Penny Pines Project

Last fall, the Coral Gables Garden Club joined the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs in an effort to rejuvenate forest land in the state of Florida. Deforestation through natural disasters or human activities remains a major concern of environmentalists throughout our state.

In Florida, Oceola National Forest & John M. Bethea State Forest have had over 11,000 acres destroyed by the Okefenokee fires in 2010 and 2011. The US Forest Service is trying to reforest 250 to 500 acres per year to replace trees destroyed in these fires.

aerial view of Okefenokee fires in Florida in 2010 and 2011

It was suggested that each garden club pass around a jar with “Penny Pines” written on it. Members were asked to drop pennies and loose change into the jar at each meeting, which we did during the fall of 2013 and at the first two meetings of 2014.

$68 is the amount needed to order and plant the trees on an acre of forest land. The trees planted will be those indigenous to that forest area including the endangered longleaf pine. I am happy to announce that our club collected $204, and paid for three acres to be replanted. An anonymous club member donated $68 for a fourth acre!

Good job ladies! –Marlin Ebbert, Environmental Chair

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