When Tropical Audubon Society (TAS) Executive Director Laura Reynolds was growing up in the Catskills of upstate New York, she was fascinated by the Dr. Seuss character “The Lorax” from his children’s book. The Lorax would speak up for the trees who could not defend themselves against the greedy “Once-ler.” The subsequent nickname stuck and appears to personify the work of Reynolds’ career as a biologist and educator advocating for Dade County environmental protection.
On Sunday April 29 from 4 to 7pm at the Doc Thomas House headquarters, 5530 Sunset Drive, TAS will host its annual meeting, awards presentation, and silent auction featuring a key note address from Mayor of Miami Carlos Gimenez.
“We want to see South Miami behind us 100 percent in support of our efforts to work daily on conservation issues affecting our quality of life. We need to make sure our resources are protected for generations,” said Reynolds.
TAS was impressed with Mayor Gimenez’s tough stance on the recent proposed urban boundary line changes bill defeated during this legislative session in Tallahassee. His support for the redevelopment of Flagler Street to increase infill development also coincides with the larger aims of the not-for-profit-association.
“With the current economic downturn we are seeing a roll back on environmental protection going back at least 30 years because nobody is putting a value on what it is costing us not to protect our resources. We take for granted our clean water and everybody wants to put a price on environmental protections but the cost of not protecting it is the real issue.”
Along with live music from “Southbound Suspects,” a potluck picnic style meal, and a donation bar with a selection of beverages, the gathering is a chance for area residents to learn more about critical TAS related issues and also to enjoy the three acres of “Old Florida” at the Doc Thomas House grounds.
“If you’ve never been here before it is a chance to enjoy the property and see the improvements we have made over the last five years thanks to our supporters. We are also hoping to raise money to continue our work on conservation issues affecting the area, field trip educational programs to the Everglades, internship opportunities, and efforts to help the community build a greater tree canopy and learn how to attract wildlife in their own backyard,” said Reynolds.
The awards presentation will include the Polly Redford Citizen Conservation Award to Hunter Reno. The Dan Beard Government Conservation Award will go to City of Miami Commissioner Dennis Moss. The Board Appreciation Award is to be awarded to Joy Klein and the Biscayne Bay Stewardship Award will go to Joan Browder.