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McKee Botanical Garden is a private, non-profit and tax-exempt organization whose mission is to to nurture and enhance an historic garden in a unique tropical setting for the education, enjoyment and enrichment of all.
In 1932, the McKee-Sexton Land Company was established to preserve an 80 acre tropical hammock along teh Indain River. McKee Jungle Gardens was born and with the help of landscape architect, William Lyman Phillips, the basic infrastructure of streams, ponds and trails were designed. By the 1940's more than 100,000 tourists were visiting McKee Jungle Gardens each year, making it one of Florida's most popular tourist attractions. In the 1970's, however attendance dwindled due to competition from new large-scale attractions and the garden was forced to close its doors in 1976. The land was sold and all but 18 acres were developed. The remaining acreage was purchased by the Indian River Land Trust in 1995, and today restoration efforts are underway with a scheduled opening of the garden slated for fall 2000.
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