Restoring Bonnet House Waterways

September 6, 2023
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens CEO Patrick Shavloske discusses the Bonnet House Slough Restoration project, made possible with support from the Community Foundation of Broward.

Community Foundation of Broward support is helping the Bonnet House Museum & Gardens restore and protect waterways at the historic Fort Lauderdale estate.

Built in 1920, Bonnet House was once the home of artist Frederic Barlett and his wife Evelyn. Today the museum and beautiful grounds are a community treasure, dedicated to historic and environmental preservation as well as learning and creative expression.

Through the decades, melaleuca and other invasive plants have inundated the land around the Bonnet House sloughs. Years of decomposed, vegetative debris has formed a thick layer of muck within the slough, fouling water quality and harming the ecosystem.

Jump-started by the Community Foundation’s $100,000, three-year grant, the Bonnet House Slough Restoration Project seeks to breathe new life into the estate’s waters.

The restoration work will remove invasive vegetation and restore the eastern shoreline of the slough to a look that harkens back to what Evelyn Barlett helped create in the 1930s. In addition, several feet of muck will be removed from the slough bed and waterway connections will be restored to Lily Pond and the Island Theater moat.

“The end result will be a much more healthy water system and preserve the property as it appeared in the 1930s and ‘40s,” said Patrick Shavloske, Bonnet House CEO. “We are very grateful to the Community Foundation for their support.”

The Community Foundation grant for the Bonnet House was made possible by support from Spirit Airlines, the Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund and The Frederick A. DeLuca Foundation Broward Community Fund.

Investing in opportunities to protect the environment and revitalize cultural attractions are among the ways that the Community Foundation and our Fundholders help Broward become a more healthy and vibrant community.

Learn More

To make a BOLD impact by partnering with the Community Foundation for your philanthropy, contact Kelly Marmol, Vice President of Philanthropic Services, at or 954-761-9503.

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