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"We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children."

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sustainable

We seek innovative design solutions which provide a balance of environmental sensitivity, social equity, and economic viability. We are committed to creating sustainable places that meet today’s needs, while being conscious of how we will live tomorrow . We don’t give lip service to sustainability – we live this in our office, in our homes, and in our practice.

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creative

We believe everyone has something to offer. Our firm is based on a flat organizational structure, providing opportunity for all of our staff to be involved in decision-making processes. We find this enhances the design process and results in a superior final product.

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design

EnSite, Inc. is a leading Florida based design firm. Our services include Planning, Landscape Architecture, Civil Engineering, Urban Design, Sustainability, and Graphic Design. Our team is committed to the long-term success of the communities in which we live, work, learn, and play.

our portfolio

#enrichment

"The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river." - Ross Perot

EnSite Corporate Social Responsibility

EnSite Corporate Social Responsibility

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EnSite Corporate Social Responsibility

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” – Henry David Thoreau Corporate self-regulation is a practice that many large corporations try to embody in their business practices: doing the right thing for customers, employees, and the environment is part of a strategic business model. Now more than ever Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is getting the attention it deserves because it makes good business sense. Larger corporate entities have power due to their size, financial statements, and representation in government to model CSR principles on a huge platform, and the influence to affect real change in how business is done. But if that’s the whole story about CSR, then we’ve missed the entire potential of it. Corporate Social Responsibility directly correlates to urban development, growth, and economic stability. Smaller companies and startups are seeing the economic potential and sustainable business growth that comes from adopting CSR principles. For example, when a small business treats its employees well, there is less turnover and less expense in training new employees who simply “process” through the company and leave. When small businesses focus on creating an excellent product or providing an excellent service, clients tend to come back more and more. When startups focus on leaving a better environment and community for future generations, families tend to have a higher quality of life. The cumulative result is better life. But better life results in better business and stronger net profits. EnSite was birthed on a foundation of sustainable business development practices. We wanted to create a company that could impact real change in local, regional and statewide business and development in urban land planning, landscape architecture, graphic design, and engineering. As one of the leading creative design and engineering firms in Southwest Florida, our passion has been to create the best livable spaces for a sustainable future utilizing the best business practices. Sustainable design is at the core of every project or innovation we develop. We believe that it is part of our own Corporate Social Responsibility to hold ourselves accountable for the impact we have in the community and the environment. One of the most recent, widespread examples of a poor culture of Corporate Social Responsibility that specifically had a major impact on our local community was the housing market crash and foreclosure crisis. The government bailed out some of the biggest names in banking in order to help alleviate the crisis. Financial institutions’ execution of good business practices was flawed. Simply stated, the reason millions of people lost their homes can be attributed in part to a lack of Corporate Social Responsibility. Money trumped sustainability. As corporations grow, the complexity of their business models can be a moving target. Having so many different levels of management and red tape can often distract from a company’s overall view of their corporate social responsibility. Many large businesses don’t spend a lot of time implementing their business guidelines. Part of the reason for this is that it can be difficult to track the financial benefits. Some experts say that “ethical” products are a niche market: virtually all goods and services continue to be purchased on the basis of price, convenience and quality.”* There’s nothing more organic and grassroots than that kind of thinking. EnSite believes that our responsibility to any project is to ensure it is sustainably designed from the ground up with environmental, social and economic principles in mind. We’ve been beating the drum for years, and now clients are starting to understand and value its importance. “Ethical” products may still be considered a niche market, but more and more consumers are willing to pay more to buy local and sustainable. Communities are coming together to support their local economies. And through the promotion of more compact, mixed-use forms of development, access to local goods and services has become more attainable to more consumers. Sustainable practices are the way of the future. We’ve been saying this for years, and finally people are changing the way they think about it. Our large and small business models must be re-defined in a way where corporate social responsibility takes precedence. Sustainable urban development and small business growth is the future of our society. We’re proud to be leading the way. Come join us for the ride. * http://www.forbes.com/2008/10/16/csr-doesnt-pay-lead-corprespons08-cx_dv_1016vogel.html
The Caloosahatchee River Connects Us

The Caloosahatchee River Connects Us

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The Caloosahatchee River Connects Us

Living in the United States provides so many opportunities for us. We have access to the best of the best. Sometimes our normal everyday liberties can be easily taken for granted. Clean water and an overabundance of food are never something most of us think twice about. We are truly blessed to live in a community where our needs are taken care of. Even though most of us may never know what it’s like to search for food or shelter, we are still thankful every day for the resources we have. Knowing the value in where we live, invokes a need to preserve what we have. There is no doubt the Caloosahatchee River connects us. The health of the Caloosahatchee River has been a focal point of conversation for decades. The changing environment and industrialization along the coastline has drastically affected the estuaries in Southwest Florida. From stormwater runoff from agricultural land development to Lake Okeechobee water releases, these natural influxes of freshwater into the river can have many damaging effects on the environment. Vocal residents of Southwest Florida have been trying to create awareness and develop conservation plans. In the past few years this issue has gained national attention. “…the South Florida Water Management District is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other federal, state and local partners on a variety of strategies to improve the health of the Caloosahatchee Estuary.” The potential impact land development will have on the river is now a focal point for many land planners, civil engineers, and landscape architects. In the late 19th century the Caloosahatchee River was deepened and widened to become a main waterway. This change also affected the hydrology of the water. The health of the Caloosahatchee River is directly tied to the water quality of Lake Okeechobee. During the rainy summer months the water levels naturally rise and require an outlet for the overflow. The water is then released to both the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers to protect the public from flooding. Management of the water levels is strictly watched with the goal of balancing flood control, public safety, and ecological health (to name a few). “The South Florida Water Management District is undertaking a public initiative to engage key stakeholders in developing and advancing a list of priority projects that will benefit the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary.” The local, state, and federal partners are all working together on strategies to improve the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary. Short and long term solutions are being developed and implemented for future urban sustainability. The freshwater discharges into the river contain high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus that contribute to the many algae blooms each year. The high sediment levels that are also deposited into the river are detrimental to the sea grass beds, blocking them from the sunlight needed for growth. It is important to remember that our economy, society and natural environment is impacted by others throughout the region, state, and globe and nowhere is this interdependency more conjoined than our waterways. Maintaining the correct salt to fresh water ratio in the river is imperative in Southwest Florida. We believe that sustainable agricultural and urban planning practices, combined with regular monitoring of the Caloosahatchee ecosystem will help to reduce the effect of water releases and runoff. Protecting our water system is just one step in developing a fully sustainable community. *www.sfwmd.gov
The Importance of Water Quality in Southwest Florida

The Importance of Water Quality in Southwest Florida

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The Importance of Water Quality in Southwest Florida

