I was delighted when I learned about the availability of a Landscape Design School near me in Miramar, FL. I had just been asked to join the Landscape Beautification Advisory Board of my city, Coral Gables. Even though I had been a garden club member for years and have a degree in design, the leap to giving advice about landscaping in my community and local public spaces was a bit of a tangent.
The Landscape Design School has been helpful in so many ways: learning about the history of landscape architecture and design; understanding of the process of developing a site plan to master plan with plant selection; and evaluating environmental and maintenance issues. Local speakers have included landscape architects, university professors, and city public works managers. We have even been escorted to Miramar’s City Plaza by the designing landscape architect!
Our Coral Gables Landscape Beautification Advisory Board is composed of 7 volunteers, appointed by the Mayor or one of the City Council Commissioners for a two-year term. We abide by the Sunshine Laws of Florida, with our meetings and records open to the public. The Coral Gables Public Service Director brings to our attention city projects regarding streetscape enhancements, park renovations and special city projects such as installations of art in public spaces, maintenance of the Library’s Butterfly Garden, and the Million Orchid installation. We discuss such issues as traffic routing and the preservation of historic trees. We act as liaisons to bring to the City’s attention our neighbors’ concerns about areas needing landscape beautification throughout our city of 45,000 residents.
In addition, we co-sponsor the annual Arbor Day Observance of planting of trees with the Coral Gables Garden Club. We invite nearby school children to join in for a “tree talk” and refreshments. On that day, we award certificates to six homeowners selected for outstanding residential landscapes by our board members.
This spring we will host a workshop on a Saturday morning at the winter Farmers’ Market on ways to beautify your home, bringing in students of Landscape Architecture to give suggestions. We hope this will encourage our residents to do their part to further beautify Coral Gables.
What do you see as you walk or jog through your hometown, as you drive to the post office, or at your child’s school? Attend the next LDS and become proactive in making your community beautiful!!
-The submission was sent in by Kay Murff who attended the classes
Photo: Public Affairs Department of the City of Coral Gables