World Naked Gardening Day

T.A. Wyner, a co-founder and resident at Sunnier Palms Nudist Park, offers me a cherry tomato that she just picked. Saturday, May 6, is World Naked Gardening Day. The park has a community-garden area. “We thought we’d sell the produce we grew. But between giving it away and the residents here eating what we grow, it didn’t happen.” / Photos by J.D. Vivian

World Naked Gardening Day

Do you like to garden in the great outdoors? Do you live in a house in a secluded area — or at least behind a tall, non-chain-link fence? Do you like the freedom of not wearing clothes? If you answered “yes” to all of those, then you can participate in World Naked Gardening Day on Saturday, May 6.

No large gathering is scheduled for World Naked Gardening Day. Rather, people should garden when and and where they choose, says Mark Storey, consulting editor for N: The Magazine of Naturist Living, in a statement (www.naturistsociety.com).

Pineapples _ World Naked Gardening Day

Among the fruits and vegetables growing in the Agricultural Area at Sunnier Palms are pineapples, such as this young one.

If you don’t live in an ultra-private setting, don’t worry. Nudist parks are scattered all around Florida (google “nudist parks in Florida”). Many provide community gardens, as well as tent sites and recreational-vehicle parking.


Sunnier Palms Nudist Park, in suburban Fort Pierce and only a couple of minutes west of Florida’s Turnpike and Interstate 95, is one such “naturist resort.”

Nudist parks are popular

One of about 15 nudist parks in the state, Sunnier Palms (www.sunnier.com) is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The fact that the park is so close to a well-populated area doesn’t bother T.A. Wyner, one of its founders.

“We don’t have to hide under a rock anymore,” she explains, while escorting me around the park. Short, bushy palm trees and a fence provide privacy from cars passing along Okeechobee Road, also known as State Road 70.

I first interviewed T.A. (ToniAnne) Wyner in 1990. She was living at Sunsport Gardens, a naturist resort in Loxahatchee, in western Palm Beach County (www.sunsportgardens.com) and had just been arrested on a public beach for wearing nothing but the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights on a public beach. She ardently supports naturists’ rights.

She was one of the founders of Sunnier Palms Nudist Park in 1992.

Sunnier Palms features a community-garden area that is divided into individual plots. But even more impressive is the park’s 13-acre Agricultural Area. A large section called “the Forest” — within the Ag Area — hosts snakes, gopher tortoises, bobcats, deer and even wild boars. Walking trails allow easy access to the Forest.

Plants vital to butterflies’ survival

In addition, a wide variety of butterflies call the Ag Area “home.” Wyner explains why preserving the native flora is so important. “Each butterfly has its own host plant. If you eliminate the plant, you kill the butterfly.” For example, the monarch butterfly needs milkweed to survive; paw-paw trees support zebra swallowtails.

About a year ago, a controlled burn in the park’s Agricultural Area removed a lot of undergrowth. “Everything that’s green wasn’t here a year ago,” Wyner says. “But less than a month later, we already had tiny palm fronds.”

Sunnier Palms also works to educate schoolchildren about nature. Residents take potted plants — with a butterfly chrysalis on each — to area schools and leave them. The students then can watch the chrysalis become a caterpillar and, eventually, a butterfly.

Sustainability is a big part of life at Sunnier Palms. Banana peels, for instance, are put in with ferns to nourish them. And “We don’t use chemicals any more. We use insects to kill pests,” Wyner notes. The University of Florida supplies the predatory insects.

There’s also a fire pit in the campsite area where residents make community soups. Some of the ingredients come from the community garden.

Of course, you can visit — and stay at — Sunnier Palms or other parks throughout the year. So if you don’t have an area that provides privacy, and you want to garden in the buff, visit one. For more details about each naturist resort, such as activities and prices, sign on to its website.

Sunnier Palms Nudist Park
8800 Okeechobee Road, Fort Pierce
772-468-8512, www.sunnier.com
On Saturday, May 6, Sunnier Palms will hold a cookout at the pool area from 1 to 2 p.m.

Sunsport Gardens
14125 North Road, Loxahatchee
561-793-0423, www.sunsportgardens.com
According to its website, in observance of World Naked Gardening Day, Sunsport Gardens will teach “the many considerations in designing a community garden, from ecosystems to social systems, and collaborate in designing a community garden in this unique setting.”