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In Brief — Oct. 19, 2007 {0755}

In Brief — Oct. 19, 2007 {0755}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

In Brief — Oct. 19, 2007

Oct. 19, 2007     News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011    Orlando {0755}

An e-Review News Item

This series includes:

n Community learns about nature, retreat center at festival
n Florida Southern College water dome restored to Wright’s original design

Community learns about nature, retreat center at festival

By Connectional Ministries Staff

The Florida Conference’s Riverside Retreat Center in LaBelle held a first-ever Riverfest family open house and festival Oct. 6.

Riverside Retreat, LaBelle Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Public Archaeology Network sponsored the event.

Larry and Rebecca White practice their spear throwing at the Riverside Retreat Center’s Riverfest festival. Photo by Martha Pierce. Photo #07-0689.

The focus of the event was to provide a site where families in the community could gather to learn about the environment, the organizations participating in the festival and programs in their area. The day’s activities included hayrides, nature hikes, exhibits of local artifacts, talks with local authors and artisans, local pottery exhibit, health and wellness information, spear throwing, palm frond weaving and children’s activities.

The forestry department also provided a mock helicopter for people to explore, as well as information and games, according to Martha Pierce, the retreat center’s director. The local chapter of the Girl Scouts and National Audubon Society, the Randall Research Center, and other groups provided additional activities and information. 

“The smell of hamburgers and hotdogs cooking on a grill, the sounds of children and adults laughing and play — Riverfest at Riverside was a great success,” Pierce said. “New and old friends from Stuart, Pahookee, Fort Myers, Lehigh Acres, Naples, Cape Coral, LaBelle and surrounding areas came and enjoyed inflatable fun (provided by Extreem Family Fun), archaeology experiences … and even a water sampling by Riverwatch.”
Riverside Retreat is located at 7305 CR 78 (North River Road), LaBelle, 33935. More information about Riverside Retreat is available at

Florida Southern College water dome restored to Wright’s original design

By Florida Southern College Staff

LAKELAND — The newly-restored Frank Lloyd Wright Water Dome on the Florida Southern College campus will be premiered Oct. 25 at 6:30 p.m. in front of the Roux Library on the college campus. The Discovery Channel will be there to film the event.
The water dome has been under construction to restore it to the original Wright design, completed in 1948. In its original form, the dome was a large circular pool ringed with jets to create a dome of water encasing the pool, but it never functioned as Wright envisioned. With the construction of the E.T. Roux Library in 1968, the single pool was divided into three smaller ponds with central fountain heads surrounded by a large concrete plaza. 
The restoration incorporates new fountain technology that will enable Wright’s vision of a 45-foot-tall dome of water to be realized. The water dome will dominate the core of the college’s west campus as Wright planned.

The college is home to the world’s largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.

Preservation architect Jeff Baker oversaw the project. His firm, Mesick-Cohen-Wilson-Baker Architects, LLP, of Albany, N.Y., specializes in historic restoration.
Founded in 1883, Florida Southern College is a private, comprehensive United Methodist-affiliated college with a liberal arts core. The college offers 46 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business administration, education and nursing. Florida Southern is ranked in the Top 5 “Best Baccalaureate Colleges in the South” by U.S. News & World Report and is included in The Princeton Review’s “366 Best Colleges” guide.


*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.