Ad Campaign Launches to Promote Bailey Homestead Preserve
An ad campaign intended to educate visitors and residents about SCCF’s Bailey Homestead Preserve has launched.
A digital ad, pictured here, went live this week in the lobby of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce lobby where an average of more than 6,000 visitors seek information about our islands each month. Other ads will be placed in island newspapers and shared on social media to help inform residents as well.
“We often see people who have lived on the islands for years and are just discovering the Bailey Homestead. It’s a wonderful, quiet preserve where people can enjoy our natural environment, take a walk, or learn about native plants, and we hope more islanders will make a visit a part of their normal routine,” said Adult Education Director Jenny Evans.
The ad campaign, created by Pearl Brands of Fort Myers, showcases the Bailey Homestead Preserve’s unique offering of nature with a history.
The 28-acre Bailey Homestead Preserve was acquired in 2010 as part of the SCCF preserve system. It was originally zoned for 36 residential units, but was put into preservation instead through a campaign that raised the purchase price of $5 million. After significant restoration work on the property, SCCF’s Native Landscapes & Garden Center was relocated to Bailey Homestead Preserve in 2015.
Since SCCF closed its main office and Nature Center for renovation on Sanibel-Captiva Road in 2020, the Bailey Homestead Preserve is now SCCF’s premier visitor attraction. It offers a glimpse into Sanibel’s past through one of its pioneering family’s 19th-century homestead, as well as the island’s longstanding history of conservation and its commitment to co-existing with wildlife.
The front nine acres running along Periwinkle Way are open to the public with the Shipley Trail, the historic Bailey home, and a retail Native Landscapes & Garden Center. The remaining 19 acres are for the benefit of wildlife on Sanibel, creating a wildlife corridor.
The wheelchair-accessible Shipley Trail opened in March 2014 and is open daily from dawn to dusk. It connects two City of Sanibel parks: Roadside City Park on Periwinkle Way and the Pond Apple Park/Trail, which begins at the Chamber of Commerce. The trails are connected by the Starr D. Thomas Memorial Boardwalk, which was built through a partnership between SCCF and the City.
SCCF’s Native Landscapes & Garden Center is open to the public year-round with demonstration gardens and native plants for sale. Since 1970, SCCF has promoted native landscaping through education, workshops, and by offering the sale and installation of native plants. Since the Garden Center moved to the Bailey Homestead Preserve in 2015, it has greatly expanded its offerings, now featuring a total of two acres of demonstration gardens, including wetlands, plants for pollinators, lakeshore plantings, dune and beach plants, coastal scrub, tropical hardwood hammock, and agricultural/edible. The new Ruth Brooks Propagation Facility, which will open this fall, will increase the growing capacity of native plants by 30 percent.
“We are excited to have more people discover one of our island’s hidden gems. Although it’s located right on the island’s most traveled road, many people pass right by and don’t realize it’s there,” said Communications Director Barbara Linstrom. “By visiting, we hope people will take away a greater appreciation of the long-standing conservation ethic on our island and a commitment to grow native plants for the benefit of wildlife and the overall ecosystem wherever they live.”
The campaign was funded through a $15,000 Marketing Attractions grant from the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau’s Tourist Development Council (TDC). Since 2004, the TDC has provided financial assistance to not-for-profit arts and attractions organizations to strengthen awareness of local arts and cultural venues that enhance the tourism opportunities in Lee County. The goal of the program is to enhance the visitor experience and encourage repeat visitations through advertising promotions and the creative dissemination of information regarding unique art and cultural experiences in Lee County.
Special thanks to the Sanibel Public Library for giving SCCF permission to use historical images from the Bailey Family Photographs in its ever-growing and extensive digital archive. For full immersion in the island’s history, please visit the Sanibel Historical Museum & Village. Access to the Bailey home is limited to seasonal walking tours and art exhibits.
The Bailey Homestead Preserve is located at 1300 Periwinkle Way, adjacent to the Donax Street intersection. Trails are open dawn to dusk daily. The Native Landscapes & Garden Center is open Mon.-Thurs., 10am to 3pm.