News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
March 24, 2011

Media Contact:
Cathy Guerra

Miami-Dade Parks Partners With Common Ground for Conservation (CGC) to Offer Expanded Environmental Education & Outreach Programs

Partnership announcement and kick-off event on March 26th at the Sense of Wonder Nature Center at A.D. Barnes Park

(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- 
The Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department is partnering with Common Ground for Conservation (CGC) to provide newly envisioned development and operation of the Sense of Wonder Nature Center at A.D. Barnes Park and the Castellow Hammock Nature Center. The partnership's aim is to offer expanded urban environmental education and programs for people of all ages. Additionally, the partnership is working to develop and implement a revitalization and managing plan for the Nature Center and Trail at A.D. Barnes Park and Castellow Hammock Park to best meet the educational and cultural needs of the Latino community. The joint efforts will create, encourage, and facilitate local community awareness and stewardship introducing new programs and events, which reflect the diverse interests of the Latino community and respond to increasing challenges to our natural environment.

"This collaboration is a wonderful opportunity that enables the Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department to expand our environmental education and outreach efforts to audiences whom a nature center may currently not be culturally accessible. This is an exciting venture for both organizations," said MDPR Director Jack Kardys.

"Our organization has proved its leadership role, capacity and experience to address the cultural and linguistic competency needed to serve and accomplish the primary purpose and goal of this partnership. We believe that our community deserves high-quality environmental education and outdoor experience opportunities that challenges them to acquire new knowledge and skills," said Mildred Real, Executive Director of the Common Ground for Conservation.

The Nature Centers premises will be the hubs for the CGC's activities and community outreach programs to involve and connect Latinos to become an environmentally literate citizenry who understand their interdependence with and responsibility to the environment.

The public is invited to join members of both organizations for the partnership announcement and kick-off event on Saturday, March 26th at 9 am at the Sense of Wonder Nature Center at A.D. Barnes Park, located at 3401 SW 72 Avenue. This event will commence the joint efforts of both organizations in restoring and co-managing the Nature Center and Trail at A.D. Barnes Park.

Also, in observance of World Water Day, thousands of people are walking to draw attention to the lack of clean drinking water in many parts of the world. As part of the IV Walk for Water and Hispanic Water Fest, the Common Ground for Conservation will be walking on Saturday to raise awareness of our responsibility to protect, valorize, use and save water resources.

About the Common Ground for Conservation (CGC):
Common Ground for Conservation is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) aimed at helping people develop the attitudes, skills, and knowledge to make informed decisions for the benefit of themselves and others, now and in the future, and to act upon these decisions to protect the human health and the environment through education, leadership and volunteerism.

About the Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department (MDPR):
Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the National Gold Medal Award, 2009 Florida Governor's Sterling Award winner for excellence in management and operations, MDPR is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 263 parks and more than 12,848 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Ericsson Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more. For information about MDPR the public can call 3-1-1 or visit


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