For those who enjoy nature and are looking for something fun and free this summer, Wawa has a special offer. On the last Friday of each month from June through September, it is providing free admission into Bok Tower Gardens from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mark your calendars for Summer Fun Days fueled by Wawa on June 25, July 30, August 27 and September 24.
Bok Tower Gardens is a 250-acre contemplative garden located at 1151 Tower Blvd. in Lake Wales. Fifty of those acres are cultivated gardens, and the rest are nature preserves and nature trails.
Built in 1929, “We originally started as a bird sanctuary and a garden, but our founder, [Edward Bok], wanted a place where humans could connect to nature and get away from what he called the ‘electrification of Americans,’” said Erica Smith, DBA, director of business development at Bok Tower Gardens.
The destination has many garden highlights, such as the River of Stone, Kitchen Garden and Outdoor Kitchen, Pollinator Garden and many others. One of its wonderful aspects is the wildlife, including 126 different bird species as well as the threatened gopher tortoise and endangered eastern indigo snake.
“Acres of ferns, palms, oaks and pines fashion a lush backdrop for flowering foliage and the spectacular seasonal color of azaleas, camellias and magnolias…showcasing an ever-changing work of art,” states the website.
A big part of Bok Tower Gardens is its plant conservation efforts, including the propagation, reintroduction, monitoring and management of 64 rare Central and North Florida plant species as part of its National Collection of endangered and threatened plants. Guests can see some of the state’s rarest species in the Endangered Plant Garden, which changes constantly, as the species’ varied lifecycle stages provide a different show each season.
Among the most notable attractions at the Gardens is the 205 ft. Singing Tower, a massive musical instrument with a 60-bell carillon at the very top. The neo-Gothic tower was designed in 1929 to be a focal showpiece for the center of the Gardens. Concerts occur at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and the bells chime on the hour and half-hour.
Visitors can also check out The Shop at Bok, Blue Palmetto Café, nature trails like the Preserve Trail and Pine Ridge Trail, as well as many other activities and areas throughout the Gardens.
To receive Wawa’s complimentary admission, stop by the Bok Tower Gardens entrance gate. No purchase, voucher or reservation is necessary. For more information about the Gardens, visit https://boktowergardens.org/.