Southwest Florida is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, as well as a complicated ecosystem that supports a vast amount of plants and wildlife. As a top tourist destination spot, Southwest Florida understands the value that is placed on our natural resources. Ecotourism attracts a great number of visitors each year, encouraging guests to experience Florida via kayak, hiking trails, chartered boats, the beaches, and more. With a natural resource as precious and valuable as Southwest Florida’s beaches, one would think that every care would be taken to preserve it. This however, is not always the case. As Southwest Florida’s resident population and visitor percentages increase, communities must also grow to accommodate these numbers. As the recession slowly fades away and the housing market inches its way back to normal, developers and contractors begin to build again. New development – the creation and improvement of roads, building of new residential communities, and the enticement for large corporations to relocate to Southwest Florida – all contribute to more jobs and more resources to sustain the ever-growing community. Though if not careful, it can also lead to dangerous water contamination, the destruction of delicate ecosystems, and a negative perception that will lead visitors elsewhere for their vacations. In 2013 South Florida made national headlines when the decision was made to release billions of gallons of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee into the fragile estuaries of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. This massive water release had profound and devastating consequences for the fish and wildlife that dwelled in the estuaries. Algae blooms from pollutants contaminated local beaches, causing closures in some areas based on high bacteria content. Not only were our natural resources harmed, but so were the individuals who relied on wildlife and tourism. The effects of this event exacted a high cost from both the ecosystem and the economy. Govenor Rick Scott proposed spending $130 million dollars to repair the damage done by the water release and included a project to ease the burden on Lake Okeechobee by allowing more water to follow its natural course and flow south into the Everglades and a second project to help clean the polluted water filtering into the St. Lucie River basin, with plans to include the Caloosahatchee later. Another factor to consider when making decisions concerning Florida beaches is the affect that decision will have on visitor perception. Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida tourism industry was hit hard. The largest industry in the state, tourism generates over $60billion in spending and sustains more than 80 million visitors each year. Tourism percentages dropped sharply as the oil residue reached the Gulf Coast. Despite being directly unaffected by the oil spill, Southwest Florida suffered too. The perception that the beaches were covered in small balls of tar convinced many potential visitors to forgo their journey to Southwest Florida, even though the beaches were clean. Hotels, restaurants, and attractions keenly felt the drop in visitor patronage that season. A sustainability plan that takes into account and balances the natural environment with social and economic needs will create a livable and successful community for current and future generations of Southwest Floridians. Through conservation and preservation, Florida’s natural resources can be maintained and support the thriving tourism industry that makes us famous. Sustainable development and business practices will lead to healthier environment, which in turn will continue to attract visitors from across the world, encouraging them to delight in all the Southwest Florida has to offer.
Front Yard Landscape Designs

Front Yard Landscape Designs

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Front Yard Landscape Designs

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Living in Southwest Florida we are surrounded by undeniable natural beauty. Palm trees and other tropical plants are a staple in most of our front yard landscape designs. Our community is designed with sustainable urban development in mind. While we continue to grow and develop urban areas, it’s important to preserve the natural resources and beautiful landscapes surrounding us. Here in Florida our soil is unique. It is comprised mostly of sand, technically called “Myakka”.  Most tropical plants thrive in our soil, however some other vegetation typical of northern climates cannot get the nutrients they need to survive. Landscape architects need to take this and many other factors into consideration when starting any landscape design plans. The pH levels in our soil are also different from other areas of the US. “Soil chemistry is very important. If the pH is wrong, plants may not be able to take up the nutrients even if plant food is abundant in the soil.”*1 Mowing leaves or leaving lawn clippings on your lawn can often help increase the organic content in your soil. Organic matter helps to increase nutrient levels and water availability, while also helping to balance the pH levels. “On most of our sandy soils, organic content is generally less than 1 %.”  Increasing the levels of organic matter in our soil will help to provide our plants the nutrients they need to thrive. Sustainable landscape garden design depends on this organic content. Mulching regularly will help increase the organic content of your garden soil. Fallen leaves, grass clippings, compost, and wood chips are some great natural materials to use in your garden. Creating a base of mulch helps hold water and naturally fertilizes our sandy “Myakka” soil. “Soil ecology is important part of successful gardening: diversity gives health, strength, and resilience to all your plants.”*1 Urban development has created many environmental effects. The change from rural to urban development has also affected our soil. “While healthy soils are key to agricultural and forest productivity in rural areas, most urbanites (say the occasional backyard gardener, watershed manager, or soil scientist) are unaware of the many ecosystem functions provided by soils in urban watersheds and landscapes.”*2  Soil sustainability will help to keep the negative effects of urban development to a minimum. Using organic gardening techniques (composting, mulching, etc.) keeps our soil fertile. “The physical, chemical and biological properties of an urban soil are what determine its suitability for a given use. The most important key to the sustainable management of urban soils, therefore, is an improved understanding of how these soil properties vary across an urban and urbanizing landscape.” *2 Sustainable urban planning is the cornerstone of future development. Southwest Florida is arguably the most beautiful place to live (yes, we may be a little bias). Conserving our natural resources and keeping our plants healthy are top priorities. Our soil provides the nutrients needed for our gardens to grow. The natural tropical beauty in our own community is something we will never take for granted. * 1  http://hendry.ifas.ufl.edu/HCHortNews_Soils.htm * 2  http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fr333
The Arts Mean Business…Literally!

The Arts Mean Business…Literally!

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The Arts Mean Business…Literally!

The Arts Mean Business in Southwest Florida! “Season” in Southwest Florida can mean many things – typically an increase in visitors, business, and traffic. Lee County serves as a gateway in Southwest Florida, connecting residents and visitors from the Tampa Bay area to Naples and the Everglades. Ecotourism, pristine beaches and waterways, arts and culture – all can be found within Lee County and the surrounding areas. With an influx of seasonal residents local business owners enjoy increased patronage and success. A unique factor in Southwest Florida is the large number of nonprofit organizations and philanthropic individuals. Many of our seasonal visitors were successful in their careers and seek to give back to their community in their retirement. They generously give of their time as volunteers and of their treasures as patrons and donors. One particular industry that is heavily dependent on seasonal tourism is the arts. But do you know the role the arts play in tourism and the local economy? In 2010, the Americans for the Arts partnered with the Lee County Alliance for the Arts to publish the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study. According to this national economic impact study, Lee County’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated $68.3 million in annual economic activity. This supported 2,038 full-time equivalent jobs and generated $9.4 million in local and state government revenues. These numbers prove that the arts mean business! Lee County nonprofit arts organizations can help maximize tourism dollars and create a strong cultural landscape for residents and visitors alike. There are many benefits to being associated with a nonprofit, especially an arts organization. Volunteers make up a large core of workers that are responsible for helping the nonprofit function and fulfill their mission. Patrons who support these organizations ensure that their work continues in the present while donors ensure the legacy of the organization (in addition to various tax benefits that come from charitable giving). One of the leading arts organizations in the area is the Lee County Alliance for the Arts. Located on McGregor Boulevard, the Alliance is the state designated arts agency for Lee County, designed to foster the growth of local art. A nonprofit organization, their membership includes over 50 arts and cultural organizations and houses an art gallery, theatre, studios and classrooms. Children and adults can participate in a variety of classes and workshops. The Alliance also acts as an advocate for all the arts in Lee County. Under the direction of Executive Director Lydia Black, the Alliance consistently serves as a leader and representative to local and state government agencies. It promotes the support and advancement of art in Lee County and recognizes that when citizens, especially children, are exposed to the arts they gain fundamental life skills. Another leading nonprofit in Fort Myers is the Florida Repertory Theatre. Located in the historic River District, Florida Rep was a cornerstone in the revitalization of Downtown Fort Myers. Now entering its Seventeenth Season, Florida Rep attracts approximately 70,000 patrons each year. Working closely with its downtown neighbors, the theatre stimulates local business. Florida Rep relies heavily on its seasonal patrons, many of whom travel from Chicago, Milwaukee, and New England. These patrons are active members of their home theatres and are happy to support similar organizations in Lee County. Through their patronage, Florida Rep is able to produce a high quality theatre experience as well as arts education for youth in the community. The Arts for ACT gallery, also located in downtown Fort Myers, is an example of how a nonprofit arts organization uses its talents to represent a broader mission. Established to support ACT (Abuse Counseling & Treatment) the Arts for ACT gallery is part gallery and part boutique. Art lovers flock to this unique downtown gallery to view some of the finest exhibits available. A portion of proceeds and all donations go directly to support ACT’s mission of providing shelter and support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. It shows the kind of symbiotic relationship the arts can create locally. Owned and operated by ACT, local and national artists are given the opportunity to display their work and connect with the public, which ultimately serves an even greater good for those in need. Residents and visitors are encouraged to seek out local nonprofit organizations. Arts and cultural institutions are especially attractive to visitors, providing a variety of services. Patrons will not only be entertained and exposed to powerful expressions of the human spirit but will also be confident in the knowledge that they are using their tourism dollars to support great work– in the theatres, in the galleries, and in the community.
Welcome to Downtown LaBelle!

