Edison Ford.”