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Elders' Cove Restoration Update - Signage to be installed soon!
Click below to view three of the four completed interpretive panels (signs) for Elders’ Cove.  Thank you to Kellan Marcum, Marketing Coordinator with City of West Palm Beach for her work on these.

All signs will be 24” x 24” with a porcelain finish.  Sign A (still to be finalized) will be placed between the waters’ edge and the path down to the observation dock (approximately the same placement as the original sign).  Sign B will be on the park side of the Choko Lochi learning garden path and sign C will be on the parking lot side of the Choko Lochi learning garden – replacing the sign that remains(with incorrect information on it).  Sign D will replace the sign that is on the north side of the Cypress Island Lake which was very banged up from the past hurricanes.

Sign A
Sign B
Sign C
Sign D

Ecoart Restoration Project in Dreher Park

Receives $10,000 Grant Award
as part of Nationwide Competition to “Think Green”

With a Waste Management $10,000 "THINK GREEN" grant through Keep America Beautiful as well as smaller grants from the City of West Palm Beach and the Board of County Commissioners and some of its own funds, Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Inc. became the fiscal agent to support the work of the   “Friends of Elders’ Cove”, a community action group organized to restore a damaged ecoart project in West Palm Beach’s largest public green space, the 103-acre Dreher Park. The Friends of Elders’ Cove had been designated the first in a new program, Parks Ambassadors, established by West Palm Beach Parks and Recreation Director, Christine Thrower.



An ambitious plan was begun to restore the multi-faceted ecoart work, called “Elders’ Cove” in honor of the Seminole history of the site. This project is the first permanent ecoart work in South Florida. The work was badly damaged during the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes Frances, Jeanne and Wilma. The ecoart work, completed in the summer of 2004, includes a unique water cleansing sculptural fountain, extensive littoral plantings of native wetland flora that clean and filter stormwater, and construction of sculptural mounds reminiscent of Native American burial mounds prevalent in South Florida. The mammoth mounds were built from tons of dirt reclaimed during the digging of a new storm water retention lake in Dreher Park. The ecoart work also has other specific references in landscape design to the early history of the area as a Seminole trading post.


Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful is part of a diverse group of community organizations who joined together as Friends of Elders’ Cove to raise funds and mobilize volunteers to clean up the site, repair the fountain mechanism, re-plant and restore the littoral areas and improve other aspects of the ecoart project that require restoration. Member organizations of the Friends of Elders’ Cove include (in addition to Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful): The South Florida Environmental Art Project, Audubon Society of the Everglades, Florida Native Plants Society, West Palm Beach 100, Palm Beach Zoo, Science Museum of South Florida, West Palm Beach Garden Club, West Palm Beach Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, Parker Ridge Neighborhood Association and Vedado Park-Hillcrest Neighborhood Association. Co-Chairs of the Friends of Elders’ Cove are Mary Jo Aagerstoun, Founder and Director of the South Florida Environmental Art Project; and Lucy Keshavarz of Art and Culture Group, Inc. and a board member of Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful.


"Ecoart like Elders’ Cove, provides the public with a uniquely functional visual perspective on addressing an environmental issue,” said Lourdes Ferris, Executive Director of Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful. “We did not hesitate a second to apply for the initial grant from Waste Management/Keep America Beautiful to repair the damage.” 


Keshavarz, a public art consultant and Board member of Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, represented West Palm Beach’s Art in Public Places Committee on the design/build team for the renovation of Dreher Park, and was intimately involved along with artists Jackie Brookner and Angelo Ciotti, in all aspects of the development and installation of the ecoart in 2003 and 2004. “Elders’ Cove has tremendous educational potential. We are gratified that the community has stepped up so enthusiastically to bring it back," Keshavarz said.


Aagerstoun, an art historian who moved to the area in 2004, soon discovered that Elders’ Cove was the only ecoart project in South Florida. She launched the South Florida Environmental Art Project in early 2007 to encourage more such projects. She noted that “Elders’ Cove is still, unfortunately, unique in South Florida, so getting the work back up and running had to be a first priority of the South Florida Environmental Art Project. Thanks to Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, the funding partners, the Friends of Elders' Cove, and cooperation from the Parks and Recreation Department, Elders’ Cove will once again be the innovative, beautiful and functional ecoart work that demonstrates to the public how to clean stormwater in urban spaces through artistic, natural and non-polluting methods.”


Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful and the Friends of Elders’ Cove should be proud, as our national organization is proud, for their initiative in developing this winning proposal,” said Keep America Beautiful former President G. Raymond Empson when the initial grant was awarded.. “The work at the local level exemplifies the mission of our national organization by engaging individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community environments. We look forward to seeing this project come to fruition through the generosity of Waste Management’s grant.”


Donate to Continue the Restoration of  Elders' Cove

kab.jpg (3244 bytes) Keep Palm Beach County Beautiful, Inc.
1920 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd., Suite 210
West Palm Beach, FL  33409
Phone (561) 686-6646
Fax (561) 686-6642


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