The Nature Conservancy and TD Bank Collaborate to Protect Goulds Pineland Preserve in Miami-Dade County
Goulds Pineland Preserve is a critical 43-acre remnant of the endangered Miami Rock Ridge Pinelands
Miami, FL | December 07, 2016
Through the generous support of TD Bank in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy in Florida, Goulds Pineland Preserve, a critical 43-acre remnant of the endangered Miami Rock Ridge Pinelands, will be fully protected and continually managed by Miami-Dade County’s Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. On Wednesday, December 7, 2016, partners will recognize TD Bank for its support and officially announce the protection of the land at a celebratory event, signage unveiling and nature walk at the Preserve.
Located in one of the fastest growing areas of Miami-Dade County at SW 120th Avenue, the protection of this land confirms the ability of communities, agencies, businesses and non-profit organizations to collaborate to protect an imperiled ecosystem in an urban setting. Pine rockland habitat consists of a tree canopy of slash pines and diverse vegetation and once encompassed some 185,000 acres across Miami-Dade County. Beyond Everglades National Park, only small fragments remain. This globally threatened pine rockland habitat -- only found in south Florida and the Bahamas -- is an oasis for plants and wildlife in the midst of urban development.
Throughout its distinctive rocky outcroppings of limestone and sandy patches, a wide variety of delicate herbs and grasses grow among the saw palmettos and pines at the Preserve. The Preserve is home to threatened and endangered plant species found nowhere else in the world including the deltoid spurge. Pine and palm warblers are among many species of birds that can be observed here.
“It’s important to achieve permanent protection of Goulds Pineland Preserve, a unique and globally threatened ecosystem,” said Temperince Morgan, Executive Director, The Nature Conservancy in Florida. “We greatly appreciate TD Bank’s support and their commitment to protecting forest lands, as well as the efforts of our partners in Miami-Dade County and the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, in ensuring this gem in the heart of Miami remains.”
The Nature Conservancy in Florida has helped to protect more than 1.2 million acres of vulnerable lands and waters across the state and continues to expand conservation efforts to protect nature and preserve life. The Conservancy works closely with Miami-Dade County on several projects to protect and restore lands and waters.
Since it was established in 2012, TD Forests has helped protect nearly 42,000 acres of critical forest through its collaboration with The Nature Conservancy and the Nature Conservancy Canada. The collaboration is part of TD Bank’s TD Forests program, a North American initiative of TD Bank and its parent company, TD Bank Group. The program focuses on protecting critical forest habitat, growing local forests and green spaces, and using resources responsibly. In addition, TD Forests works to reintroduce trees to urban spaces through its TD Tree Days and TD Green Streets initiatives and to support local parks and open spaces that strengthen communities.
"Goulds Pineland Preserve is beautiful, and we are proud to partner with The Nature Conservancy to help preserve it," said Ernie Diaz, Florida Regional President, TD Bank. "In partnership with The Nature Conservancy and Nature Conservancy Canada, TD Bank has played a role in protecting land across North America, including local Hollywood Pines in 2013. We're passionate about supporting a variety of sustainable programs, with an emphasis on preserving and enhancing urban green spaces."
In addition to Goulds Pineland Preserve, other Nature Conservancy projects supported by TD Forests include oak-hickory and hemlock-northern hardwood forests in New York’s Finger Lakes region; oak-hickory-cabbage palm and upland mixed forests in Central Florida; forests on New York’s Tug Hill Plateau, an important region connecting the Adirondacks and Lake Ontario; pine barrens forest in New Jersey; undisturbed cypress and tupelo swamp forest along the Black River in South Carolina; and spruce-fir and white pine conifer forest in Maine.
Goulds Pineland Preserve was initially purchased through a partnership between Miami-Dade County through the Environmentally Endangered Lands (EEL) Program, and the State of Florida through the Florida Forever Program. EEL, established in 1990, acquires and protects preserves throughout Miami-Dade County. In 2016, The Nature Conservancy, with assistance from TD Bank, contributed generous funds to the final acquisition and continued management.
“This project is a great example of the important benefits that working with community partners can provide to preserving our natural heritage,” said Lee Hefty, assistant director in the Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources, Miami-Dade County. “Thanks to the generous donation from TD Bank through The Nature Conservancy, the Miami-Dade County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program will be able to preserve and manage the entire Goulds Pineland Preserve project, thereby conserving and protecting it for present and future generations.”
Scheduled to speak at the Preserve on December 7 at 9:30am: Jerry Montgomery, Board of Trustees, The Nature Conservancy in Florida; Janet Gil, Program Director, Environmentally Endangered Lands Program, Miami-Dade County; Milica Koscica, Associate Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, The Nature Conservancy in New York; Pablo Pino, Market President, Commercial - Florida, TD Bank. The event will include a sign unveiling and a brief nature walk along the Preserve, led by Miami-Dade County and EEL staff. Event details and RSVP here: nature.org/goulds. Preserve photos here.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.