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March 30, 2006

Bonfante Gardens Begins 2006 Season Saturday

Gilroy, CA -- After a successful 2005 season of continued revenue growth, Bonfante Gardens Family Theme Park, a non-profit organization, begins a planned, multi-year garden revitalization and educational enhancement program. The state's only horticultural theme park opens for the 2006 season April 1 with three redesigned gardens and three new educational exhibits designed to teach guests about butterflies, bees and trees.

Three Redesigned Gardens

South County Backroads, one of the park's most popular family rides where guests drive their own 1920s roadster or 1950s Chevy Corvette, blossoms in 2006. The two-acre area has been re-named South County Backroads Garden where new additions include more than one thousand shrubs, 19 annual flower beds and five animal-themed topiaries designed to delight and entertain guests along their scenic drive.

This year, Claudia's Garden comes alive with a splash of color as annual flower beds have been planted throughout this primarily green conifer garden. Numerous Aptos Blue Redwoods were lifted in by crane while almost 75 specialty conifers took root in the garden. The park has also pruned many of the trees within the garden to give each tree its own unique identity.

Bonfante Gardens' Lily Pond has been redesigned as the all-new Holly Garden featuring more than 20 varieties of holly and five new holly topiaries for the 2006 season. The pathway garden was created to educate guests about the diversity of leaf size and growth habits.

With the 2006 garden enhancements and additions, the theme park now offers guests a total of six gardens to enjoy with their families.

Three New Educational Exhibits

Children of all ages can learn more about trees, bees and butterflies at three new educational exhibits scheduled to open this spring. The park's new redwood round exhibit opens April 1 and stands 6-feet tall and nearly 3-feet wide. The large slice of redwood teaches children how to determine the age of a giant redwood as well as illustrates the role these trees play in protecting the environment. In May, a new honey bee exhibit provides guests a closer look at honey bees and the opportunity to learn about pollination. The butterfly exhibit, scheduled to open in late June inside the park's Monarch Garden, showcases the life of a butterfly and allows children to interact with these majestic creatures throughout various stages of life. All three exhibits will serve as educational living labs for visitors, will feature hands-on activities and will be staffed by volunteer park docents to answer questions.

"Bonfante Gardens believes in the importance of educating and inspiring families to appreciate horticulture and the importance of trees," said Bob Kraemer, Bonfante Gardens' Chairman of the Board. "This year, we are delighted to re-invest in the park and offer guests enhanced gardens and educational experiences that support our mission," added Kraemer.

For more information, visit bonfantegardens.org.

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