Welcome to Downtown LaBelle!

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Welcome to Downtown LaBelle!

Welcome to Downtown LaBelle! Growing old is a part of life. Often it’s a part of life that we try to ignore, postpone, or deny. Ad executives have made a fortune on “Look 10 years younger” or “Look as young as you feel” or “Guaranteed to reduce the signs of aging in two easy steps”. As a society youth is something we all aspire to after we begin to lose it. Aches and pains become a common part of the day and bouncing back takes just a little bit longer. With age comes wisdom and character. Each wrinkle or gray hair has a unique history behind it. Our community is much the same. The depth of our culture continues to develop each day. What once was fresh and new is now historic and developed. This is one of the cornerstones behind the formation of the LaBelle Downtown Revitalization Corporation.  “The LABELLE DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION CORPORATION (LDRC) is a group of volunteers who have an interest in improving the appearance and economic stability of historic Downtown LaBelle.”* The LDRC believes that the history and future of LaBelle is connected deeply with the people of the community. The Downtown Revitalization Project is rooted in the belief that LaBelle is one of the best towns in Southwest Florida, bar none. While it may be considered off the beaten path to some, LaBelle is rich in culture and opportunity. One of the goals of this project is to make the downtown area a showroom for the vitality of LaBellians. “Our downtown must be reflective of the kind of people we are and how we want others to see our community.” Investing in the revitalization of Downtown LaBelle is a necessity for the town. This project will create job opportunities, save tax dollars, and build a positive image for the community while preserving the historic resources.  “In an economically healthy downtown, property owners can afford to maintain the historic commercial buildings and preserve an important part of the community’s heritage.” Instead of people looking for jobs in areas with better economic standing, the citizens of LaBelle are committed to making their town grow and prosper. Urban sustainable development is paramount to creating a sustainable downtown. The LABELLE DOWNTOWN REVITALIZATION CORPORATION (LDRC) is made up of strictly volunteers. Each person is passionate about creating the LaBelle they know it can be. Land planning and urban development are top priorities for this project. Generations have grown up in LaBelle, created small businesses and provided for their families. Working together is a way of life and walking down the street is full of familiar faces where “everybody knows your name”. The LDRC is hosting their 2nd annual Wharf Walk on November 8th, 2014 held at the City Wharf on the Caloosahatchee River in Downtown LaBelle. The Wharf Walk will help to raise funds needed for the Downtown Revitalization Project. Filled with food, music, shopping, and fun for the whole family, the Wharf Walk highlights the best of LaBelle. This is a great opportunity to give back to the community while having a blast! While aging is an undeniable fact of life, this is not a bad thing. The culture and history that blossom after years of experiences are priceless. Downtown LaBelle is just one example of a community who wants to put their best face forward. They are willing to invest time, money, and resources to making their town better. * http://www.downtownlabelle.com/labelle-downtown-revitalization-corporation/ *http://www.downtownlabelle.com/about/
The History of Fort Myers is Exceptional!

The History of Fort Myers is Exceptional!

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The History of Fort Myers is Exceptional!

History is one of the most fascinating topics. It’s the only thing that never changes, but constantly intrigues. The core of who we are as a society has been molded by historical figures, events, and challenges. We learn from the past. We grow from the past. We better ourselves every day from looking back and moving forward. The History Channel has made an empire from portraying history in a dramatic and entertaining way. In looking at our own unique experience, the history of Fort Myers, Florida is no exception. Our local history is rich, complex, and something we should all be proud of. Fort Myers was one of the original forts built on the Caloosahatchee River back in the 1800’s. Not only did it serve as a base for the Seminole Indian Wars, but also was the sight of the southernmost battle of the civil war. As the city has developed into the mecca it is today, numerous discoveries have been made about its past. One example can be seen in the renovation project on the Caloosahatchee riverfront back in 2012. When the initial land development started many different artifacts were uncovered. “During the Seminole and Civil Wars, it (Fort Myers) was the site of a U.S. military fort that changed names, shapes and purposes. Much more than an attack-resistant building, in its heyday, Fort Myers could be more accurately described as a military base — a sophisticated 50-acre complex that housed hundreds of people.”* It wasn't until the building of the Tamiami Trail bridge in 1924, connecting what is now North Fort Myers to the historic downtown, that Fort Myers really started to boom. Up until this time there was no easy way to cross the Caloosahatchee in the downtown area. The urban planning and sustainable design that went into the city planning of Downtown Fort Myers was paramount to growth and development. Housing communities started to flourish as the population grew and Fort Myers was then becoming known as a destination location for Southwest Florida. Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are perhaps two of the most famous inhabitants of our fine city. “In 1885, Fort Myers was the second largest town on Florida's Gulf Coast.” Thomas Edison visited what was then a small village sustained by farming and logging, and decided to develop his estate on the banks of the river. Henry Ford who was a good friend of Edison used to travel back and forth from New York to visit his old friend’s new home. It didn’t take long for him to see the undeniable appeal of our beautiful weather, beaches, coastlines, and opportunities. Today the Ford and Edison estates showcase some of the most beautiful landscape garden designs in Southwest Florida. Naturally flourishing year round due to our climate, the gardens are green and full of color any time of the year. More so, each winter the landscape designs are lit up by Christmas lights and our local history is on full display. The City of Palms comes to life during the holidays! There are so many other little known facts about Fort Myers that have contributed to the community we have today. History is all around us. We can’t get away from our culture if we wanted to. So many great men and women have helped to build what we have today, our hope is that we continue to build upon the history and sustainability they have given us. *http://www.news-press.com/article/20120605/NEWS0110/306050003/Exclusive-History-uncovered-along-Fort-Myers-riverfront http://www.fortmyers.net/history.html
The Naples Botanical Garden is Sustainable Landscape Design

The Naples Botanical Garden is Sustainable Landscape Design

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The Naples Botanical Garden is Sustainable Landscape Design

