The Atala caterpillar at Lakeside Village

The imperiled Atala butterfly

ECS studends aid in redistributing the Atala caterpillar population

Breaking News!

The University of Miami's newest LEED-Certified student community housing complex, Lakeside Village, is now home to the Atala butterfly— an imperiled species only in South Florida and the Carribean.

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 Earth Day - Tree Campus USA Volunteer in the Arboretum

ECO signs on Lake Osceola

If you stroll around the Lake Osceola now, you will discover new signs about the ecology of our historical lake. This partnership between ECO and UM Administration gives us a renewed sense of belonging and connection with our environment.
Thanks ECO Agency!

 The 6 signs are titled and themed as follows:
1) “Why do the Fish Jump?” - this sign presents a couple of competing theories about why the fish in our lake actually do jump according to Dr. DiResta and Dr. Olson
2) “Fish”- this sign gives a general overview of the fish that inhabit our lake, a very unique collection of species given that it is connected to the ocean via a series of canals!
3) “Flora”- this sign gives an overview of the various plant species such as mangroves that help comprise the Lake Osceola ecosystem
4) “Fountain”- this sign explains the scientific purpose of the fountain to aerate the lake in order to prevent anoxia
5) “Birds”- This sign gives a general overview of all of the different and unique bird species that call our lake home
6) “History”- This sign explains the fascinating history of our lake which was actually a small natural pond that was dredged in 1947 to make manmade Lake Osceola. The rock/soil material was sold to the city to build the Rickenbacker Causeway and the funds were put toward the University which was very young at the time. Mr. Tasa in University Archives was very helpful in helping me to learn about the rich history of our lake, something that I think is really cool and that our whole campus should know about!



The Gifford Arboretum is run by the Department of Biology and the Friends of the Gifford Arboretum Committee which consists of faculty, students, administrators, and community members. It is a collection of important trees and plants that have been assembled for the purposes of eduction and research. Visitors are permitted (and encouraged!) to freely visit the collection for self-guided tours, and for the guided tours and lectures that are conducted throughout the school year (please see ‘Calender’). In addition, annual events include a spring lecture by a distinguished plant scientist and a fall picnic.  To learn more about events, birds, butterflies and plants lists or to become a member, visit the Gifford John C. Arboretum



What happens at “Hug the Lake?”
Hug the Lake is a campus-wide event that will bring the University of Miami community together to celebrate Earth Day every year in April. On that day, more than 700 students, faculty, and staff will join hands singing the alma mater, encircling Lake Osceola in the center of our Coral Gables campus in a symbolic “hug,” to show their appreciation for and increase awareness about the environment.
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Established in cooperation with Fairchild Tropical Garden and the Montgomery Botanical Center, the University’s palmetum includes nearly 800 palms and cycads that are native to South Florida or represent distinct, rare, or endangered species from 38 nations. An invaluable resource for helping to ensure future generations of these spectacular plants, the palmetum is the only collection of its kind on a U.S. college campus.


Located along the Ibis Walking Trail behind Eaton Residential College, the Butterfly Garden is a living laboratory. The garden is home to some 23 different varieties of plants and attracts butterflies such as the monarch, sulfur, and brush foot, as well as the zebra longwing, Florida’s state butterfly. Learn more