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Little Havana growing greener with new "S.H.A.D.E." Project

Planting of 100 street trees advances Million trees Miami

MIAMI (July 23, 2015)

On Saturday, August 1, volunteers will plant 100 trees in Little Havana 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 Health Foundation of South Florida’s Healthy Community Partnership program. Other partners include: Miami-Dade County, Neat Streets Miami, Million Trees Miami, City of Miami, and Citizens for a Better South Florida. 

S.H.A.D.E was created to expand the tree canopies in the neighborhood of Little Havana and the city of Miami Gardens, which planted their trees this past May. The goal is to encourage residents to engage in outdoor physical activities by providing more shade.

Saturday’s tree planting will start at 7:30 a.m. at Henderson Park, 971 NW 2 St., Miami.  Volunteers will learn how to plant trees from experts. City of Miami and Miami-Dade County officials and staff will be present. Participants are encouraged to bring gardening gloves and gardening tools and wear a hat and sunscreen.

“We are grateful to everyone for coming together in planting trees for the beautification and revitalization of public spaces like Little Havana, especially our S.H.A.D.E. project partners and volunteers,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Thanks to innovative public-private partnerships like this we are seeing more tree-lined streets and paths county-wide, as part of the greater vision of Miami-Dade’s GreenPrint initiative, which shares Million Trees Miami’s goal of making our community greener and greater for generations to come.”

“This tree planting project marks a major greening milestone for this neighborhood, together with the neighbors who helped choose the trees and planting sites,” said Neat Streets Miami chairman, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss, District 9. “With this investment, Little Havana residents will soon experience the life-enhancing, environmental and economic benefits of trees.”

“I am proud that my district has teamed up with Neat Streets Miami, Million Trees Miami, the City of Miami and all of their partners that helped make this special day happen,” said Miami-Dade Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, District 5. “This tree planting is an opportunity for residents to make a personal commitment to bettering the environment and neighborhood livability. I encourage everyone to come out on Saturday, August 1 and lend a helping hand.”

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

“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.

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.

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 grant making 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 over $108 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