Posted on 10. Dec, 2012 by Howard Salus in Eco Tourism, Education, Environment, Everglades, featured, Florida News, Green Events
Redland Tropical Gardens “Seeds” Community-Based Tourism in South Dade
Homestead, Fl-On Wednesday, November 15, 2012, at 6:00 PM, the first community-based tourism workforce educational program awarded “Certificates of Completion” signed by both Redland Tropical Gardens and partner Miami-Dade College Homestead’s School of Continuing Education and Professional Development during a reception hosted by Mr. Mark Bell owner of Hotel Redland to seed South Dade, as a natural and cultural heritage tourism destination. These uniquely educated tour guides were trained in nature based tourism covering agriculture in our most diverse Redland ( our cultivated area) as well as both national parks (our wilderness with their unique ecosystems), while being polished to Host International Visitors through cooperation of the Greater Miami Host Committee.
This is Phase One of a two year South Dade Smart Growth/Sustainable Communities Project, established by Redland Tropical Gardens (DBA) a State of Florida nonprofit 501(c)(3) listed as Redland Tropical Gardens & Botanical Foundation, Inc. These initiatives will serve as a vision to bridge man and nature by connecting yesterday, today and tomorrow (at the same time embrassing multicultural indigenous individuals seeking harmony, economic and social vitality, with long term sustainability). This project will enhance the quality of life for residents in all CRA areas where poverty rates are a staggering 44% well above the county’s 14% average. While assisting to promote the 2013 City of Homestead Centennial, and 2014 Florida City Centennial while prparing for tourism by green restoration, a plan for a green economic generator.
Please join us by reserving your seats for Redland Tropical Gardens, Tropical Cornucopia Tours, presenting a special “Home for the Holidays Historic Tour” in cooperation with the “Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum” on Saturday, December 15th for $10.00 each. You will meet our charming Certified Tour Guides and spend one hour on a bus tour, where you will receive a booklet celebrating Homesteads Centennial, “Homestead Then and Now”.
On your return to the museum you will be provided with Holiday Refreshments and a walking tour inside the museum guided by Director Ruth Campbell. Tours depart 10:00AM, 11:00AM, 12:00PM, 1:00PM, 2:00PM, 3:00PM, 4:00PM (final tour). Please call Redland Tropical Gardens 305-247-2016 for reservations or pay on line at paypal.com you may view our website, theredland.org
Posted on 01. Mar, 2012 by Howard Salus in Eco Tourism, Education, Environment, Everglades, featured, Florida News, Global News
Everglades Education Program Celebrates 40th Anniversary
By Don Finefrock
Julie Callaway took a class of fourth-grade students from Florida City Elementary on a field trip last year to Everglades National Park. Although the students
attend school just a few miles from the park, most had never been to theEverglades. “We had an amazing time,” the teacher told park rangers. “This was an especially meaningful trip for our students as they come from a community which is not well-off financially. Most of them had never been to theEverglades.”
The National Park Service has been introducing kids to the Everglades since 1971 with education programs that inspire students to learn through exploration and to
think about the world around them and the variety of life that exists in South Florida.
Everglades National Park is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its environmental
education program this school year by honoring the teachers who have
contributed so greatly to its success, including retired teacher Gwen Nelson, an
early participant in the camping program, and her daughter Paula Nelson-Shokar,
a reluctant camper who grew up to be a full-time teacher and part-time ranger.
Nelson-Shokar now leads her own students on camping trips in the park.
The Everglades Education Program was launched in 1971 as a pilot project that brought inner-city students to Shark Valley for the day. The response was overwhelming. More than 1,230 students from 27 schools participated that first year.
“The children considered this trip the highlight of the school year and have not stopped talking about it,” one teacher wrote. The park responded by scheduling more day programs in 1972 and by adding camping trips in 1973.
Today the program is widely regarded as a model within the National Park Service with a dedicated staff of park rangers, a loyal following of teachers and tens of thousands of alumni scattered acrossSouth Florida.
Since the program began, more than 380,000 students and teachers have explored the Everglades on field trips. This year alone, the program will welcome 13,000 students and teachers from 100 schools to the park. Most of those students attend classes in Miami-Dade, but the program reaches students in seven other counties as well, including Broward,Palm Beach and Monroe.
