Fire Department conducts valuable training at Wilderness Country Club


Local firefighters and other first responders took advantage of a unique opportunity to train on the Wilderness Country Club’s current clubhouse, as the club plans to replace it with a brand new building.

The Greater Naples Fire Rescue District used the 48-year-old building just off Goodlette-Frank Road for search and rescue training exercises for two weeks before the structure was demolished in September.

Partnerships, like the one with the Wilderness Country Club, are important because they provide hands-on training for firefighters that would otherwise be hard to come by. Multi-agency training also helps the fire department obtain necessary certifications. A unique aspect of the Wilderness Clubhouse is that it included a basement, which is rare among Southwest Florida buildings.

“We are grateful to the Wilderness Country Club for generously donating their former clubhouse for our training exercises,” said Rusty Godette, captain, training and special operations for the Greater Naples Fire Rescue District. “The opportunity to use the old clubhouse was invaluable and allowed our team to simulate a variety of real life scenarios involving search and rescue in a controlled environment.”

The Wilderness Country Club plans to begin construction on a brand new clubhouse later this year. Designed by McWard Architects Inc. of Naples, the new two-story, 26,000-square-foot building will replace the old pavilion, which opened shortly after Wilderness was founded in 1974.

The new clubhouse will feature an Old Florida architectural style with a panoramic view of the club’s championship golf course. The building will feature an expanded outdoor dining experience, a larger bar and a new pro shop. There will also be a private Wilderness Room dedicated to small group gatherings like card games, family parties, wine tastings and other events for club members.

The interior of the new building will feature a classic island-inspired design by renowned interior designer Amanda Lindroth. With offices in Palm Beach, Charleston and Nassau, Bahamas, Lindroth has provided design services for a number of high-end residential and country club projects around the world.

“We are in the process of site development and our general contractor D. Garrett Construction expects to begin earthworks and vertical construction this fall with the new clubhouse opening to our members by the end of 2023,” said Alan Raulerson, Managing Director/Chief Operating Officer. for Wilderness Country Club. “It allows us to keep the pace to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Club in 2024.”

Set on 200 wooded acres, the Wilderness Country Club is an established community featuring an 18-hole Arthur Hills golf course and a comprehensive practice area where golfers of all skill levels can work on their game at the driving range, short game area and green. Each club member has the option to walk the course at any time of the day or take their own private golf cart, and there is never a course fee.

Other amenities include a dynamic tennis and POP tennis program and a full program of seasonal activities. Five heated, saltwater swimming pools are conveniently distributed throughout the community, which promotes social interactions for all residents as they are not separated by building.

Residents also enjoy Frank Park, a private five-acre site dedicated to the pioneering Frank family. The park features many specimen trees and shrubs from around the world as well as four Har-Tru bocce courts and a regulation-size croquet court where members can enjoy lively competition. Additionally, within the property is a dedicated dog park area where members and their four-legged friends can mingle.

Wild Country Club. has been designated as a Cooperative Audubon Sanctuary for over 20 years, making it the perfect place to photograph over 80 species of birds, including bald eagles, ospreys, white ibises, anhingas, great blue herons, red-shouldered hawks, barred owls and swallowtail kites. The lush surroundings provide an ideal location for the conservation of Southwest Florida as a safe place to return rehabilitated animals, such as turtles, hawks and owls, to their native environment.

Located on the east side of Goodlette-Frank Road, just north of Golden Gate Parkway, the Wilderness Country Club has the distinction of being the very first private, gated golf course with compulsory membership built in Naples. It is conveniently located minutes from the dining, shopping, arts and entertainment of Fifth Avenue South and the white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

For more information or to view properties available for sale in this private, gated golf course community, call the Wilderness Country Club at 239-261-6060 or visit online at


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