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For Immediate Release:
May 26, 2015
Media Contact:
Patrice Gillespie Smith
[email protected]

Miami Gardens growing greener with new "S.H.A.D.E." project
"Green Life Matters" campaign advances Million Trees Miami

(MIAMI, May 26, 2015) — On Saturday, May 30, 100 new trees will be planted in the municipality of Miami Gardens as the result of the new “S.H.A.D.E.” (Shaping Healthy, Active, Deep-rooted, Environments) project funded by “Partners for Places” – an initiative of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities and the Health Foundation of South Florida’s Healthy Community Partnership program. Other partners include: Neat Streets Miami, Million Trees Miami; Miami-Dade County; City of Miami Gardens’ “Keep Miami Gardens Beautiful” program; and Citizens for a Better South Florida. The S.H.A.D.E project was created to expand the tree canopy to ultimately encourage increased physical activity in the communities of Miami Gardens and Little Havana. The trees in Miami Gardens planted on Saturday will help shade a multi-use path that connects a school with a park.

The S.H.A.D.E. tree planting will start at 7 a.m., at NW 42nd Ave. and NW 175th St. Volunteers will learn how to plant trees from experts. Miami-Dade County officials and staff will be present. Event goers are encouraged to bring along gardening gloves and gardening tools and wear a hat and sunscreen to be a part of this wonderful activity.

For more information, the public can contact Patrice Gillespie Smith at 305 755-7801 or [email protected].

“Thanks to our generous community partners, public spaces in Miami Gardens are being beautified and revitalized, as part of the greater vision of Miami-Dade’s GreenPrint initiative, which shares Million Trees Miami’s goal of greening and nourishing our landscapes,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Tree-lined streets and paths foster a greater sense of pride in community and are making ours a great place to live, walk and play.”

“My district is thrilled to team up with Million Trees Miami, the City of Miami Gardens and all of their partners to get more trees in the ground,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Barbara Jordan, District 1. “We hope to see lots of neighbors out planting and enhancing our community on Saturday, May 30.”

“The well-being of residents and their neighborhoods is an important goal of the Partners for Places grant program. We are proud that a Partner for Places award is helping our very own Miami-Dade County to green its neighborhoods and give residents safe, shaded places to play and exercise,” said Ben Starrett, Executive Director of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities.

“The planting of 100 new trees in Miami Gardens isn’t just about beautification,” said City of Miami Gardens Mayor, Oliver Gilbert. “It is an important element of creating outdoor environments that support physical activity.”

“By increasing physical activity among residents in Little Havana and Miami Gardens, our Living Healthy Initiative aims to help all Floridians achieve a healthy weight,” said Health Foundation of South Florida President & CEO Steven Marcus, Ed.D. He added, “We have always known an environment which includes trees and greenery for shade influences physical activity.”

Partners for Places is a successful matching grant program that improves U.S. and Canadian communities by building partnerships between local government sustainability leaders and place-based foundations. National funders invest in local projects developed through these partnerships to promote a healthy environment, a strong economy and a better well-being for all residents.

The Health Foundation of South Florida’s Healthy Community Partnerships initiative was launched last year to encourage residents to increase physical activity in a shaded, more conducive to exercise environment. Through sustainable, evidence-based strategies, they seek to improve the health and well-being of residents in communities.

About the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities
The Funders’ Network exists to inspire, strengthen and expand funding and philanthropic leadership that yield environmentally sustainable, socially equitable, and economically prosperous regions and communities. The vision of the Funders' Network is to be the leading resource in philanthropy for interdisciplinary and transformative thinking and action that gives all people the opportunity to live in more environmentally sustainable, socially equitable and economically prosperous regions and communities.

About The Urban Sustainability Directors Network
The Urban Sustainability Directors Network is a North American peer-to-peer network of 100 plus municipal sustainability directors who support each other in advancing the practice of urban sustainability.

About Health Foundation of South Florida
Health Foundation of South Florida, a nonprofit grantmaking organization, is dedicated to improving health in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties. By advancing health solutions, the Foundation makes a measurable and sustainable impact in ensuring access to affordable, quality health services for all residents. Since 1993, the Foundation awarded more than $106 million in grants and program support. For more information, please call 305-374-7200 or see their website,

About Million Trees Miami and Neat Streets Miami
The Million Trees Miami Campaign is a community-wide effort to plant one million trees by 2020 in order to achieve a 30 percent tree canopy cover for Miami-Dade County. Launched by Neat Streets Miami, this campaign promotes a healthy and sustainable urban forest to achieve social, economic and environmental benefits. To find out how to participate in the campaign, visit the Million Trees Miami website.

Neat Streets Miami is a multi-jurisdictional board dedicated to the maintenance and beautification of Miami-Dade’s transportation corridors, gateways and connections. For more information, visit the Neat Streets Miami website