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Our History

FNCC: Infused With Our Mentor’s Heart

Photo by Gerry Hall.

On June 19, 1996, during what was to become Ikeda Sensei’s last visit to America, the SGI-USA Florida Nature and Culture Center (FNCC), in Weston, Florida, opened.

Nestled on 125 acres of restored wetlands at the edge of the Everglades, the FNCC is the site of various SGI-USA conferences held throughout the year for each divisional, auxiliary and language group.

Equipped with an auditorium, conference rooms, gymnasium and several dormitories, it was designed to be a place where members can freely chant daimoku, deepen their vow and make heartfelt connections.

Other features include: the 20-acre Toda Lake with Makiguchi Fountain, which is most beautiful at sunrise, the “Humanism of the Lotus Sutra” exhibit exploring the profound history of Buddhism and, most recently, the new “Daisaku Ikeda and America” exhibit that opened on Jan. 20 this year.[1]

The origin of FNCC—as an oasis for members across SGI-USA to gather, refresh their faith and deepen their sense of mission for kosen-rufu—can be traced three decades back.

On March 9, 1993, Sensei announced the formation of a committee to establish a nature and culture center in Florida in the near future. This announcement was published in the March 15, 1993, World Tribune, for the membership to learn about the impending retreat center.

Sensei had established nature and culture centers in other parts of the world by then. Representatives recall how Sensei had hinted at a vision for one such location in America on prior occasions, dating back to his visit to Los Angeles in February 1990.

Toward its opening, Sensei was involved in every aspect of its development—from overseeing the selection of its location and the campus’ design to thoroughly inspecting each room on his visit. It is a place born of Sensei’s vision to bring joy to the members, a place where his spirit is embedded.

On June 23, 1996, Sensei led the 21st SGI General Meeting at the newly opened FNCC, which was attended by 1,500 SGI representatives from 52 countries. In his speech, titled “Pioneer a Leadership Revolution,” he began:

I truly rejoice at the opening of this wonderful Florida Nature and Culture Center. …

Every inch of the center’s vast grounds sparkles with the members’ beautiful sincerity.[2]

The FNCC, is truly a gift directly from our mentor, a treasure of SGI-USA. To this day, his prayer for the members’ happiness is forever imbued in this campus. At the FNCC, we can all refresh the vow we share with our mentor, and live out our unique missions as Bodhisattvas of the Earth.

—Prepared by the World Tribune staff

June 21, 2024, World Tribune, p. 4


  1. See Feb. 16, 2024, World Tribune, p. 10. ↩︎
  2. My Dear Friends in America, fourth edition, p. 471. ↩︎

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