Owners of Earth and Spirit Garden Gallery Diane and Scott Lampitt opened their spacious grounds Sunday for a celebration on Earth Day 2013.
For those attending, it was a perfectly serene sunny day out among gardens complete with a bubbling pottery fountain, an internationally registered six-tier medieval labyrinth and metal sculptures scattered around a courtyard area where the gazebo was set for the entertainers' platform with white metal tables and chairs waiting in attendance.
There was ample parking in the lot and along the road for this Saint James City event. Patrons were neighbors and friends who gathered in a jovial atmosphere of relaxation and camaraderie. A table was set up with art supplies consisting of colored yarns, feathers and textures for the creation of a Peace Stick.
Jessica Lindsey, right, of North Fort Myers creates a peace stick as Diane Lampitt, center, of Earth and Spirit Garden Gallery looks on.
"It just gives a reminder to be a little more peaceful," said Jessica Lindsey of North Fort Myers.
Across from the Peace Stick art area, Barb Darling of the Pine Island Potters Guild was selling hand-made wares at a table set up in the vendor area under a tent that was a much welcome shade giver from the sun.
"This is all local pottery being sold from the Pine Island Potters Guild," she said.
The textures and colors of the pottery were stunning.
"There is a sale at Christy's the second Saturday of the month from October until April," Darling said.
In an area near the pottery, a presentation board with words like "relaxation" drew the eye in.
"It's a very peaceful place to relax and meditate; we offer spiritual retreats and events throughout the year," said Joan Cabai about the Mother of God House of Prayer. Sacred space for meditation by the creek or spiritual programs at one of the many events held at the facility.
The acoustic guitar and vocals of Claude Memoli reached out with fingers of light over the courtyard. Patrons enjoyed some refreshments and casual conversation while sitting under an umbrella.
"This place is earth conscious every day, as you can tell by the natural plantings and surroundings," said Diana Collins of Saint James City. "We really enjoy the surroundings and peacefulness of the area; it will probably be our only stop for Earth Day"
"It is peaceful and you can tell they really care for the space," said Nancy Green in agreement.
SWFL Naturally was in attendance and facilitator Lynda Mastronardo spoke about her book, which she publishes biannually. The book entitled SWFL Naturally focuses on the "local community and promotes green and environmentally friendly conscious living," said Mastronardo.
The Calusa Land Trust had a tent set up by the small pond in the back of the property.
"We are 100 percent driven and worked by volunteers," said Mark Laux.
Their work is about maintaining the natural and historical places on Pine Island.
"The Calusa Land Trust has about 200 acres and 15-20 parcels they are currently trying to protect," said Brian Cotterill.
"The Calusa Cay Project is all about preserving an historical canal in which a million cubic feet of soil was removed manually with a shell on a stick by natives that predate the Seminoles, the Calusa," said Mark Laux.
The Calusa Land Trust is in the process of purchasing the land through which the historical canal passes.
As a whole, the Calusa Land Trust strives to preserve this integral part of Pine Island history that is open to the public.
"This is our fourth annual Earth Day celebration and 100 of the proceeds go to benefit the Calusa Land Trust," said Diane.
In addition, there was a silent auction ending at 3 p.m. with tickets selling six for $5 and the goods were all locally created art donated by vendors and patrons of the gallery. There was a Peace Pole awaiting artistic creation by celebrants of Earth Day and there will be an Installation Gathering for its placement at the opening of the next season in October.
Other activities included yoga with Deb Z, live music, refreshments, palm weaving with Dick Workman and a keynote presentation with Cindy Bear. There were crafts and art for sale and creation for all ages.
To learn more about the Calusa Land Trust & Nature Preserve of Pine Island, to volunteer or make a donation you can contact them online via email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their website www.calusalandtrust.org for regular postage mail please write to P.O. Box 216, Bokeelia, FL 33922.
For more information about Earth & Spirit Garden Gallery go to www.earthandspiritgardengallery.com
For those who missed the Earth Day celebration, the ICARE Eco-Fair will take place May 17 and 18. The free event on Saturday will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will take place outside at the Invest in America's Veterans Foundation & Military Museum, 4820 Leonard St., Cape Coral.
Friday's events inside from 6:30-8 p.m. and are $10 per person or $15 per couple. They will include a silent auction, key note speakers presentations and discussions along with hors d'oeuvres and light fare.
For more information about the Eco-Fair please go to www.icare4food.org