Wednesday, October 28, 2009

City of Miami Unveils Eco-Friendly Landscaping at City Hall, Dinner Key

City Hall is now home to hundreds of Florida native and Florida Friendly trees, plants and grasses. I invite you to come see this new, ecologically responsible landscaping at Dinner Key. This project, which was made possible at zero cost to taxpayers, makes our City Hall a model for sustainable greening practices, beautifying Dinner Key with plants that will significantly reduce our water consumption, storm-water runoff and reliance on fossil fuels used for maintenance. It is a step to return our city to its roots and an example of the new requirements outlined in thelandscaping ordinance that passed on October 22nd.

Today, 50% of the drinking water in Miami is used for irrigation. That's horrendous and it's irresponsible. In South Florida, water is one of our most precious resources. Increasing salt water intrusion and decreasing precipitation are threatening to further reduce our drinking water supply, but there is much we can do. We live in a tropical paradise, home to beautiful plants and trees that require minimal watering or fertilizers. I hope that you will have the opportunity to visit the historic open space of Dinner Key, the site of our City Hall, and see for yourself how sustainable design might work for your home or business.

This project is the result of the hard work and dedication of city staff, members of the Green Commission and the talented work of Southern Blossoms and BOMA Miami. Like so much of what we have done to increase our tree canopy over the last eight years, it was made possible by The Home Depot Foundation. The Home Depot Foundation has granted our city $1 million towards sustainable initiatives, helping us to plant more than 8,000 new street trees, provide fruit trees to residents, and promote eco-friendly practices through the campaign.

I am also honored to have worked with ACT - the Alliance for Community Trees, on this project. ACT works with 160 cities like ours across the country, promoting grass-roots programs to protect America’s urban forest. Today, ACT joined us to celebrate our city’s newest public landscaping project and to award me with the “Mayor of Trees” Award. It has been a privilege to partner with them and I thank them for their support.

Materials and services were also provided by Botanics Wholesale, Netafirm, Sunset Sod, D’Ultimate Bahoe Service, Affordable Irrigation and EBS Engineering.

We have a responsibility to each other and to future generations to conserve our natural resources. You can learn more about sustainable design in landscaping at