A “staycation” is when a person or family takes time off to enjoy local day trips. Living in Southwest Florida every weekend could be considered a “staycation” of sorts. There is so much to do in our community that is just a short car ride away. The beaches, parks, museums, water parks, and theatres are just a few of the reasons Lee and Collier Counties are huge “staycation” destinations. The Naples Botanical Garden knows a little bit about the “staycation”. They are often a destination for locals and visitors alike looking to have a unique time away from the stress of day to day life. The Naples Botanical Garden is filled with sustainable landscape design, exotic plants and wildlife. The natural ecosystem they have developed is absolutely breathtaking. Founded by a group of eight Naples residents in 1993, the Gardens have become an extraordinary 170 acre site of natural beauty. The Naples Botanical Garden is not only naturally beautiful, but is sustainably designed as well. A sustainable ecosystem supports itself. Each different part works together to provide the necessities for a natural habitat.  The landscape garden design was created to mimic nature as much as possible. “In the next twenty years, 2.6 million acres of Florida land are likely to be converted to urban use, making Southwest Florida’s remaining green spaces all the more precious to future generations. Naples Botanical Garden’s 170 acres of land have been saved from urban development forever, thanks to hundreds of visionary individuals who overcame countless obstacles to secure the site and dream of the possibilities for our community.” Utilizing sustainable green engineering practices throughout the garden helps to minimize human impact on the environment. When developing the plans for the new gardens and facilities, the Board of Directors focused on creating a more ecologically responsible and sustainable design. The new buildings were designed to meet the criteria for LEED™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Certification. “For a building to achieve LEED Certification, they must meet the standards for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.” The Garden’s future Visitor Center has been designed with the best sustainable materials and techniques. This includes rainwater collection tanks for irrigation, building placement to provide the most useful shade for the garden, and using recycled materials/wood throughout the construction process. Creating a sustainable water system for the Naples Botanical Garden is of the utmost importance. All life starts with water. The gardens need water and sunlight to prosper, along with the nutrients from the soil. The Naples Botanical Gardens utilize stormwater treatment and smart watering techniques. Stormwater treatment is integrated into every aspect of the gardens. “The multi-award winning system incorporates bio-swales, raingardens, ponds, and the Smith River of Grass, a tribute to the Everglades”. Smart watering is the gardens sustainable irrigation system. A smart watering system tracks data from rainfall and calculates when plants need more or less irrigation to keep the plants healthy. Creating a sustainable community is not easy. There are many different parts to each specific ecosystem that must provide what we need. The Naples Botanical Gardens is not only a must see destination for “staycationers” and visitors alike, it’s a great example of what creating a sustainable ecosystem can do to keep our environment green and healthy. *Naples Botanical Garden
Germain Arena Brings Sports and Entertainment to SWFL!

Germain Arena Brings Sports and Entertainment to SWFL!

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Germain Arena Brings Sports and Entertainment to SWFL!

Southwest Florida has become a premier destination to live and visit over the past few decades. The population has increased, roads have been built or renovated, state of the art shopping centers were erected, world renowned restaurants have opened, and one of the best sporting venues was built. The growth our community has seen over the past dozen or so years is undeniable. Any long time natives will attest to the fact that this is not the same Southwest Florida they grew up in, and that’s not a bad thing. Germain Arena opened its doors in 1998 bringing sports and entertainment to Southwest Florida. Germain has hosted NHL, NBA, USBL, and Arena football games. The design engineers developed the 171,000 square foot arena to be home to over 300 entertainment events including, “Stars on Ice, Disney On Ice, WWE wrestling, Jeff Dunham, Boston Pops and Lord of the Dance along with headline concerts including Cher, Elton John, Alan Jackson, Guns ‘N Roses, Def Leppard, Sting, Keith Urban, Eric Church, Zac Brown Band, and Toby Keith”, to name a few. Breakaway Sports Pub is located inside the arena and is open for any and all events. This energetic restaurant is located at the top level of the arena and provides a fantastic view of the main stage or bowl. In case you want to ensure the best view with the best food, the tables in the restaurant closest to the bowl are ticketed seats. You can guarantee the best food and service with any event. The Big Cypress Club is “the” cocktail lounge of Germain Arena. Located on the first floor by the Pro Shop, the Big Cypress Club is open to any Everblade season ticket holder with an annual membership. The membership entitles the card holder and three guests to enjoy dinner and drinks prior to any of the 36 home and playoff games. Only for concerts and shows does the Big Cypress Club open to the public for cocktails. Germain Arena is a huge part of the community. They have public skating times and even teach classes on how to skate or play hockey for children aged 3 and up. The Learn to Skate program is geared for figure and hockey skaters. Separately there is a Learn to Play class for children aged 7-14 years old who want to learn specific skills and techniques before joining a hockey league. Germain is host to youth and adult hockey leagues, along with competitive figure skating leagues as well. “Here at Germain Arena we pride ourselves on skill development, sportsmanship and a safe playing environment for our players. All coaches, referees and instructors are USA Hockey Certified.” Germain Arena is part of our community’s sustainable urban development.  The arena has helped improve the economy of Southwest Florida by supporting community programs and drawing national attention as a venue. Large touring artists and sporting events come to Southwest Florida and Germain Arena each year. Germain Arena has been a huge contributor to the growth Estero has seen over the past decade. *www.germainarena.com
Welcome Back to School SWFL!

Welcome Back to School SWFL!

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Welcome Back to School SWFL!

Summer has officially come to an end for the children of Southwest Florida. The days of staying up late and getting up even later are officially over. The start of school usually evokes different emotions for parents than children. Parents see a new school year as another opportunity for their child. Growing and learning from teachers and peers alike are all part of what make children into well-rounded adult members of our community. Watching their surroundings can also help to spark a passion for a future career path. An education is so important in creating a sustainable community. There are many different aspects of a society that make it function from the ground up. There is a cause and effect for everything. The more residential developments that are built, the more shopping centers, schools, churches, and grocery stores will be needed.  Southwest Florida is growing exponentially and it’s exciting to try and keep up. In order for a community to grow and prosper there will always be a changing landscape. What was once a rural area is now a top of the line residential community with modern landscape. This progress all starts with a land planning company.  Engineers and landscape architects are needed to design the building placement, site drainage, and landscape design. A general contractor is then contacted and starts building. The city officials are involved with the urban planning and permitting. Electrical engineers are contacted to provide power. There are too many moving parts to count! Southwest Florida is known for growth and sustainability. Our economy is on the rise partially due to the influx of new residents. There are so many new job opportunities and corporations are flocking to our area. Not only do we have one of the best universities in the state, we have also created jobs for the graduates. Albert Einstein once said, “Never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn to know the liberating influence of beauty in the realm of the spirit for your own personal joy and to the profit of the community to which your later work belongs.” The young adults graduating at the end of this school year are living this every day and are excited to become a part of our workforce. The educations they have worked so hard for will soon be put to great use for our community. The future business leaders, teachers, computer developers, landscape architects, civil engineers, or land planners of our community are getting prepared to hit the books for another school year.  The students of Southwest Florida are some of the brightest ever. Our community is invested in creating the best future possible for our children. Watching the students of our schools learn new skills and start to develop their own different passions is exciting. We are in the process of creating the future of Southwest Florida. Back to school time can be stressful for both parents and for students. With this stress is also excitement. A new classroom or teacher can help to expand a child’s potential. To be successful one must have the tools to do so. Everything starts with an education.
Our Treasure: Ding Darling Wildlife Society

Our Treasure: Ding Darling Wildlife Society

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Our Treasure: Ding Darling Wildlife Society

