Coral Gables Garden Club Inspires Residents And Students To Get Involved With Environmental Projects

Official Press Release of the Coral Gables Garden Club

In 2013, the Coral Gables Garden Club began its journey to assist in restoring the Florida coastline by raising and planting Mangrove Propagules. The club understands the importance of mangroves’ natural infrastructure by creating a first line of defense from severe weather, reducing erosion, creating a natural water filtration system, and creating a healthy ecosystem for our marine and wildlife.

 Members took home mangrove propagules donated by the FIU Institute of Environment and kept them on their kitchen windowsills for several months until they were big enough with a healthy root system to be planted. The club planted 300 pups in the bay and won the National Garden Club’s First Place Award for the 2013-2015 theme “Making a Difference” for this project. They also won the Project of the Year Award from the Miami Dade Council of Garden Club Presidents. 

Little did they know how easy it was to harvest Mangroves until member Commissioner Rhonda Anderson joined the club in 2019 and has now been responsible for raising over 2,500 mangroves with club members and have been re-introduced into the coastline by the club’s partners  MangGear and We Are Forces of Nature. Commissioner Anderson, the club’s Environmental chair, is making a difference with this project again.

“Our goal is to help restore the natural ecosystem needed to support fisheries, birds, and butterflies, remove pollution from waterways, and protect shorelines from storm surge.  Clean waterways are critical to prevent fish kills, maintain property values and support South Florida’s tourist industry,” said Commissioner Anderson.

Last Fall, Coral Gables Garden Club President Susan Rodriguez, and the Commissioner met with Eco-Artist Xavier Cortado and planted mangroves with UM students interested in protecting our natural resources on the waterway that runs through the campus.

February 13th Rhonda met with several club members and boys from the Columbus high school track team to collect mangrove pups at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, which is a treasure trove for red mangrove propagules and black and white mangrove seedlings, then went to the temporary nursery they have set up behind the Boy Scout clubhouse on South Greenway to plant the mangrove seedlings. “This project is ongoing and engages our club as well as supportive residents seeking to support our environmental initiatives and students seeking community service hours,” explains Susan Rodriguez. To learn more about the mangrove project, click this link.

The Coral Gables Garden Club is a 501c-3 not-for-profit organization comprised entirely of volunteers.  For the Club to continue doing these types of environmental and conservation projects, the Club has to fundraise.  The biggest fundraiser is Friday, March 10th, the Fashions & Florals Spring Luncheon at the Biltmore Hotel.  If you want to support the Club and/or purchase a ticket, click on this link, Fashions & Florals.


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