Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ecotourism - Trees at Fairchild Tropical Gardena Miami Florida

By Liliana Usvat
Blog 142-365


Every garden starts with a passion for plants  and a desire to conserve  the beauty and diversity of the nature. The  Fairchild Tropical Garden was established in 1936 by Robert H. Montgomery (1872–1953), an accountant, attorney, and businessman with a passion for plant-collecting.

The garden opened to the public in 1938. It was named after his good friend David Fairchild (1869–1954), one of the great plant explorers. Dr. Fairchild's extensive travels brought many important plants to the United States, including mangos, alfalfa, nectarines, dates, horseradish, bamboos and flowering cherries.
David Fairchild retired to Miami in 1935, but many plants still growing in the Garden were collected and planted by Dr. Fairchild, including a giant African baobab tree.
With the guidance of an influential circle of friends, Montgomery pursued the dream of creating a botanical garden in Miami. He purchased the site, named it after Dr. Fairchild.

The Garden

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, is one of the world’s most unique botanical gardens.
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a 83-acre (34 ha) botanic garden, with extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palms, cycads, flowering trees and vines. It is located in metropolitan Miami, just south of Coral Gables, Florida, United States, surrounded at the south and west by Matheson Hammock Park.
Fairchild opened to the public in 1938.

The garden was designed by landscape architect William Lyman Phillips, a leading landscape designer in South Florida during the 1930s.
The first 15 years saw the construction of its primary buildings and landscape features, including the Montgomery Palmetum, Bailey Palm Glade, Allee and Overlook, Vine Pergola, Amphitheatre, Gate House, Montgomery Library and Museum, 14 artificial  lakes, stone terracing walls, irrigation systems, Moos Sunken Garden, and Nell Montgomery Garden House auditorium.

The semi-recent addition of a butterfly conservatory  added another reason to enjoy the garden.
Fairchild scientists are conserving tropical plants, hoping to avoid the extinction of species and their habitats. 

With active partnerships with area colleges (including Florida International University, University of Miami, Miami Dade College, and University of Florida) Fairchild trains graduate and postdoctoral students.
Fairchild is dedicated to exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants, having one of  the world’s greatest living collection of palms and cycads. . Currently Fairchild has field programs in over 20 countries including support to protected areas in Madagascar and Africa and botanic garden development and renovation projects in South and Central America, the Caribbean and the Middle East.
Fairchild plays many roles, including museum, laboratory, learning center and conservation research facility, but its greatest role is preserving biodiversity, which the garden’s scientists, staff and volunteers all contribute to on a daily basis. In 2012, Fairchild also became the home of the American Orchid Society.
Events and Exhibitions
Since 2003 Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has sponsored a series of exhibits by artists.
Throughout the year the garden hosts a series of seasonal weekend festivals ranging from the International Chocolate Festival, the International Mango Festival, the Butterfly Festival, the Bird Festival, the Orchid Festival,
the Ramble, the Food and Garden Festival and the Edible Garden Festival


Fairchild Tropical Gardens is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road in Coral Gables Florida USA.
Fairchild is open 364 days a year (they close on Christmas) from 9:30AM until 5:00PM.

If you want to see in person just how beautiful tree ferns are, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden has many on display, including the Australian tree fern ( Cyathea cooperi), Hawaiian tree fern (Cibotium glaucom), Mexican tree fern (C. schiedei), Caribbean tree fern (Cyathea arborea) and the rare native Florida tree fern (Ctenitis sloanei).

Here I found  about a  initiative that is good to follow by other cities countries and organizations.
 "Alliance for Community trees"
They state: "Every neighborhood deserves the benefits of trees: cleaner air, safer streets and healthier residents. NeighborWoods envisions a future where all people live in communities with tree-lined streets, shaded parks and public spaces, and full-canopied neighborhoods."

Alliance for Community Trees launched the NeighborWoods program in 2005 as a national initiative to support local tree-planting organizations and their efforts to make neighborhoods cleaner, greener and healthier. NeighborWoods has since delivered over $1.2 million in grants to local nonprofits.

A signature NeighborWoods grant program supported strategic tree planting to improve the health and livability of affordable housing communities. And I saw the result in Miami close to the Park. It is beautiful.

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