The coastline of Southwest Florida is breathtaking. Bottom line is there are few other coastlines that can come close to what we have at our fingertips. From the salt sand beaches of Sanibel, Captiva, or Marco Island to the lesser traveled shores of Cayo Costa, Southwest Florida truly has it all. Our state parks and nature preserves are known for their plants and wildlife. Protecting our natural resources is an ongoing process. Our community is invested in keeping our coastline pristine. Sanibel is home to the J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Society Refuge. The refuge is famous for its migratory bird populations and is part of one of the largest undeveloped mangrove systems in the United States. Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling was one of the most influential cartoonists of his era. His witty cartoons earned him two Pulitzer prizes in the early 1900’s. Ding Darling was also a devoted hunter and fisherman. He became alarmed at the destruction of so many natural habitats and extinction of animals. He was one of the first proponents of wildlife conservation, a topic that he often worked into his many cartoons. His visibility and influence created awareness for wildlife preservation that previously did not exist. In 1934 “Ding” Darling’s cartoons caught the attention of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. President Roosevelt appointed “Ding” as the Director of the U.S. Biological Survey.  During his 18 months as Director, Ding developed the Federal Duck Stamp program. “With the passage of the Migratory Bird Hunting Act in 1918, all waterfowl hunters 16 years and older became required by law to purchase a Federal Duck Stamp. Proceeds from the sales of these stamps are used to purchase wetlands for the protection of wildlife habitat. Since 1934, over $670 million in funds have been raised and more than 5.2 million acres of habitat have been purchased for wildlife.” Ding also increased the size of the National Wildlife System exponentially and was involved with numerous state universities to help train students interested in wildlife biology. The Ding Darling Wildlife Society is constantly giving back to our community. After Hurricane Charley, the Society donated time and money to the cleanup of Sanibel, Captiva, and the refuge. They spearheaded and financed the new $3.3 million education center and established a radio information system. They have an internship program, and annually donate $5,000 for Lee County teacher conservation grants. These are just a few of the many programs the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society has in place to help educate and give back to our community. The “Ding” Darling Wildlife Refuge is one of the best examples of natural landscape design in Southwest Florida. The refuge was designed as a natural habitat. The sustainable design of the refuge is continuously being updated. Sanibel is home to some of the most beautiful and exotic wildlife. Millions of people visit the Sanibel beaches each year. The Refuge is just one of the many reasons Southwest Florida is the place to be. * http://www.fws.gov/dingdarling/About/DingDarling.html * http://www.fws.gov/dingdarling/Society.html * http://www.dingdarlingsociety.org/about-us
Florida Gulf Coast University and Dunk City is Sustainable

Florida Gulf Coast University and Dunk City is Sustainable

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Florida Gulf Coast University and Dunk City is Sustainable

Go to school. Listen to your teachers. Do your homework. How many times a day do parents say these phrases? Most children can’t understand the future value in an education. As a kid you care about having fun during summer vacations and weekend adventures. Studying for a test or learning Algebra is not top of the to-do list. Parents and teachers work so hard on trying to make learning fun and engaging. They try to find that one thing that will peak a child’s interest into their own future in order to answer the age old question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Elementary school, middle school, and high school are the required education levels. College is the something that comes next. College is where most children become young adults. College is where one can finally find an answer to the question.  Living in Florida there are so many great options for higher education. Even here in our own community there are community colleges, tech schools, and a major university. Since 1997, Florida Gulf Coast University has become a big player in higher education. “Dunk City” is officially on the map! FGCU is truly a college created by the community. Local citizens of Southwest Florida brought the initial request to develop a state university to their elected officials and were quickly supported.  In May 1991, Governor Lawton Chiles authorized the legislation bringing the land development of FGCU to life. “Southwest Florida’s support for a university was never more evident than during the next year, when private landowners offered more than 20 gift sites for the university campus.” Now Alico and Ben Hill Griffin are well known and developed locations. Just over 20 years ago the communities, state of the art shopping centers, arenas, restaurants, and parks were nowhere to be found. What is now the bustling Gulf Coast Town Center once was, a cow pasture. The economic growth in Southwest Florida can be partially accredited to our very own “Dunk City”. When the community decided to embark on building the university one of the main concerns was to make FGCU as ecologically friendly as possible. Currently FGCU is the 5th greenest campus in the US. The coursework and service learning requirements help get students involved in the community. “Integral to the University's philosophy is instilling in students an environmental consciousness that balances their economic and social aspirations with the imperative for ecological sustainability.” FGCU’s civil engineers have completed construction on a 15-acre solar field right on campus. With their sustainable engineering design, these solar panels can be seen from the road or many planes landing each day at Fort Myers International Airport. “The University’s total reliance on Florida Power & Light Co. is reduced by 18 percent, thanks to the power generated by rows of solar panels that tilt and rotate as they “follow” the sun throughout the day.” FGCU is focused on creating sustainable graduates. These are students who learn and grow, but also develop deep community roots. Giving back and helping your neighbor are concepts that FGCU helps to instill in these bright young minds of our future. Our community is booming; construction is growing; companies are relocating; the economy is increasing. Florida Gulf Coast University has helped to make Southwest Florida a destination. The academics are top notch, the professors are involved and effective, but most of all the students make our community a better place to live. FGCU has become an integral part of Southwest Florida helping young adults answer the question, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” *www.fgcu.edu
Starbucks: Every Store is Part of a Community.

Starbucks: Every Store is Part of a Community.

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Starbucks: Every Store is Part of a Community.

Coffee is the world’s most popular beverage. More than 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year. In practically every city worldwide there are dozens of different coffee shops to choose from. We like our choices. The days of ordering a simple “cup of coffee” are over. We have and like to specify. Dark or light roast, foam or no foam, double or single shot, hazelnut, chocolate or vanilla, and that’s just the beginning of the ordering process. Each culture worldwide specializes in certain types of brews. Each city or region within that culture also has a unique flair. No one coffee shop is like another because no individual person is exactly like another. No other coffee retailer understands this better than Starbucks. Starbucks started as a small time one store coffee shop in the historic Pike Place Market of Seattle. Since 1971, this locally owned coffee shop has spread to over 15,500 locations in over 43 countries. The Starbucks mission statement is “To inspire and nurture the human spirit— one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.” Each storefront is unique to the neighborhood it is in. Starbucks understands the need for their customer to feel like they are at home in their stores. They take pride in becoming part of the community and this shows in their urban design and land development. Each Starbucks location is built with the help of local civil engineers, landscape architects, and city planners. Every store is unique and part of a specific urban sustainable design for each community. “When our customers feel this sense of belonging, our stores become a haven, a break from the worries outside, a place where you can meet with friends. It’s about enjoyment at the speed of life—sometimes slow and savored, sometimes faster. Always full of humanity.” Here in Southwest Florida we have more Starbucks locations than we can count. Coffee shops have become such a huge part of our daily routines. The perfect cup of coffee makes each Monday just a little bit easier to wake up to. The first thing most of us think of, after hitting the snooze alarm the appropriate amount of time each day, is coffee. Starbucks has over 87,000 possible drink combinations to choose from. There is literally something for everyone. Starbucks is the biggest coffee retailer in the world, yet each store has an unmistakable small town feel.  “When we are fully engaged, we connect with, laugh with, and uplift the lives of our customers— even if just for a few moments.” This is the basis of each store. To become part of the community. To design a space where people can go to connect and refuel for the day. Each beverage they serve in each store worldwide creates a different experience for each of us. The smell, the taste, and the atmosphere evoke different emotions and memories for each of us. No one cup of coffee is the same. No one community is like any other. This is something that Starbucks understands and is part of the overall sustainable design of our communities. Starbucks started in Seattle, however, in the past 40 years they have become the most influential coffee house worldwide.  They are a unique part of our community. "Every store is part of a community, and we take our responsibility to be good neighbors seriously. We want to be invited in wherever we do business. We can be a force for positive action— bringing together our partners, customers, and the community to contribute every day. Now we see that our responsibility—and our potential for good—is even larger. The world is looking to Starbucks to set the new standard, yet again. We will lead.” *http://facts.randomhistory.com/coffee-facts.html *http://www.livescience.com/16297-coffee-facts-national-coffee-day-infographic.html
LaBelle Swamp Cabbage Festival: Part of Our Heritage

LaBelle Swamp Cabbage Festival: Part of Our Heritage

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LaBelle Swamp Cabbage Festival: Part of Our Heritage

It’s funny how much culture small towns can hold. Part of what makes where we live unique is that we are still such a melting pot of ethnicities and traditions. Small town America is seeping with different food, music, art, and culture. LaBelle is no different. Since 1965 they have celebrated an annual festival that has become an honored tradition for the town. The LaBelle Swamp Cabbage festival is celebrated by locals and visitors alike. It’s an opportunity for the community to come together to celebrate their unique swamp cabbage history! This is a local celebration held the last weekend in February in LaBelle to honor the official state tree. What better way to honor something than to eat it, right? Well that’s exactly what this festival is all about. The heart of the cabbage palm is known as a delicacy. Whether it’s made into fritters or swamp cabbage it’s a Southern Florida tradition. People visit the festival from all over to try the famous swamp cabbage for the first time. The Swamp Cabbage Festival kicks off with the Swamp Cabbage Parade. The parade features floats, bands, and local business men and women from the community. The floats are decorated using the swamp cabbage palm fronds making their creators local landscape architects for the day. The parade comes to an end at the main stage where the live music, food, and entertainment continue. The urban landscape design of the town is the perfect setting for people of all ages to come together to celebrate this historic event. The festival also features about 100 vending booths with food and crafts from all over Southwest Florida. These booths showcase the creativity and talent we have in our community. Some of the best local food can be had at the Swamp Cabbage Festival. New and different combinations come together for some very interesting and delicious tastings. If great food and music aren’t enough, we also have the crowning of the Swamp Cabbage Queen, armadillo races, and a rodeo. All the makings for a good ol’ southern day of fun. The Swamp Stomp 5K is also part of the Cabbage Festival. The race takes you throughout the streets of LaBelle highlighting the beautiful moss-covered Live Oak trees and historic urban planning design of the downtown. All proceeds of the 5K go to the Caloosa Humane Society. This is a no kill shelter for homeless animals in our community. People of all ages run, walk, or jog across the finish line for a good cause. The rodeo just celebrated its 5th year at the festival. The Hendry County Cattlemen’s Association puts together the rodeo at the LaBelle Rodeo Grounds. The winner of the competition qualifies for the Florida Cattlemen’s Association finals in Kissimmee. Proceeds of this event benefit the Hendry County   4-H club. You don’t need the bright lights and bustle of a big city to have a great time. The Swamp Cabbage Festival of LaBelle has something for the whole family to enjoy. It’s one of the best times for the community and visitors to come together to celebrate our strong Florida heritage with some swamp cabbage.
Firehouse Community Theatre: Bridge Street Not Broadway!

Firehouse Community Theatre: Bridge Street Not Broadway!

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Firehouse Community Theatre: Bridge Street Not Broadway!

The glitz and glamour of show business runs coast to coast. Both children and adults have someone that they look up to on the big screen, small screen, court, field, or stage.  California has the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  New York has the stars of Broadway where some of the biggest and most seasoned talent goes on stage each day.  Across the country there are thousands of small meccas of talent in each city where local stars can shine. New York and California get all the attention, but they don’t have all of the talent. When a play makes it to Broadway everyone takes notice. The biggest and best stars, producers, and directors come together to put on larger than life shows that take us away from the normalcy of our lives, even if only for a night. Here in Southwest Florida we may not have the Hollywood lights or the bustle of Broadway, but we do have some amazing talent right next door. Theatre and the arts are such a huge factor in our community. Locally there are many different theatre companies geared towards giving back and helping everyday people do extraordinary things. The Firehouse Community Theatre in LaBelle is one of these incredibly unique places. Not only that, but Shellie Johnson, Principal Planner and Partner for Ensite, is proud to have served on the board of directors for the Theatre. This is a place where we can escape and let our imaginations take control. For the past 21 years the Firehouse Community Theatre has been run 100% by volunteer staff. They are an integral part of the community, and are sponsored by local businesses and private donations alike. The actors, stage crew, directors, and ushers are all part of the community. Their talent and dedication can be seen each week. Their slogan is "It's Not Broadway......It's Bridge Street!" During the summer months the Firehouse Community Theatre of LaBelle has a Children’s Program for kids ages 7 to 14. This is a great opportunity for children who love to sing, act, or dance. The Children’s Summer Theatre Program is a safe place for kids to use and develop their imaginations. After weeks of preparation the children put on a show for their family, friends, and the community. Watching the story come to life on stage after weeks of hard work and preparation creates an environment for the children to grow and learn from each other and the staff. This summer the children will be performing The Shoemaker and the Elves on June 27th, 28th, and 29th. The Firehouse Community Theatre has gained attention from more than just our community. In November of 2013 Rita Abrams made a visit to our theatre. Rita Abrams is a two time Emmy winning songwriter and also was part of the group who wrote the musical, New Wrinkles. After the Florida debut of her musical New Wrinkles on the LaBelle stage she was our guest of honor. Her visit gave us a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from and get to know someone who has had such a huge impact on our theatre. Not only does the theatre provide a place for patrons and actors to come together, there are also a slew of behind the scene masterminds at work. The design engineers that create the stage and props for the cast and crew are extremely talented. They can take a normal set and transform it into a beautiful garden that looks like it was designed by the best landscape architects. They make cities appear on stage that make urban planning look easy. The creativity they show on the stage is breathtaking. Culture, theatre, and art are everywhere in every community nationwide. The Firehouse Community Theatre is just one example of the hidden talent we have at our fingertips. They are dedicated to giving back to the LaBelle community. Their stage is used by children, students, and adults alike to put on performances that both move and entertain.
Lee County Parks and Rec: It Starts in Parks!

Lee County Parks and Rec: It Starts in Parks!

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Lee County Parks and Rec: It Starts in Parks!

