Naples Garden Club awards STARability Foundation grant to launch community garden project

The Naples Garden Club has awarded the STARability Foundation a $10,000 grant to support a community garden project.

The community garden is a collaborative, multifaceted project among the City of Naples, the River Park Community Center and STARability that centers on revitalizing River Park’s 2,000-square-foot garden.

“We are excited to help STARability revitalize River Park’s community garden. We have been helping beautify downtown Naples and the greater Naples area for over 65 years with projects such as this that further our mission,” Naples Garden Club President Sally Lutz says.

The garden will serve as a vehicle to teach critical life skills to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are enrolled in STARability’s community-based programs, including the Junior Trailblazer Academy, an after-school program for high school students. Participants will work with STARability instructors, volunteers and community partners to revitalize the garden over the coming year. As the garden takes shape, it will also offer at-risk youth enrolled in River Park’s programs a place where they can connect to their environment and continue learning. Furthermore, the garden will promote inclusion and accessibility for neighboring residents and businesses, as well as the wider downtown Naples community, through educational opportunities, events and other activities.

“We’re so happy to have the Naples Garden Club support this community garden project,” STARability’s CEO Karen Govern says. “The club’s grant is providing the seed money to make the garden a teaching lab and focal point of collaboration in a diverse community.”

ABOUT STARability Foundation
The STARability Foundation exists to Support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities by providing life-transforming opportunities that emphasize Teamwork and connection to the community to build Awareness and Respect for their individual abilities. A professional staff and more than 100 volunteers deliver a full calendar of engaging, innovative, and creative programs to ensure that participants can live their best lives. For more information about the Naples nonprofit and its programs, go to or

ABOUT the Naples Garden Club
The mission of the Naples Garden Club is to provide opportunities for sharing and learning about horticulture, floral design and the environment in a congenial, supportive atmosphere.

This article was submitted by a Guest Author of the Above Board Chamber.