Monday, March 21, 2022


Molly Jebber
Amish Historical Romance Author

Let's talk about the Everglades Wonder Gardens!

The Piper family opened a roadside attraction called the Reptile Gardens in 1936. As the establishment grew, the name was changed to the Everglades Wonder Gardens. For eight-five years, the Everglades Wonder Gardens has provided reptile attractions, singing and talking colorful parrots, flower transplants from around the world that have grown into beautiful gardens. During 1936 and until 2013, the Everglades Wonder Gardens rescued bears, tigers, bobcats, alligators, flamingos, parrots, many species of birds, monkeys, and more wildlife. They also provided educational programs.

The Piper family closed the Everglades Wonder Gardens in 2013. John Brady, a local photographer and conservationist, John Brady took over the property as a tenant and reopened the park. With Ellie Krier's help, John Brady started the formation of the non-profit 501(c)(3), Bonita Wonder Gardens. And also with the help of the founding board members, which were Ray Carrol, President, Scott Klabunde board member and John Brady, and soon after, Dennis Gilkey, Trish Leonard, Jackie McCurdy, and Marjory Rubacky.

In July of 2015 the City of Bonita Springs recognized the economic, cultural and historic value of this zoological and botanical attraction and bought it to save the attraction from possible commercial development.

Today, David Rahaetih Webb serves as President & CEO, and manages along with the Board of Directors the Wonder Gardens. You'll find releasable birds and reptiles throughout the park along with it's banyan trees and plantings. The charitable donations for this organization provides for more than 300 resident animals, upgrading wildlife enclosures, growing the botanical beauty of the property, education programs and events, and further engaging the community to enjoy this wonderful attraction in the historical part of downtown Bonita Springs.

Throughout most of it's history, the community has supported the Wonder Gardens.

I hope you've enjoyed learning about the Everglades Wonder Gardens with me today! I visited not long ago and met "Kiwi", a colorful little parrot who sang, "Oh, what a beautiful morning, oh, what a beautiful day"! When asked, "What does the kitten say?" Kiwi replied, "Meow!" We had so much fun seeing all the attraction had to offer, but Kiwi remains our favorite.

Visit Molly


  1. Thanks for posting today! The Wonder Gardens sound like a wonderful community gem.

  2. Great post, Molly! Kiwi sounds like a delightful member of the Gardens.

  3. We went to the Wonder Gardens for the first time in January. We had a lovely time.