News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
May 23, 2014
Media Contact:
Edith Torres

Bug vs. Wild: Air Potato Vine-Eating Beetle to be reared in first ever Student-Run Lab

Dedication Ceremony Scheduled for May 28, at 12:20 p.m. with Miami-Dade County Commissioner Senator Javier D. Souto and Representatives from State Farm, Miami-Dade Parks, USDA and TERRA Students and Faculty

(MIAMI, May 23, 2014) — The only student-run Lilioceris cheni (Lili) beetle-rearing lab facility in the United States will be unveiled on Wednesday, May 28, at 12:20 p.m. at TERRA Environmental Research Institute (TERRA) with a plan to breed the bug to combat the invasive Air Potato vine plaguing parks and neighborhood yards throughout South Florida and the state.  The USDA Agricultural Research Service, Invasive Plant Research Laboratory (USDA) in Fort Lauderdale, FL will provide the “Adam” and “Eve” initial starter beetles as part of a part of a partnership between, Miami-Dade Parks’ Natural Area Management Division, USDA and TERRA and made possible by a $31,240 grant from State Farm Youth Advisory Board (YAB) to the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade.  Miami-Dade County District 10 Commissioner Javier D. Souto will lead the dedication ceremony.

WHAT:  Vine-Eating Beetle Student-Run Lab Dedication

WHEN: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at 12:20 p.m.

WHERE: TERRA Environmental Research Institute 11005 Southwest 84th Street

WHO: Miami-Dade County District 10 Commissioner Javier D. Souto, plus representatives from State Farm, Miami-Dade Parks and TERRA high school students and faculty

About State Farm®

State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit or in Canada

About TERRA Environmental Research Institute

Affectionately known as the “Green School,” TERRA Environmental Research Institute is truly an extraordinary school. Housed in a brand new Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)-certified building, our classrooms are equipped with the latest technological equipment such as multiple computer labs, Promethean boards, classroom surround sound systems, greenhouses, and state-of-the-art research laboratories. Inspired by global environmental conservation initiatives and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) National programs, TERRA opened its doors in the fall of 2009 and was established in the community as a sanctuary of academic excellence and environmental stewardship. Our students are taught by highly trained and committed teachers who are well-versed in concerns that currently plague our planet. TERRA’s students lead advanced scientific research projects in using multidisciplinary approaches and establishing connections between their research and the community through complex active service learning.  

About Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department

Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award, winner of the 2013 Florida Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award and the 2009 Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 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 Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For information about Miami-Dade County Parks call 3-1-1, or visit

About The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade

The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that supports the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department’s effort to further develop Miami-Dade County’s world-class parks system for residents and visitors.  Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.  For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit