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  • A.G. Smith

100 Trees planted in Miami Gardens

Live Healthy Miami Gardens teamed up with the Shaping Healthy Active Deep-Rooted Environments project, S.H.A.D.E, and the Million Trees Miami campaign of Neat Streets Miami advisory board to plant 100 trees on 42 Ave. from 171 St. to 175 St.

“The City of Miami Gardens has always been a partner and has always been at the forefront in helping us make this community a very better community,” said Miami-Dade County commissioner Dennis C. Moss.

A bricked walking path runs along the canal on 42 Ave. Early Saturday morning, volunteers removed trees from their encasing, placed them into the ground and filled the holes with soil and covered the newly planted trees in mulch to surround the bottom of the barks.

“When I ran for office, one of my themes was we’re going to build this community one neighbor at a time and this project here is showing that we’re actually doing that. So I’m very excited about that,” said Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Felicia Robinson.

The S.H.A.D.E project’s goal is to increase the tree canopy to encourage residents to exercise.

“Research indicates that when there’s more shade people are more willing to walk, exercise and spend time outdoors reducing the risk of obesity and skin cancer [due to the shade]. There are also the psychological benefits of relieving stress,” said Gloria Antia, the director for Citizens for a Better South Florida, their mission is to provide environmental education.

Volunteers planted mahogany, oak, buttonwood and wild tamarind trees to shade the bricked walk way. Young volunteers decorated wooden signs with the names of the newly planted trees.

“This is our way to engage the youth and to also have them take ownership of these very important trees and have them understand why we’re doing this today,” said Live Healthy Miami Gardens program director, Thamara Labrousse.

The trees are natives to Florida that adapt well to the environment and require fewer resources such as watering. The mahogany and the wild tamarind are large trees that will increase the shade canopy.

Partners for Places, an initiative of the Funder’s network for smart growth and livable communities, and the Health Foundation of South Florida Healthy Community partnership program fund the S.H.A.D.E project.

The Live Healthy Miami Gardens organization is a partnership between the Health Foundation of South Florida and the City of Miami Gardens. Million Trees Miami has a goal to plant 100 trees in Miami by 2020 to achieve 30 percent tree canopy for Miami-Dade County.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency website,, the shade from trees and vegetation lowers the surface and air temperature through evapotranspiration. Evapotranspiration is when plants release water vapor through evaporation and transpiration. Transpiration is the evaporation, the transformation of water to gas, of water through plant leaves.

“Having trees are our best hope for slowing down climate change. That’s why it’s so important that everybody plant trees and they know how to plant them properly,” said Joy Klein, arborist for the Miami-Dade County division of environmental resource management.

Miami Gardens Councilman David Williams and Miami-Dade County Commissioner Dennis C. Moss

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