Gardens

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of preserving biodiversity. You can start by creating pollinator havens for butterflies in your own backyard. Professor Terri Hood and Environmental Services Director Frances Kaniewski are both passionate about preserving biodiversity through butterflies, and will provide you with tips on how to build your own garden! Join Build Your Own Butterfly Garden on Friday, July 10 from 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Recording available here

 

Help the Sustainability Garden in the Arboretum grow!

Arboretum Sustainability GARDEN COORDINATOR HOURS: 
If you wish to volunteer at the Sustainable Garden, feel free to show up during the hours below.
For any questions, please contact: greenu@miami.edu 

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
VOLUNTEERING IS CANCELLED DUE to COVID19

 For sustainable food and plant-based diet on campus, visit miami.edu/plantbased

For Compost site schedule and volunteering opportunities, visit miami.edu/compost

THE ARBORETUM SUSTAINABILITY GARDEN
HISTORY
The Gifford Arboretum Sustainability Garden is located on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus.  Up until summer of 2018, it was a “temporary” dumping ground for tree trimmings etc. from around campus.  For almost 5 years before this, U Miami faculty and students had been campaigning for a dedicated gardening spaces for organizations and classes.  During the summer of 2018 the site was cleared and leveled.  Garden creation began in August 2018 and has been growing and beautifying since then.
          

MISSION

Overall Garden structure and vision

We have delineated two zones to date, the rock-edged perennial/food forest beds (“Sustainable Suburbia”) and the annuals-focused geometric trial beds.  Groups and classes using these are outlined below.  Our focuses and goals are multifold:

  • To promote & teach sustainable gardening practices to the next generation.
  • To specifically focus on edible gardening, gardening for wildlife, and environmentally-friendly gardening practices (e.g. reduced use of pesticides/herbicides, smart water use, etc).
  • To provide garden plots where UM organizations and classes can work on a semester-by-semester basis (Trial Beds) and for longer duration time periods (Perennial Beds).
  • Once sufficiently established, to provide community outreach.

2020

Development of the Arboretum Sustainability garden continues on multiple fronts.  In the geometric trial beds, two new projects this school year are the Square Foot Bed and the Slow Food Ark of Taste Bed.  Square foot gardening demonstrates how to grow high diversity and continuing harvest edibles in limited space; the Ark of Taste plantings focus on culturally significant historical food varieties at risk of being lost.  For the Alternate Turf project, after completion of the proof-of-concept section and plant selection trials, deployment across the entire walking surface has commenced.  The native plants used need less water, trimming and fertilizer than grass; additionally they provide multiple wildlife benefits.  In the Sustainable Suburbia perennial section, new plantings include an asparagus bed and a red/purple/yellow flowers nectar bed of pagoda flower/ruellia/native goldenrod.  Lastly, in the wall vine planters a grape arbor was built using Arboretum bamboo; two varieties of muscadine grapes are climbing the arbor and already fruiting.

Activities and Classes:

Gardening for Wildlife: Plants in the Sustainability Garden

Class activities in Spring 2020

Courses using the garden

  1. ECS 215 Intro to Urban/Suburban Green Spaces
  2. ECS 415 Research in Urban/Suburban Green Spaces
  3. ECS 515 Green Space Management
  4. INS 310/ECS 372 Global Foods: A Hands-On Approach
  5. INS 311 Global Food Policy
  6. BIL 227 Botany Lab (*starting fall 2019)
  7. Analytical courses (providing wildlife surveys, groundwater & soil analyses etc)
  8. ECS 112 Field Problems in Ecosystem Science & Policy
  9. ECS 301 Tools for Environmental Decision-Making: The Quantitative Perspective
  10. GSC 410 Environmental Geochemistry

Students and faculty came together at UM’s annual Food Day to highlight the need for sustainable, locally-sourced food.  With the world’s population rising and climate change putting pressure on worldwide food security, we must take immediate action! But how can we eat fresh and sustainably in the 305? Does growing your own food seem too good to be true? UM’s Food Garden in the arboretum is available to everyone and is a fantastic way to get involved on campus.  Take the first step toward a plant-based diet, not only for your health, but for the health of the planet.   Please contact greenu@miami.edu for more information!

Read this News@theU article:  Gardening for greater awareness

Professor and students tend to garden

We (faculty and students) are particularly excited about our mission to recycle/upcycle materials normally deemed “difficult”.  We have a major focus on recycling materials that would normally be tossed, in our case to build naturally fertile soils that not only reduce external inputs (e.g. ‘mined’ soils & artificial fertilizers), but also support a diverse and healthy soil community.  Some of our soil-building materials are:

  • Ramial wood gathered from the adjacent arboretum (used instead of store-bought mulch)
  • Newspapers from the UM library (as moisture-retaining base directly above limestone)
  • Coffee grounds from on-campus Starbucks
  • Banana peels from selected Wednesday on-campus Farmer’s market stalls (good source of K)
  • Rabbit manure & bedding from a local house-rabbit rescue/adoption/education center (H.A.R.E.)
  • Seaweed from local beaches (provides a multitude of micronutrients)
  • Worm castings from experimental setups in Biology
    

COMPOST DROP OFF HOURS
THE COMPOST SITE WILL BE CLOSED until further notice.
Composting is limited to individuals awarded an "ECO Sponsored" bucket.
ONLY BRING COMPOST WHEN A COMPOST MANAGER IS ON-SITE and FOLLOW the INSTRUCTIONS ON YOUR BUCKET! For approved buckets, here are the composting drop off hours:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
THE COMPOST SITE WILL BE CLOSED until further notice.
Compost manager training video 
More information about composting in Miami Dade here.

 

Coffee Grounds 4 Plants helps the Sustainable Food Garden in the Gifford Arboretum

  

OTHER GARDENS

Garden club on the Coral Gables campus
Join the CommUnity Garden Club, located in front the School of Architecture's main entrance. To learn how you can get involved and help growing more local delicious produces, visit CommUnity Garden on Facebook. Check this video

RSMAS
If you are studying or working on the RSMAS campus, and you would like to be involved in the making of the new Green Committee Garden, contact Kayla Besong at kayla.besong@rsmas.miami.edu 
BUTTERFLY GARDENS at Miller

 

Visit this amazing Real Food map project from Dr. Shouraseni's GIS class, Derek Vildosola


2018

 

For more Community Gardens in South East Florida, visit local community gardens