All of the programs offered by the park are curriculum-based and teachers are required to attend workshops before they can bring students to the park. Perhaps most importantly, the programs are offered free of charge. That allows the park to successfully reach students from all major demographic groups in South Florida. Hispanic students make up approximately 65% of enrollment, non-Hispanic white students 16%, African-American 14% and Haitian-American 3%.
The park’s education staff and teachers like Gwen Nelson deserve much of the credit for the program’s success. Everglades Superintendent Dan Kimball and his staff deserve credit as well for their commitment to the program despite tighter budgets.
NPS continues to commit scarce resources to environmental education in South
Florida, but the truth is the park can no longer afford to provide programs without outside support.
A number of donors have stepped up to support the program, most notably Toyota, which donated $1 million and five vehicles in 2007. Wells Fargo, the Peacock Foundation, The Miami Foundation and the Everglades Foundation have provided support as well, allowing the park to offer a full slate of programs throughout the school year.
By supporting Everglades education, each of these organizations is investing in the future of South Florida and the fate of the Everglades itself. The
multi-billion dollar effort to restore the Everglades will require a constituency of support among the next generation. Teaching kids the value of this unique ecosystem is a first step.
The education program at EvergladesNational Parkrepresents an investment
in our children, and our future. We believe this program deserves the full
support of theSouth Florida community.
Note: The pictures shown are of students from Florida City Elementary on a field trip to Shark Valley in Everglades National Park in January 2012.
Don Finefrock is the executive director of the South Florida National Parks Trust, a not-for-profit organization that supports South Florida’s four national parks through fundraising and community outreach.
Posted on 01. Sep, 2011 by Howard Salus in Education, Environment, Everglades, featured, Florida News
Debate on Everglades drilling revived by Bachmann
In this photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011, grass and water are shown in the Florida Everglades. A seemingly door-shut debate over expanding Everglades oil drilling was singlehandedly reignited by Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, when the Minnesota congresswoman said this week she’d be open to the idea. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Photo by TRISTAN SPINSKI
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann addresses members of the press in the parking lot of Calistoga Bakery Cafe in Naples on Monday, Aug. 29, 2011. After ordering a cappuccino, an omelet and a pastry, Bachmann stood next to her husband, Marcus Bachmann, and addressed a small crowd of her supporters before departing for Miami. Tristan Spinski/Staff
EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK, Fla. (AP) — Out here, in the middle of the swamp, dragonflies circle and egrets glide above. When the airboat stops, a blissful quiet falls over Florida’s Everglades, little more than the sound of gentle raindrops landing on still waters pierced by sawgrass.
It is a one-of-a-kind place known for alligators, marshland and mangroves. But could it be known instead for tankers, rigs and oilmen?
A seemingly door-shut debate over expanding Everglades oil drilling was singlehandedly reignited by Republican presidential candidateMichele Bachmann, when the Minnesota congresswoman said this week she’d be open to the idea. Though few expect her comments to amount to any actual U.S. policy shift and the amount of oil is not enormous, they have become the topic du jour among environmentalists and others who revere this place known as the “River of Grass.”
If drilling sounds like an odd fit for this natural wonder, perhaps it shouldn’t. It’s been going on in the Everglades for decades.
Posted on 14. Jun, 2011 by Howard Salus in Environment, Everglades, featured, Florida News
EPA will wait for Florida to adopt pollution limits before withdrawing federal standards
Bruce Ritchie, 06/13/2011 – 06:53 PM
Wakulla River. Photo Credit: pellis
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Monday told Florida that it won’t take action on the state’s request to withdraw federal water quality standards until after it reviews Florida’s proposed standards.
And that will require the state to adopt them, as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has proposed doing in early 2012.
DEP and Gov. Rick Scott on April 22 petitioned EPA to withdraw its new limits — called numeric nutrient criteria — on nitrogen and phosphorus in lakes, streams and rivers. Industry groups and utilities say the limits will cost billions of dollars to meet but EPA and environmental groups have disagreed.