March Events at the Edison Ford



Chris Pendleton, President & CEO
Lisa Sbuttoni, PR/Marketing Director

Photos: Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival, March 30 at Ford Estate, March 31 at Edison State College; Director’s Tour to Lake Okeechobee and Clewiston, Lake Okeechobee c. 1926

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Programs - March 2012

Black Maria Film Festival

Fort Myers, Florida (February 24, 2012) –In addition to tours and regular activities at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates, there are special programs and activities to engage both visitors and residents throughout the week.

The month of March is highlighted with the return of the Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival, Director’s Tour to Clewiston, Emerging Inventors Early Learning Classes, Home School Class, and Behind the Scenes Tours as well as a variety of other special programs throughout the month. Call 239-334-7419 for additional information.

The March schedule of programs and events include:

Edison Ford Inventor’s Summer Camp registration:Registration is now open for Edison Ford Inventor’s Summer Camp that begins May 29 – August 3 in science, art and nature. Camps are separated by grade levels, 1st – 3rd and 4th – 6th. Cost: Students in the 7th grade and above can qualify as Summer Camp Councilors. Registration: Edison Ford Members, $200; non members $230.

May 29 – June 1 Super Solar Scientists
June 4 – 8 Space & Rockets
June 11 – 15 Kitchen Chemistry
June 18 – 22 Animation
June 25 – 29 Movie Making Magic
July 9 – 13 Eager Engineers
July 16 – 20 Time Travelers
July 23 – 27 Physics in Motion
July 30 – August 3 Smarts in Arts

Emerging Inventors Early LearnersMarch 1 and 15, 9 – 11 a.m.
Emerging Inventors Early Learners class is a child and parent learning class for children ages 1 - 3 years. Each class includes first hand learning on the historical site as well as changing seasonal themes combining science, invention, reading and hands-on activities. Edison Ford Members $5, non members $15 (one adult, one child) additional $5 per child.

Drawing in the Gardens: An Introduction to Botanical Illustrations
March 2, 5 – 6 p.m. and March 3, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The two day workshop begins with an evening botanical tour with the Edison Ford horticultural staff to view plants and flowers and plan the next day drawing class. Day two is instruction with artist Megan Kissinger in the gardens. Megan’s work is featured in the Edison Caretaker’s Gallery and has been selected for national juried exhibition. Cost: Edison Ford Members $50, non members $60; as well as $10 for supplies. Registration required.

Floorcloth Painting Class with Marie DyerMarch 3, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Artist Marie Dyer, best known for her vivid floral and still-life paintings, will teach participants how to transform a piece of unfinished canvas into a tropical and practical floor covering. No prior painting experience is necessary. Materials included. Cost: Edison Ford Members $70; non-members $75. Registration required.

Edison Ford Garden Talk: Heritage Butterfly PlantsMarch 10, 9 a.m.
Join Edison Ford horticulturists in the butterfly garden located in the Edison Ford Heritage Garden and learn how to create, plant and care for a butterfly garden in Southwest Florida as well as tips to make your garden butterfly friendly. Edison Ford Members are FREE, non-members $5; all participants will receive 20% off in the Edison Ford Garden Shoppe.

Home School: DNA Science - We are FamilyMarch 12, 1 – 3 p.m.
Home School students will explore DNA, chromosomes and heredity. Students and their parents can enroll in a two hour program with curriculum that follows the Next Generation Florida Sunshine State Standards. Pre-visit curriculum materials will be mailed to registered families. Registration required. Program recommended for grades 1 - 6. Edison Ford Members $5; non members $15 (one adult, one child) additional $5 per child.

Monthly Volunteer MeetingMarch 13, 9:30 a.m.
Learn about history, shopping and restaurants with Edison Ford staff and True Tours on a historical walking tour of downtown Fort Myers. Volunteers will meet in the courtyard at 1412 Dean Street at 9:30 for coffee and the tour will begin shortly after. Free parking is located under the bridge or volunteers can meter park at the Harborside Convention Center parking lot. This is a regular monthly volunteer meeting.

Director’s Tour: Clewiston and Lake OkeechobeeMarch 16, 8 a.m.
Experience the history, nature and agriculture surrounding Florida’s most important water source, Lake Okeechobee with Edison Ford President & CEO Chris Pendleton, South Florida Water Management District Manager Phil Flood, and Clewiston Museum Director, Butch Wilson.
About a hundred years ago, the Edisons and Fords were exploring the lake area for connections to their rubber and plant research, great fishing spots, and out of doors opportunities. The famous friends also met with sugar industry leaders to study their agriculture and manufacturing activities and certainly learned about famous architect John Nolans’ plan to create an urban model for Clewiston, then known as the city on the lake. Henry Ford soon purchased Fort Thompson for his agriculture plans and the friends explored the Caloosahatchee and neighboring waterways.
Plans for the day include a tour of the Herbert Hoover Levy and historic dike, lecture, lunch and tour of the Clewiston Museum (from wool mammoths to prisoner of war camps and sugar cane agriculture), and finish up at STA #5 with the experts for birding and Florida hydrology. Registration required. Edison Ford Members $90; Volunteers, $85; Non members $95. Price includes transportation, lunch, behind the scene tours, refreshments and historical background lecture on trip to Clewiston.

Painting in the Gardens with Leoma LovegroveMarch 19 and 20, Edison Gardens
March 12 and 13, Lovegrove Gallery and Gardens, Matlacha
Artist Leoma Lovegrove’s work is well known for dazzling color and plein air style. Lovegrove will teach two separate two-day sessions in the gardens at Edison Ford and also at her gallery and garden (Monet in Matlacha). Cost for Edison Ford session is $300 and $250 for Edison Ford Members. Call the Education Department (239)334-7419 for additional information or Lovegrove for details on class requirements (239) 822-4109.

Thomas Edison Black Maria Film FestivalMarch 30, 7:30 p.m., Edison & Ford Winter Estates on the riverside lawn RSVP for riverside dining options.
March 31, 7:30 p.m., Edison State College, Fort Myers
The award winning Thomas Edison Black Maria Film Festival will be back for a sixth season in Southwest Florida since the Festival began its national tour in 1981. Film faculty of the Festival and College will introduce films and facilitate discussion afterwards. The films included are short films including both animated and a variety of photography and film techniques. Tickets may be bought in advance at the Edison Ford, 2350 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Tickets are $8 per evening for adults or both nights at $15. Edison Ford Members will receive a $3 discount for March 30 show and Edison State College students are free on March 31. For more information call 239-334-7419 or visit the Black Maria Film Festival website:

Behind the Scene ToursThursdays, 10:30 a.m.
Curators and staff lead a very special tour inside the Edison and Ford homes and the Edison Botanic Research Lab. The Tours focus on history, conservation and antiques. These unique tours are offered at no cost to Edison Ford Member and $40 for non members. Tour space is limited and registration is suggested.

Sunday Brunch and Historic Tours of Edison Ford and Downtown Fort MyersSundays, 10:30 a.m.
Participants will step back in time at the homes, gardens, lab and museum at Edison Ford; learn the history of downtown Fort Myers with True Tours; and enjoy a delectable brunch at Vino De Notte Hotel Indigo in historic downtown Fort Myers. For more information and reservations call 239-945-0405. Cost: $39.

The Edison Ford is open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The Edison Ford is the winner of the 2009 National Stewardship Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is an official project of “Save America’s Treasures” at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a Florida Historic Landmark and a National Register Historic Site. For additional information call 239-334-7419 or visit the web site at

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