Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, one of the premier conservation and education- based gardens in the world and a recognized international leader in both Florida and international conservation, has received the 2013 Green Legacy Award from the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce in recognition of the unparalleled dedication and commitment to ecological sustainability over the past 75 years.
“We are honored to receive this prestigious award which honors the legacy left behind by visionaries Col. Robert Montgomery and Dr. David Fairchild,” said Nannette M. Zapata, chief operating officer of Fairchild Garden.
The award was presented during the “Green Means Green Awards Luncheon” on Apr. 19 at La Jolla Ballroom in Coral Gables.
Located on 83 acres in Coral Gables, Fairchild Garden was created in 1938 by Col. Robert Montgomery, a successful businessman with a passion for plant collecting, and his wife, Nell Jennings, and Dr. David Fairchild, one of the greatest plant explorers of all time, and his wife, Marian Hubbard Bell.
Fairchild Garden’s core focus areas are Living Collections and Landscapes; Tropical Fruit; Native Plant Conservation History; Education; Special Events, and Volunteer Services. Since 2000, Fairchild Garden has increased its plant species from 2,900 to 3,400; increased membership from 13,500 to 45,000 members and increased the number of pre K-12 students served in its Fairchild Challenge program from 7,000 to 120,000 students and over 250 schools. Volunteers increased from 800 to 1,200, each of whom have donated thousands hours of time to the Garden.
In December of 2012, Fairchild Garden opened a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art DiMare Science Village to showcase the talent and accomplishments of Fairchild’s conservation team by directly connecting scientists and their activities with the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Garden.
The Science Village features five buildings including The Wings of the Tropics Clinton Family Butterfly Conservatory, Glass House Café, Windows to the Tropics Conservatory, The Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion and the Kushlan Tropical Science Institute.Fairchild is located at 10901 Old Cutler Rd. in Coral Gables. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors, $12 for children 6-17 and free to children 5 and under and Fairchild members. For more information, visit www.fairchildgarden.org