Caring for La Bella Fontana Park in the middle of Naples has been a focus of our Garden
Club for much of our history. Photos from the 70s and 80s show members working
with trowels, rakes and brooms "at the fountain". A deteriorating landscape in 2006
prompted our Club to join with NIA to raise funds for landscape maintenance and
replacement of dead sections of the boxwood hedge.
We began advocating for our iconic park with the City of Long Beach’s Parks,
Recreation and Marine Department (PRM) and with then Councilman Gary DeLong.
They responded with funding for two new olive trees and improved maintenance.
NIGC established a budget category for the park in 2009 and it soon became an
official beautification project for the Garden Club. PRM suggested we formally adopt
the park, which we did, and its maintenance became a regular Club activity.
Members carrying out this work became known as the “Bellas”.
In 2011 the Park’s trees showed signs of disease. At the request of PRM we hired
horticulturalists to analyze bark, leaves, and soil, and we implemented their
suggestions. They returned twice to examine the trees but, unfortunately, they found
By 2016 we knew there was no hope of a remedy and we formed a committee to
study replacement of the trees. The committee determined that the replacement of
eight trees would cost $45,000. In 2018 PRM partially funded these costs;
Councilwoman Suzie Price was instrumental in getting City Council to approve
some further funding; NIGC added a bequest from the Sheila Butterbaugh Estate
and the NIA has pledged some funding.
The project highlight is eight California Pepper trees (Schinus Molle). Electrical and
irrigation systems will be also be updated. Two new Windmill Palms (Trachycarpus
Molle) will be planted in January 2019 and new uplighting will be installed.