News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
September 12, 2016
Media Contact:
Carmen Morris


A community’s effort to thwart Zika working together with nature

MIAMI, FL – One Miami-Dade County Commissioner, a community non-profit, youth from the community, a home supply store, and a landscaping company came together to make a Miami neighborhood safer and more beautiful.  Planters in the community were broken with unkempt plants so Commissioner Xavier Suarez felt that repairing or replacing them might be a good start to healing some broken places.  “The West Grove is unique in its beauty and history.  The planters invoke Coconut Grove’s lush, tropical past, present and future.”

Commissioner Suarez reached out and established a winning community partnership.  The Coconut Grove Collaborative, Home Depot, and TENUSA Inc. answered the call.  With the Zika outbreak in many communities, the commission staff researched plants that repel mosquitoes and identified 11 plants to place with the flowers in the planters throughout the community. Plants include: Citronella, Lemon Balm or Horsemint, Catnip, Marigolds, Basil (lemon or cinnamon), Lavender, Peppermint, Garlic, Pennyroyal, Rosemary and Geranium.  

Home Depot donated materials, tools, mosquito repellant plants, and manpower.  TENUSA Inc. donated flowers and manpower.  The Collaborative got Coconut Grove youth involved and assisted with getting members of the community to adopt planters for maintaining.  Comm. Suarez and Commissioner Ken Russell (City of Miami) provided manpower.  Side by side the partners worked under the hot and grueling summer sun mixing cement, mixing paint, and setting the planters. Then the deed was done:  Repairing and replacing the planters for nature’s beauty.  Now mosquito repellant plants are being added for natural mosquito prevention.

Members of the community:  Individuals, churches and businesses have volunteered to adopt a planter for the upkeep.  “This initiative gave a positive lift to our community, marking the beginning of a long overdue beautification project.  The 81 planters were restored, painted and filled with beautiful flowers and now mosquito repellant plants that will bloom throughout the year. Local residents, churches, businesses and organizations are committed to pride-filled maintenance and upkeep,” said Linda Williams, Collaborative Development Corporation, Community Affairs Coordinator.

For more information, contact Carmen Morris at 305-694-3550 or Bobby Alvarez at 305-694-3514.