The Friends of the Mounts Botanical Garden recently announced that construction will start this fall on a new permanent exhibit, Windows on the Floating World, a series of see-through walkways and permanent and moveable aquatic plants that will allow visitors to feel and connect with the tropical wetlands around them.
“The immersive installation of Windows on the Floating World will reveal a full spectrum of the wetland garden at Mounts,” explained Polly Reed, president of the Friends of Mounts Botanical Garden. “Boardwalks, benches and displays constructed over and around the wetlands will allow visitors to relax, reflect and learn about ecology.”
Reed said that the exhibit will educate the public on the importance of practices that will better help this natural resource.
“A wetlands is a land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, and takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem that serves as home to a wide range of plant and animal life,” she said.
Windows on the Floating World will feature transparent, open-gridded, 3-foot-wide walkways on the surface of the wetlands to give visitors the feeling of walking on water. Within these walks are four windows that will be planted with aquatics and changed out with rotating and seasonal botanical exhibits growing from submerged containers. Additional highlights will include waterfalls flowing over natural stone, an area for wading birds, and a wall covered with Bromeliads, offering some of the best foliage colors in the plant kingdom.
“Most importantly, our Windows on the Floating World exhibit will be a place for demonstration and education,” Director of Programs Rochelle Wolberg said. “This environmental installation will provide an immersive experience for visitors, prompting them to more closely examine the nature surrounding them and its inner workings. For school children and their teachers, it will be an exceptional model to educate on water quality and usage, and the role each one of us can play in water conservation.”
Presented in cooperation with Palm Beach County’s Art in Public Places program and projected to cost about $500,000, Windows on the Floating World is funded in part by Margaret Blume, the Batchelor Foundation, Palm Beach County and the Friends of Mounts Botanical Garden.
Mounts Botanical Garden contains more than 2,000 species of plants, including Florida native plants, exotic and tropical fruit trees, herbs, palms, bromeliads and more. Located at 531 N. Military Trail in West Palm Beach, the garden is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The suggested entry donation is $5 per person. For more info., call (561) 233-1757 or visit www.mounts.org.
ABOVE: A rendering of the planned Windows on the Floating World exhibit at the Mounts Botanical Garden.