The design involved reclaiming developed land for garden expansion, and the restoration of a lake in 2007-2009 within the garden and the design of the wetland plant communities. Keystone sections removed during exaction of the lake were used to texture the water’s edge. Planting selections were selected from those native to the regions that the garden displays, with an emphasis on those that would do best in the Key West climate. The gardens have become a favorite native backdrop to celebrate special private events including weddings in the Key West region.
A “one of a kind tropical forest,” the Key West Botanical Garden is one of the few gardens within the United States educating the public about threatened, endangered and endemic flora and fauna of the Florida Keys, Cuba and the Caribbean Basin. The forest has two of the last remaining freshwater ponds in the Keys and is a major migratory stopping point for neotropical birds from places as far away as South America, as well as being home to many rare birds in the Florida Keys. Its richness in rare flora and fauna makes it a key destination and center for research, so much so that Raymond Jungles collaborated with a number of scientists, designers, and community members in the gardens design.