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  • 24 Apr 2017 11:19 PM | Anonymous


    The Young Friends of Oleta, along with our GirlPower board members and many (past summer) super-volunteers + families, got together on a windy eve at the White Ibis pavilion.  Despite the weather, our students created amazing wood signs for the Butterfly Garden and to promote our Recycling Pilot and remind parkgoers to not LITTER! They also painted Green Native-Flag FIU-artist project signs.


  • 19 Apr 2017 9:00 AM | Anonymous


    About a dozen of K-family students, parents and teachers joined the Friends of Oleta/Young Friends of Oleta and the Kiwanis SIB-NMB for a day to discover our Butterfly Garden and learn about our new Recycling Pilot program.  The Kiwanis generously donated some native wildflowers and plants for the garden, which we all planted that day!  Young Friends of Oleta recycling leader, Eduardo Chocron led the group on a cleanup, focused on sorting out recyclable material to avoid sending all Oleta's trash to landfill.  

    The Kiwanis grilled hotdogs for the group to extend some social time post-volunteering.  The Friends of Oleta and the Kiwanis SIB-NMB chapter are mutual corporate members and we appreciate their support of our programs, butterfly garden project and events.  Their President, Lew Thaler, is a board member and has been generous with his time and energy in boosting the Friends in the SIB-NMB community. We were thrilled to host them at a Park pavilion and to have more K-family kids into Oleta!

  • 27 Mar 2017 10:04 PM | Anonymous


    The Young Friends of Oleta are a subcommittee of the Friends and this local group of students have been integral to our planting/cleanup programs/events and fundraising!

    We are excited to announce that 2 of the Young Friends' leaders are taking on larger roles.  Florencia Casaballe, a junior at Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High School (ATM), was the master planner and star performer at our Student Seaside Strings Concert last June and is very active in the Friends.  Florencia will be leading the Young Friends for our Oleta Urban GREENSpace Project and our 2nd annual Student Concert on April 29th.  Florencia has future ambitions in medicine and is an award-winning viola musician.  She plays in a quartet too. 

    Eduardo Chocron, a freshman at Dr. Michael M. Krop High, will be leading our Recycling Pilot at Oleta.  Eduardo Chocron is also an active Young Friend, plays in the same quartet with Florencia and is an award-winning violinist, having won many local and national awards.  Eduardo was another star performer at our 2016 concert.  So far they both are working very hard and reaching goals, despite serious commitments to schoolwork and their music.  Their leadership and dedication are core to the Friends - we are very lucky to have them! 



  • 11 Mar 2017 11:10 PM | Anonymous


    We partnered again in 2017 with Ms. Macko - a much beloved science teacher (and Science Department chair) at Aventura Waterways Prep Academy - and her students/families!  They were a very big group and we planted a lot of new natives in the Butterfly Garden, as well as in new garden zone areas near parking lot #6 (a Park-staff project we are funding for the Park).  The planting near parking was a big task with poor, rocky soil but they got it done!  We appreciated the help to GREEN additional disturbed park areas.

    Ms. Macko was our Young Friends Recycling Pilot leader's (Eduardo Chocron) past teacher and they both enjoyed adding new recycling bins to the Park and collecting recyclables!  It was a beautiful day at the Park and we are so thankful for dedicated teachers like Ms. Macko, who has brought hundreds of student volunteers to Oleta in the last couple years!


  • 04 Mar 2017 9:00 AM | Anonymous


    We have launched a Recycling Pilot at Oleta!  We have donated and installed four new bins and a couple red bins already at the Park to plan and test park recycling strategies, in the hope that one day recycling might be done at Oleta on a park-wide basis.  

    Eduardo Chocron will lead the project for the Friends and another Young Friends leader, Florencia Casaballe, is helping to garner support to manage the pilot.  So far we are finding good results in recycling compliance but the test will be upcoming busy weekends at Oleta.

    Thank you for using the recycling bins ONLY for recyclable items - aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles - and no organic/food or drink items!

