Urban Paradise Guild protects public environmental resources through policy. These are examples.
Fracking (2016): We have led the Miami movement to ban fracking in Miami-Dade County, and to to ban fracking in Florida. UPG brought together a coalition of Miami organizations to inform the Miami community about the dangers of fracking, organizing rallies and calls to elected officials, and consulting on anti-fracking legislation.
* On a state level, UPG was part of the Floridians Against Fracking Coalition to fight the bills that would legalize fracking.
Results: Stopped SB318 in the Florida Senate.
* Miami: Worked to improve the local ban ordinance, identifying areas for improvement. Collected more than 1600 petition signatures.
Results: Fracking was banned in Miami-Dade.
Virgnia Key (2008-2016): UPG was a leader in the coalition that stopped privatization.
Results: We designed the Charrette that created the Consesus which became the now official Consensus Master Plan for Virginia Key. It was used in 2016 to stop a development RFP which would have violated the Plan.
Our steady stream of communication keeps the public informed and and directly engaged in policy issues.
This is a key way we hope to create a more sustainable future for Miami.
UPG Amelia Garden Center & Agriculture
At Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah, UPG has a dedicated Garden Center. It will eventually provide Family Gardens to 300+ low-income families. Projects include Gardening, Nursery, Urban Forestry. Volunteers primarily work on Veggie Gardens and Nursery, but may plant Food Forest, Upland Habitats, or Butterfly Habitats!
Experiential education is embedded in all our programs.
Urban Forestry, Coastal Resilience, Butterfly Habitats & Nursery
UPG creates, restores and protects habitats for wildlife and people who enjoy it!
UPG developed Organic Stewardship methods and strategies to remove & control invasive exotic plants and trees without herbicide. Habitat Rescue is extreme intervention to remove infestations of exotics.
Oleta (since 2008)
Planted 8,000 mangroves which are now 12'-15' tall. Transitional slope plantings of about 10,000 prevent erosion and provide habitat.
Maritime Hammock: ~2.5 acres planted with 4,200 natives since 2010, protected from Burma Reed and other invasives.
Vizcaya (since 2010)
UPG invested massive hours to Habitat Rescue the Hammocks being overwhelmed by invasives.
Village Hammock is largely native; operations shifted to followup.
Vizcaya Hammock is now being cleared.
UPG Created new Pine Rocklands (one of the world's most Endangered ecosystems).
Wildflowers & butterflies are abundant, endangered plants are thriving. Our model is now used by Vizcaya as proof-of-concept for planning new spaces.
Amelia (since 2011)
We planted Hammock within the Mountain Bike Trails. Burma Reed has been eliminated. Native trees are in some cases 15' tall, providing shade to bikers.
Nursery (since 2008)
UPG operates nurseries to provide plants and trees for our projects at no cost.
Biodiversity is unmatched by for-profit nurseries. The Heirloom Tree Initiative draws on the Old Growth Vizcaya Hammock for unique, often National Record trees for their seedlings.
Experiential Education + Groups
Award-winning Experiential Education is integrated into all UPG projects at all UPG locations. UPG works with individual volunteers and Service-Learners, groups from schools, colleges, community organization and corporations. UPG shows them how to get their hands dirty and help change the world through environmental action.
In addition to training volunteers in the technical skills for a project, we also use the experience to teach them why their work matters and how it fits into the larger strategy. Teachable moments provide abundant opportunities as well.
We have a collaboration with a local Montessori School, teaching Forestry and Gardening to preschool children.
UPG has been recognized three times by Miami Dade College as Community Partner of the Year for Service-Learning.
Trails for Walking, Nature, Biking, Transit; Urban Planning
All UPG Locations incorporate trails that allow the public to experience nature in new ways.
Oleta: Walking, Nature, Biking
Arch Creek East: Walking, Nature, Biking
Amelia: Mountain Biking, Walking
Vizcaya: Walking, Nature
Matheson: Walking, Nature, Biking
Urban Planning: UPG has provided design and consulting services to the community at UPG locations, and to a variety of projects from Kendall to North Miami.