Living in Southwest Florida means we have 365 days a year to enjoy sunshine. While others may be shoveling snow or scraping ice off their windshields, we are planning weekend trips to the beach or maybe even Disney. Lee County Parks and Recreation is a huge part of what makes our Florida lifestyle possible. They are dedicated to keeping our parks and beaches safe, clean, and fun for the whole family. Lee County Parks and Recreation’s mission is “To provide safe, clean and functional Parks & Recreation facilities. To provide programs and services that add to the quality of life for all Lee County residents and visitors. To enhance tourism through special events and attractions. We are committed to fulfilling this mission through visionary leadership, individual dedication and the trustworthy use of available resources.” Lee County supports land development and expansions of their many parks and preserves. Together with many local land planning, civil engineering, landscape architecture firms, and most of all the community support, they have developed some of the best parks Southwest Florida has to offer. Their programs and services are state of the art. In October 2013, Lee County Parks and Recreation opened its newest recreation center in North Fort Myers. After over a year of construction and planning the center is now a focal point for community events.  The recreation center was built in the existing North Fort Myers Community Park. Construction for the new sustainable design can now be used as a local hurricane shelter as well.  The facility is 35,000 square feet to be used for youth and adult programs, a fitness center, game rooms, and a gymnasium.  The gymnasium for multipurpose sports was built as top of the line to tournament standards. Lee County and the Minnesota Twins have had a long and fulfilling relationship. Lee County and the Twins are investing $48.5 million dollars into Hammond Stadium and the Lee County Sports Complex (LCSC) for renovations. Some of the changes will include increased seating capacity, enhanced concessions, renovated concourses, and a new player development academy. Lee County Parks and Recreation believes in investing in our community. Hammond Stadium and LCSC is a focal point for so many families in Southwest Florida. Whether you are there to catch a game or play one, this facility has so much to offer. Our beaches are breathtaking. The natural beauty we have just a few steps away from our front doors is something that can sometimes be taken for granted. Lee County Parks and Recreation is dedicated to keeping our beaches clean, safe, and natural. Bonita Beach, Captiva, and Boca Grande are arguably some of the most beautiful beaches on the Gulf Coast, along with many others in Lee County alone. The beach is home to our unique wildlife as well. Sea turtles are an important part of our Florida ecosystem. They are protected due to their low level population. It’s not uncommon to come across roped off areas on the beach that protect their eggs. Sea turtles come on our shores each year to build their nests. Lee County has so much to offer. Our community comes together each day to make Southwest Florida the best home or vacation destination for locals and visitors alike. Lee County Parks and Recreation plays a big part in keeping the fun and excitement in our cities!
Rotary International: Why Service to Others Means More

Rotary International: Why Service to Others Means More

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Rotary International: Why Service to Others Means More

At Ensite, we are deeply supportive of organizations that serve others. We place a high priority on service to others above self; that’s why we are proud our team members who are Rotarians at clubs in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and LaBelle. The Rotary thrives on the unique perspective each of its members brings to the table. Years of experience in different industries, cultures, and countries comes together in these meetings for some of the best round table brainstorming sessions ever seen. The overarching principle behind the Rotary International organization is deeply impactful. "Rotary is an organization of worldwide business and professional leaders united to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Rotary Clubs meet weekly and are nonpolitical, nonsectarian, and are open to all cultures, races, and creeds.” Paul P. Harris, founder of Rotary International, defined the organization by what it does. “Whatever Rotary may mean to us, to the world it will be known by the results it achieves.” Each club is specific to the community it is in. This allows the members to come together with common goals, concerns, and obtainable plans. Here in Southwest Florida we have many local chapters. The Rotary Club of Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and LaBelle are just a few. The Rotary Club of Fort Myers has proudly been serving our community for over 90 years and includes 185 members. Their first project back in 1922 was the historical planting of Royal Palms on McGregor Boulevard. More recently their support of the PACE Center for Girls has made such a positive change in our community. The Rotary Club of Fort Myers has a trust fund set up from which they distributed over $130,000 into our community in the past year to help many different causes. The Club also helped with the relief efforts in Haiti. They contributed over $20,000 through Shelter Box for shelters. There are many key projects to which the Rotary Club of Fort Myers has contributed. They facilitated the planting of Royal Palms along McGregor Blvd, have partnered with Edison State College, provided funding of the Mike Lawrence bike and jogging path, helped with the early completion of I-75, provided playground equipment for handicapped children at Centennial Park, continues to fund ECHO's fight against hunger campaign, and many more. The Rotary Club of Cape Coral was founded in 1964. Starting with a group of 25 members, the Rotary Club of Cape Coral has grown in the past 45 years to over 75 local men and women. Each week members meet to discuss future plans and projects for Cape Coral. The Club has supported many city improvement projects including the Memorial Arch at the entrance of the city, planting hibiscus, building bike racks at the local bus stops, and even sponsoring a local petting zoo for handicapped children. In 1979, the Rotary Club of Cape Coral helped with the construction of the Cape Coral High School Stadium and land purchase for athletic fields. These are just a few of the many projects the Rotary Club of Cape Coral has been instrumental in. The Rotary Club of LaBelle is perhaps one of the youngest chapters in Southwest Florida. Founded in September of 2002 they have been an integral part of the community ever since. Currently they have 39 members who are dedicated to giving back. The Rotary Club of LaBelle continuously donates time and money to local projects including The Gift of Life Foundation, Earth Week busses, Project Graduation, Relay for Life, and thousands of dollars to scholarships for local children. They also support many local projects such as annual golf tournaments, armadillo races, spaghetti dinners, food drives, and even donated dictionaries to our local schools. These are just a few of the ways that the Rotary Club of LaBelle gives back every day. The Rotary Clubs of Southwest Florida have their fingers on the pulse of our community and knows what can and should be done to help make our neighborhoods better. Through their combined efforts, Southwest Florida is the place to be! For more information about a few of our local clubs, please visit:  
JetBlue Park: Red Sox Community Gives Back

JetBlue Park: Red Sox Community Gives Back

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JetBlue Park: Red Sox Community Gives Back

JetBlue Park at Fenway South is already in its third season. It feels like just yesterday when it was announced this state-of-the-art stadium would be breaking ground in our backyard.  JetBlue Park is now home away from home for the Boston Red Sox and their fans. This stadium was designed to have the same feel as the historical Fenway Park in Boston.  Those who are familiar with Fenway Park may be able to pick out some of the similarities such as the “Green Monster” or manual scoreboard. Those Southwest Florida natives will also be able to pick out familiar elements as well, such as the seashells used in the foundation, and the white roof which symbolizes our famous cypress trees. JetBlue Park was created as an environmentally sustainable stadium for our community. This stadium is the result of multiple design engineers, urban planning firms, landscape architects, and many more people committed to keeping our community green. Urban sustainability is so important, especially when looking at massive land projects such as JetBlue Park which thrive on bringing people together to enjoy food, fun, and a good game. The Red Sox are known for being active in their Boston community and now also in Southwest Florida.  The Green Team is a group of volunteers that are focused on teaching fans about how to maintain a clean environment and its importance. Between innings they actually go around the stadium picking up garbage and recycling. All of the volunteers receive t-shirts, as well as other ball park goodies. If interested in helping, you can contact Jimmy Higgins to sign up or for more information at jhiggins@redsox.com, or 239-226-4711.* “Week of Service” is another one of our favorite events put on by JetBlue Park and the Red Sox.  This is a weeklong series of events that give back to our Southwest Florida Community. “Uniformed personnel and front office staff volunteer at nonprofits across Southwest Florida, and hold two annual charitable events - the Boston Red Sox Children's Hospital Celebrity Classic golf tournament, benefiting the Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida, and the Evening with the Red Sox, benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lee County.”* Spring training games are fun for the whole family and are a great way to connect with old and new friends alike. JetBlue Park has quickly become a landmark for our Fort Myers community. The sustainable urban design of this facility has made it one of the best environmentally friendly stadiums in the nation, definitely the best in Southwest Florida. The Boston Red Sox are known for giving back as well. JetBlue Park and the Red Sox are active with our local schools and non profits, helping us to enrich our community. Although traffic along Daniels can be a bit of a headache when a game lets out, this is a small price for us to pay to have such a great team and stadium at our fingertips. 11500 Fenway South Drive Fort Myers, FL 33913 To Order Tickets by Phone: Toll Free (888) RED-SOX6 (733-7696) For Ticket and Other Information: (239) 334-4700 *http://mlb.mlb.com/bos/ballpark/jetblue_park_community.jsp
Congrats Gulf Coast High School!