  • 01 Mar 2017 9:00 AM | Anonymous


    Nina Jackson (vp) and I (president) took a night off to enjoy some Miami Tennis last month and to take note of the last two years we have spent leading programs, events and volunteers at Oleta.  We have attended nearly every event and spent thousands of unpaid/volunteer hours working to reach goals, which often have not been easy in the nonprofit world - striving to give a voice and value to our natural resources, while also better connecting our local neighbors and families to Oleta.  I feel lucky to have Nina as our VP and, while we look forward to pass some torches on to others sooner than later - our commitment to complete Friends' projects and to sustain all the hard work and accomplishments we collectively (our volunteers) have achieved remains very strong!

  • 19 Feb 2017 9:14 PM | Anonymous


    The Friends' first big 2017 native planting at the Oleta Urban Corner Greenspace was a gigantic success!  We had a big crowd, including lots of our wonderful Young Friends of Oleta!  Thanks in part to a generous donation by Opulence International Realty, we greatly boosted our sites native species diversity.  We planted a Cinnecord, Geiger, Wild Lime, White Indigo Berries, White Stoppers, Locust Berries, Dune Sunflowers, Blanketflowers, Seaside Goldenrods, Wild Coffee, Muhly Grass + more.  Alexander Plant Farm donated a large Gumbo Limbo and Satinleaf too!  Our plantings are improving soils but we planted in many new areas so digging was very hard work - thank you Volunteers - you are always amazing!!!



  • 13 Feb 2017 9:00 AM | Anonymous


    The Friends are celebrating our one year anniversary since diving into the very tough task of managing and working to transform about an acre of Oleta parkland, which had become a blighted space, overrun with some of the worst invasives in years prior.  We had a leg up thanks to the City of North Miami Beach, who had done clearing of the space to help remedy problems arising from huge amounts of waste and trash dumped there plus vagrants living on the parkland. Our next big boost came from a generous donation of trees/shrubs and a planting team for our 2016  Earth/Arbor Day event from SFM Services, Inc. and FIU-SEAS also agreed to partner with us to reclaim and restore the land.  SFM donated two gorgeous tall Buttonwood trees and 75 cocoplum shrubs, along with completing the hard work of planting them into rocky, highly disturbed soil.

    After planting several hundred native wildflowers and butterfly/pollinator-sustaining plants (including trees), we are extremely proud of what we have accomplished thus far with a big group of amazing volunteers.  We have boosted biodiversity and local ecosystems by planting many native species, to include: Wild Limes, White Stoppers, Geiger Tree, Cinnecord, Locust Berries, White Indigo Berries, Gumbo Limbo, Satinleaf, Sea Grapes, Dahoon Hollies, Seaside Goldenrods, Sea Oxeye Daisies, Pineland Lantanas, Scorpiontalls, Lantana Involucrata, Blanketflowers, Muhly grasses, Biscayne Prickly Ashes + more.  Thank you to Alexander Landscaping and Tree Farm for generously donating some native 15-gallon trees!  

    We are also choosing species known to bring the benefits of Green Infrastructure.  The sunflower, goldenrod and native grass families have shown to be excellent at phytoremediation - which means they are good at removing many of the worst pollutants typically found in urban rainwater runoff - which naturally flows through this highly urbanized land (part of our watershed) towards coastal waters. Native plants do not require irrigation (once established) and powerful root systems reduce erosion.  Native planting also begins natures' processes to rebuild healthy soils. These are just a few of the benefits our planting provides the community, not to mention education and a place to connect with nature and more...we will be posting on these issues soon!


  • 01 Feb 2017 7:15 PM | Anonymous

    Our first Butterfly Garden Volunteer Day in 2017 was better than we had even imagined with nearly 30 of our faithful volunteers stopping by to lend a hand.  We added two new native tree species, removed seaside mahoe/scaevola from the shoreline, weeded garden beds + mulched.  A great day - we are so appreciative of all of you!




  • 09 Jan 2017 8:30 AM | Anonymous

    The Friends were super lucky to have a group of students on Alternative Seasonal Break from the University of Chicago - Urbana/Champaign - Volunteering!! for two days.  They helped us plant native flora in our two Oleta butterfly gardens, cleanup the Park shoreline + remove invasives from a restored trail park area too.  They were amazing - thank you for giving your time!




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