Has this current Palmetto Bay council just gone flat? Come on, can’t we create some fresh and exciting ideas to stimulate our youth? Earth Week is a great opportunity. Please do not tell me that Palmetto Bay has hit its peak and is ready to slide deep into the pack of mediocrity. There is so much more to do.
The original council worked hard to be different and make the simple things, like Arbor Day and Earth Day, into fun, engaging, and positive educational events. As Mayor, I initiated the Lady Bug release at area schools, and even added a release at the Ken Robinson Memorial Gardens at Coral Reef Park for the movie night.
We brought internationally known Eco Artist Xavier Cortada to Ludovici Park to participate in the 2010 Arbor Day event.
We engaged Palmetto Bay bicycling/green transportation champion Eric Tullberg with the Green Mobility network to put together an outstanding family bike ride that included environmental talks including South Florida Water Management District speakers at designated rest stops. Cutler Bay and Pinecrest have continued successful family bike events.
We partnered with Laura Reynolds of the Tropical Audubon Society (TAS) and volunteers including resident Beth Kibler, to provide guided kayak/canoe trips from Snowden's / Deering Point. Residents were able to view the mangroves and learn about the native birds and other bay animals and plants of this South Florida ecosystem – and appreciate Palmetto Bay from the Bay for several years. (CLICK HERE)
We took advantage of special relationships and the talents of residents located in Palmetto Bay who participated in the 2008 movie night during Earth Week, bringing out the actual owls from the movie "Hoot." We worked with area private schools that brought their students out and participated in area clean ups (The Magical Musical Litter-Bus Tour). We even had groups such as Friends Forever jump in on impromptu cleanup of the Dog Park in honor of Earth Day!
See - page 8 & 9, The Voice of Palmetto Bay newsletter, Summer/Fall 2008, http://palmettobay-fl.gov/pdfs/VoicesNewsletter2008.pdf
Now it appears that we are down to just two events – the lady bug release and the movie night (film title yet to be named) and then joining in with Miami-Dade’s Baynanza, which the village has participated in (as well as both of my daughters’ Girl Scout Troops) over the years. There is no mention, no apparent attempt to create any excitement. There is a link to the present plans on the village web site for those who spend time carefully scanning this site (CLICK HERE). The event is being set up for failure as if there is little attendance a call may come to end future movie night for the families. That would be a shame as I recall how the movie nights started and how the various Palmetto Bay families joined together with tailgate style, excuse me, picnic style parties. Fun was had by all and the community grew tight together. Ghostbusters, Night at the Museum, The Bee Movie, Hoot, just to name a few of the numerous movie nights area families have shared.
I think only Howard Tendrich gets it at the present time. See my January 12, 2012, prior posting regarding Palmetto Bay’s Jan 2012 Arbor day (CLICK HERE). Patrick Fiore appears to be the only other advocate with Mr. Tendrich on the council dais fighting for amenities for the area youth, and, perhaps that reflects the fact that he is the only present council member who has school age children.
The last council meeting before Earth Week is Monday, April 2nd. This is short notice, but I respectfully ask this council to have a vibrant discussion on the present Earth Week, expand the activities and let’s create some excitement for our area and our area youth.
Can we just put aside with the rule making for one night and engage in some community making?!