BONITA SPRINGS (Sept. 14, 2015) – Everglades Wonder Gardens at 27180 Old 41 Road in Bonita Springs launches its new monthly Lunch and Learn Lecture series with “A Pirates Life for Me” from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 7. Pirate Johnny Silver, the stage name for John Paeno, owner of Calusa Ghost Tours and CGT Kayaks, in costume will regale guests with stories about historical piracy in Southwest Florida from 1600 to 1750, the period of Black Beard, Calico Jack, Ann Bonnie and Captain Kidd. He will also discuss the life of the Calusa Indians. The lecture is free with Everglades Wonder Gardens membership or admission of $12 for adults 13-­64, $10 for seniors 65 and older, and $7 for children 3­-12. Bring your own lunch. Seating is on a first come, first served basis for the 42 seats on the Picnic Grove benches. Weather permitting. For more information, call 992­-2591.

Paeno has worked in management and interpretive programs for the New York State Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Florida Museum of Natural History’s Randell Research Center. He recently portrayed Spanish officer Captain De Renoso in a documentary about Mound Key and had a roll in the independent film Bonnie Pureheart and the Golden Ghost.

On the first Wednesday of the month from October through April, Everglades Wonder Gardens now offers Lunch and Learn Lectures on various botanical, animal, historical and conservation topics presented by guest lecturers. Check and for upcoming lectures.

Everglades Wonder Gardens is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The 3.5­-acre botanical jungle features exhibits of tropical birds and reptiles. Highlights include a flamingo pond, alligator pool with 37 gators, duck ponds, aviary, turtle and tortoise exhibits, butterfly garden, bromeliad garden, orchid trail, and gift shop. Admission is $12 for adults 13­-64, $10 for seniors 65 and older, and $7 for children 3­-12. For more information, call 992­-2591 or visit

For more information about John Paeno or CGT Kayaks, visit or call 239-221-8218.