“ In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” (John Muir)
There’s no question that I’ve been allotting more time these days to visiting “green”, open spaces in my South Florida community. For I definitely prefer spending more of those cooler winter mornings in December feeling “calm and collected” by doing what I love to do outdoors. So I prioritize joining those throngs of “locals” who enjoy biking, exercising or walking amid those inviting environs of surrounding parks and forests as often as I can. I might also reason that such casual hobbies experienced amid such sub – tropical nature most certainly provides a suitable alternative to obsessing about daily life calamities reported on the TV and other electronics messaging services every day when sitting at home.
But I’m inclined to reason further that there’s so much more to contemplate about our community “green spaces” than just carrying on routinely with our leisurely ways there to pass one’s time. For lately I’ve been feeling a definite “buzz” in the air over the vital need to make better use of our current open space lands to preserve our earth’s natural environment and wildlife forms in the future. How timely it seemed then for me to discover Flamingo Botanical Gardens and Wildlife Sanctuary lying along the easterly boundary of the vast Florida Everglades amid a fast encroaching suburban community.
Know then that this latest South Florida tourist visit of mine to this environmentally uplifting complex appeared to be a “game changer” in reframing my attitude more seriously about spreading knowledge to others about getting involved now in sustainable actions for the “greater good” of our future communities. For in my home Fort Lauderdale vicinity, I’m particularly concerned by the likely impact of catastrophic “global warming” events, where more powerful projected hurricanes combined with sea level rise may soon submerge our low-lying lands in disastrous flooding conditions. So let’s take a more detailed look in the following paragraphs and associated photo collection at several notable highlights observed during my self guided tour how “green” spaces might efficiently be utilized to attain a more sustainable future for our fragile Earth’s survival.
So notice first of all that Flamingo Gardens puts extensive effort into promoting new tree plantings to help capture carbon dioxide to counteract rising temperatures and clean our air. Along this Botanical Gardens walking portion I’ve taken, you can also see that endangered tree species such as giant Figs and Banyons, tropical rainforest shrubbery and native hardwood hammocks have been carefully preserved under natural conditions as well. Observe another designated area of the park which provides manageable residency for permanently injured or non-releasable Florida native wildlife or bird species such as the bald eagle or horned owl that could not survive in the wild on their own. Strong efforts to provide suitable breeding grounds for water bird nesting at the park rookery can be seen along with a manicured garden for attracting endangered butterfly species as well.
It’s no coincidence to me then that Flamingo Gardens promotes itself as a thriving center for environmental education offering fun scavenger hunt experiences for students who visit on field trips from school as well as engaging classes in topics such as aromatherapy and rare plant care for adults in the surrounding community. So given this optimistic report of my Flamingo Gardens experience, what ideas might you spread to others in your community best now to combat such “doomsday” prophecies of environmental and wildlife destruction? Happy Holidays to all.