Dozens of volunteers from a coalition of South Florida Environmental Groups will be working to Clean-Up and Preserve the Biggest Pine Rocklands Habitat outside of Everglades National Park Saturday June 27th.
The focus of the Rally will be Miami-Dade’s “Larry & Penny Thompson Park” which is the target of arsonists’ attacks the past several months which have burned out dozens of acres of Pine Rocklands. They’ve also exposed years’ of garbage illegally dumped there.The Richmond Pine Rocklands are a globally imperiled habitat home to dozens of Federally Protected plants and animals. Much of it is now designated Critically Endangered Habitat under the U-S Endangered Species Act. It’s also home to Zoo Miami, the Gold Coast Railway Museum, Robert W Morgan Technical Institute and numerous Federal and Dept. of Defense Agencies including the U-S Coast Guard, Bureau of Prisons and U-S Army.
Recently, out of town developers have proposed more than $1-Billion Dollars worth of development including a “Miami Wilds Theme Park” and “Coral Reef Commons” Commercial/Residential Project. The Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition strongly opposes any development there and believes this “LifeBoat” tract needs to be preserved and restored to give all of its’ endangered plants and animals a natural habitat to prevent their extinction.
Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition President Al Sunshine says “ This lifeboat habitat need to be protected and restored for future generations to enjoy. This is the largest and most extensive piece of “Old Miami Pineland” when South Floridas’ Pine Rocklands stretched from the Florida Keys to North Miami. Animals like the Bonneted Bat, Miami Tiger Beetle, Bald Eagles along with numerous rare butterflies and plants face having their homes bulldozed and paved over all over South Florida. The Miami Tiger Beetle, once thought extinct, is found nowhere else outside of the Richmond Pine Rocklands and were thought extinct just a few years ago. They deserve a place in Floridas’ future just like the rest of us. That’s why when it comes to these critically endangered habitats, our goal is “Save it, Don’t Pave It”. According to the U-S Department of Interior, South Florida’s Pine Rocklands have been so heavily developed, they are down to their last 1% outside of Everglades National Park.
The Clean-Up workday starts on Saturday June 27th at 9AM, with a Picnic and Rally starting at 1:00PM at Larry & Penny Thompson Park, 12451 SW 184th Street, Miami FL 33177.
Celeste De Palma
Everglades Policy Associate