Congrats Gulf Coast High School!

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Congrats Gulf Coast High School!

Every year it happens again. Summer ends, the kids go back to school, and the holiday frenzy is right around the corner. For Floridians like us this also means we can almost taste the cooler weather and lower humidity we have anticipated during the long summer months. Fall is one of the best times of the year, especially in our community here in SW Florida. The students at Gulf Coast High School have something even better than our beautiful Florida winter weather to look forward to. It has been announced that Gulf Coast High’s marching band will be participating in the annual 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! They have been chosen as one of 10 high school marching bands around the nation to participate, and the ONLY band selected from SW Florida. In an interview with the News-Press, Collier schools Superintendent Kamela Patton had this to add. “You have probably heard me say that we have the best Fine Arts program, and the best bands, in the nation right here in Collier County. Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade organizers validated that today when they surprised the 300+ members of the Gulf Coast High Marching Band with news that the band has been selected to march in the 2015 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. They are one of just 10 bands chosen from a field of 175 bands nationwide. To have 50 million viewers watching our Collier County Public Schools students on TV will be amazing. This truly speaks to the quality of our music programs in Collier County as a whole but on this day, a special shout out and congratulations to the Gulf Coast High School band students and their director, Steve DeLadurantey." The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1924 and continues to be a family tradition for all generations. The Macy’s Parade is as much a part of Thanksgiving for most people as football, family, and turkey (in no particular order). The presentation, design, and talent that goes into putting on this annual event is out of this world. Millions of people tune in across the country, not to mention the thousands lining the streets of New York City, to see the amazing floats, performers, and bands! One aspect of this parade that we can’t help but notice is the planning that must be involved on the back end of any event of this magnitude. There are so many people involved and so many moving pieces that have to fit together just right. Event planners, civil engineers, urban planners, landscape designers, and city planning officials spend months preparing for the one day event. Sustainable urban planning has a lot to do with the ultimate execution of having so many people in one place at one time. The fact that our own Gulf Coast High students will be a part of this celebration is truly an inspiration for our community of SW Florida. The students and staff at Gulf Coast High School are just one example of the talent that the people of our community possess. Congrats to the Gulf Coast High marching band! We will be watching!
Smart Planning on Beautiful McGregor Boulevard!

Smart Planning on Beautiful McGregor Boulevard!

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Smart Planning on Beautiful McGregor Boulevard!

What do Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and Harvey Firestone all have in common? Chances are if you grew up in the Fort Myers area this is not a hard question to answer. In the late 1800’s these three extraordinary men discovered Fort Myers for themselves and loved it so much that they decided to build winter homes here for their families. These homes are only a few of the beautiful buildings and landmarks that now line the streets of McGregor Boulevard. The Royal Palms that also line the streets gave Fort Myers the nickname “City of Palms”. McGregor Boulevard has the history of many generations of our community’s leaders in one spot. So, the answer is luxurious and beautiful McGregor Boulevard. The Edison Home, and its neighbor, The Ford Estate are two of the best known historical landmarks in Southwest Florida. Locals and visitors alike visit these homes each day to see a piece of history. This is where the great minds of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford worked and played. They enjoyed the beautiful beaches of Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Captiva, not unlike how we still do today! McGregor Boulevard has become a destination for art, culture, and history. McGregor Vet Clinic AerialThe street is beautiful and inviting. The new McGregor Veterinary Clinic is beautifully constructed on McGregor Boulevard. EnSite is proud to have provided all of the planning, landscape architecture and site engineering for the project. The rezoning of the property was especially unique because this was the first project to be reviewed and approved using Lee County’s recently adopted Compact Communities Planned Development (CCPD) zoning code. This is a form-based code that emphasizes mixed-use and compact development form, rather than a separation uses with large setbacks often seen in sprawl development. The result is a multi-story building that is placed close to the street edge, framing the McGregor Boulevard corridor. This form of development encourages social interaction in public spaces, or in this case the McGregor sidewalk and adjacent open space that is being provided by the developer. The development has been approved for a mix of uses that include a veterinary clinic, retail and office use, and multi-family residential dwellings. Running parallel to McGregor Boulevard is the Caloosahatchee Intercoastal Waterway. Not only are we able to enjoy the beautiful parks and landscaping on the street, we also have the breathtaking waterway at our disposal as well. Sitting in the park watching the boats pass by on any day is a treat, however once a year the entire area lights up even brighter. The Edison Festival of Lights is an annual tradition for our community.  This is a three week celebration of Fort Myers history that cumulates in the most anticipated parade of the year. This parade helps to celebrate what was once just a cow path, and is now transformed into a historical, cultural must see. McGregor Vet ClinicThe Edison Festival of Lights is a non-profit organization. Due to their deep ties to our community they are able to provide support in a big way. The annual Festival helps promote and support many different local groups (Thomas Alva Edison Science and Inventors Fairs, The Edison & Ford Winter Estates, School Board of Lee County, South Florida Museum of History, Imaginarium, Great Calusa Blueway, ECHO, Boy & Girl Scouts, Lee County Library, Mosquito Control, Mound House, Turtle Time, Red Cross, LARC, Lee County Supervisor of Elections, Ding Darling, Emergency Management Services, Mosquito Control, Shriner’s Hospital, Stay Alive…Just Drive, Lee Memorial Blood Center, Southwest Florida Astronomical Society, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation and many more.)http://www.edisonfestival.org/about.html The history and stories that are home to McGregor Boulevard are deep rooted into our Fort Myers culture. The renovations to McGregor Boulevard have enriched our community, our children, and our history in the making. The new and improved McGregor Boulevard is what makes Fort Myers “The City of Palms”

what inspires us

  • shellie johnson

    shellie johnson

  • brent gibson

    brent gibson

  • brian smith

    brian smith

  • jonathan romine

    jonathan romine

  • matt horton

    matt horton

what makes us awesome

"All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions." - George Bernard Shaw

2012 Horizon Council General Business Award

2012 Horizon Council General Business Award

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2012 Gulfshore Business 40 under 40 Award - Jonathan Romine

2012 Gulfshore Business 40 under 40 Award - Jonathan Romine

2012 Florida Commissioner of Education Business Recognition Award

2012 Florida Commissioner of Education Business Recognition Award

2012 Chrysalis Award for Sustainability

2012 Chrysalis Award for Sustainability

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2012 Lee County School District Business Partner of the Year

2012 Lee County School District Business Partner of the Year

2010 Blue Chip Finalist

2010 Blue Chip Finalist

2010 Creating Better Places Design Competition - First Place Overall

2010 Creating Better Places Design Competition - First Place Overall

why ensite

"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." - Winston Churchill

Our name, EnSite was selected because it embodies our core values as planners, landscape architects, engineers, and designers - not just in our individual personalities but also in our perspective on projects. We take pride in how our vision, our knowledge, and our skills translate into successful projects and satisfied clients. EnSite also comes from the word insight - our ability to EnVision the unification of built and natural environments.  Our logo is symbolic of not only this unification, but our holistic and collaborative design approach in creating sustainable places and spaces for human enjoyment.

find us

EnSite, Inc.

2401 First Street
Suite 201
Fort Myers, FL 33901

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