The art of Richard Cohen on display at village’s Perrine Community House

Bats, Bees and Butterflies: student program focusing on environment
Bats, Bees and Butterflies: student program focusing on environment
Youngsters wear their beekeepers attire while participating in the Bats, Bees and Butterflies Project in The Redland.

This past summer GEN2050 Bats, Bees and Butterflies Project was launched at Patch of Heaven Sanctuary, a 20-acre historic estate located in The Redland, designated as a wildlife preserve.

I created this project, a year-round youth development program for students in grades 6-12, which focuses on environmental stewardship, STEM, entrepreneurship, and leadership, to inspire and prepare kids to watch over, to learn empathy and compassion for the world, and how take care of the natural world.

During the summer, with the support of The Children’s Trust and The National Geographic Society, 11 GEN2050 junior beekeepers focused on learning honey bee queen rearing techniques from tropical bee expert, Ricardo Diaz Meraz, from Honduras.

During the the 2019-20 school year, GEN2050 junior beekeepers will continue to meet at Patch of Heaven every other Saturday to raise queen bees and assisting with other aspects of Bats, Bees and Butterflies, including documenting Atala butterflies, Mexican Freetail Bats, and Florida Bonneted Bats observed at POH; removing invasive plant species and planting native plants, installing native bee houses and habitats, and providing peer education STEAM field trips to Miami-Dade County elementary, middle, and high school students and educators.

To register for upcoming Environmental Awareness Academy STEAM field trips, as well as “New Bee” beekeeping classes, send email to

Rev. Linda Freeman, is executive director, Peacemaker Family Center at Trinity Church.

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