UWF hosts ribbon cutting for Camellia Garden Enhancement Project

The University of West Florida hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony today to celebrate the transformation of the Camellia Garden in honor of the institution’s 50th Anniversary.

“What a wonderful tribute to our university’s golden anniversary,” said UWF President Martha Saunders. “Like education, the camellia flower has been prized for its beauty and complexity for centuries. In some cultures, the flower symbolizes young sons and daughters. That seems particularly fitting in this place where we have educated so many.”

The Camellia Garden Enhancement Project is a collaborative initiative involving the Pensacola Camellia Club Foundation, the UWF Retired Employees Association and UWF. Funded by philanthropic support, the featured enhancements include the creation of an education plaza to accommodate tour groups, paved walkways, concrete curbing, informational signage, benches, fencing and improved lighting.

“The UWF Camellia Garden preserves the Pensacola varieties, and celebrates the rich history of the camellia in Northwest Florida,” said Howard Reddy, director of the Office of Community Engagement at UWF. “The garden honors the memory of many people who made a significant contribution to our University and community. It is unique and special that in recognition of UWF’s 50th Anniversary, the transformation of the garden has created an enduring space on campus for rest, reflection and renewal.”

Notable gifts for the project included more than $40,000 from the Pensacola Camellia Club Foundation and $5,500 from the UWF Retired Employees Association, in addition to numerous individual donations.

The Camellia Garden on UWF’s campus was established in 2007 through a partnership between the Pensacola Camellia Club and the UWF Retired Employees Association and currently features more than 250 plants representing over 100 varieties of the camellia.