Environment & Public Space

Family Programs at Fairchild

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Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden offers several innovative programs to engage children, families and the community in the exploration of the world of tropical plants and ecosystems. These fun, interdisciplinary, and interactive experiences focus on a diversity of themes including edible gardening, plant and pollinator relationships, biodiversity as well as habitat and resource conservation in South Florida and beyond! Through these programs, children have the opportunity to become ‘young botanists’ while also learning about the relationship between people, plants and the environment, and the importance of making healthy, sustainable lifestyle choices. In September 2014, Fairchild began offering ‘ Let’s Explore at Fairchild (LEAF)’, a free program for children of all ages, consisting of unique themed activity stations conducted by Fairchild staff and trained volunteers. The LEAF program is offered two weekends each month with new activities each time. Children and their families have the option to rotate through various stations where they explore, create, play, plant, and learn through a variety of educational projects, games, crafts, worksheets and more! Families also have the opportunity to check out a self-guided backpack which they can use in the Garden to supplement their ecological learning experience; backpack options include a bird program, local ecosystems exploration, and a botanical scavenger hunt of different habitats in the Garden. We are seeking funding to support the continuation and expansion of this free program, including staff support and program supplies that are required to implement and improve it.

Who are you?

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden's mission is to save tropical plant diversity by exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

How does this project impact the issue you selected?

Family programs educate children and families about the importance of local plants and ecosystems, and their role in conservation and sustainability. Engaging children in a positive experience in nature is a crucial step to making Miami a more sustainable urban environment. While planting an edible garden, making a recycled craft, providing habitat for pollinators, or meeting a real scientist, these programs provide tools, instruction and inspiration to apply in their homes.

What data points from The Our Miami Report does your project address?

Family programs at Fairchild will directly advance environmentally sustainable practices in Miami-Dade. Designed to educate and inspire families to recognize the importance of local ecosystems and their direct impact on conservation and sustainability, programs offer hands-on activities in recycling, gardening and promoting native ecosystems. Families leave with an improved appreciation for sustainable practices.

Please give examples of your project's success.

Family Programs at Fairchild are offered to 45,000 members and 300,000 visitors on an annual basis. Since this program began in September 2014, approximately 200 South Florida families have participated on a monthly basis, with an increasing number of repeat participants. Verbal feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and demand for additional programming is evident. A written survey is under development to formally incorporate feedback into future expansion.

Organization Name (or individuals name) Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

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Idea No. 125