“The Village of Parks” celebrated Earth Day with a weeklong schedule of events that took place at area schools and parks, beginning on Monday, Apr. 16, and concluding on Sunday, Apr. 22.
Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn and Councilmember Karyn Cunningham led the way at area preschools and elementary schools with a ladybug release. During a three-day period, Howard Drive Elementary, three campuses of The Alexander Montessori School, Winhold Montessori School, Little Disciples Preschool, Christ Fellowship, Westminster Christian School, Coral Reef Elementary and Henry Perrine Academy of the Arts participated with releases of ladybugs that are a natural way to rid leaves of harmful aphids, safer than chemical pesticides.
On Thursday, Apr. 19, Palmetto Bay recognized Annabel Gomez, the winner of the village’s Earth Day Art Contest. The sixth grader’s colored-pencil drawing of a pollution-riddled turtle interpreted this year’s theme, “End Plastic Pollution.”
With her parents and teachers by her side, Annabel received several prizes including a proclamation presented by the mayor, the planting of a hibiscus tree in the school’s garden, and an ice-cream party for her school. Annabel’s art now graces the cover of Village of Parks Play-by-Play Recreation Guide.
The village hosted a free Friday night movie at Coral Reef Park for kids of all ages with the film, The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature.
“Palmetto Bay’s celebration of Earth Week is a great example of our commitment to involve citizens of all ages in the preservation of our abundant natural resources. I don’t know who had more fun with it all, the kids or me,” Mayor Flinn said.
On Saturday, Apr. 21, there was a free tree giveaway at Ludovici Park with homeowners choosing from several different species, including Verawood, Geiger Tree, Allspice, Moringa and Crepe Myrtle.
Earth Day was celebrated on Apr. 22 at Coral Reef Park with the first-ever “Palmetto Bay Environmentalist of the Year” award, bestowed upon longtime resident Eric Tullberg, a passionate cycling advocate and naturalist.
Tullberg is an unfailing participant in village activities and is widely respected for his leadership qualities. An oak tree was planted in the park in his honor. He then led some two dozen other cyclists on a nature ride through Palmetto Bay.
Later there was a kid’s bike course conducted by Miami South BMX, an exhibit of wild creatures by “Nature Postings,” and a canal cleanup aboard kayaks.
“Families participated in canal cleanup, movie night, bike rides and lady bug releases,” Councilmember Cunningham said. “Educating our youth and their families on the importance of our trees, green spaces and overall sustainability practices is vital for our future. The Village of Palmetto Bay takes it so seriously that we make Earth Day a whole week long.”