Palma Sola Botanical Park is located in the “Old Palma Sola” section of northwest Bradenton. This area has a rich history in Manatee County, the Tampa Bay area, and the State of Florida. From the time of the Timucuan Indians to the Conquistadors to the present, Palma Sola has been host to many cultures.
The Park began in 1990 when local citizens and community groups rallied to save the 10-acre site that had once been the Manatee County Nursery. The Bradenton Herald was instrumental in providing information and editorials that helped build public support for a botanical park on this “surplus” land. The Palma Sola Botanical Park Foundation, Inc. was incorporated in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, created to preserve the former nursery as a valuable green space. In October 1996, the Foundation entered into a long-term agreement with Manatee County Government to establish the Palma Sola Botanical Park on the site. The Foundation and Manatee County work in partnership to develop the Park. Since the year 2000, the Park added the Galleria building to use for weddings, parties, educational classes, and more. The Baden building, used as the office and Board/Bride’s Room, was originally a florist shop that was moved to the property.
This 10-acre parcel of land has a protected warm micro-climate, and is notably frost-free. Because of these unusual environmental conditions, the Park is able to showcase collections of rare palms, fruits, flowering trees, and other subtropical plants. In 2008, the Manatee Rare Fruit Council planted and continues to maintain an extensive exotic fruit tree section.