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Friday, December 15, 2017

IN PRAISE OF OUR TREES

     After Hurricane Irma blew through two months ago some looked at the sad blanket of fallen trees and thought, "Will we ever get rid of this mess?".  Grovite Mel Meinhardt thought beyond the clean-up phase.  He came up with an plan to raise money to plant new trees. 
     It's the "Grove Trees Calendar", a project that's been in the works since October. Locals were asked to submit photographs of their favorite local trees for consideration. Here are the photos I submitted,

 
   
   It's a little dark but I love this old photograph. I took it in 1977 looking east from Peacock Park towards Sailboat Bay.  Not long afterwards these willowy coconut trees were cut down when a palm blight hit South Florida.  
    Unfortunately,  the City of Miami replaced them with the mangrove trees that have walled off Coconut Grove's best view for 35 years.
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    There are several spectacular kapok trees in Coconut Grove. This one, at the entrance of The Moorings, was planted in 1929.
 


 
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        Imagine what the Grove's shoreline looked like before the Anglos arrived. I see it at the end of St. Gaudens Road where one of our original mangrove forests still exists.

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    This isn't a great photo but you can see the two outstanding banyan trees framing a classic house on St. Gaudens.  If you look closely you can see the homeowner standing in her tree to the left.
 
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     Strangler fig attemping to choke a wall on Main Highway,
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      A rare sight, sparkling coconut palms on  Biscayne Bay, Carrolton School of the Sacred Heart on Main Highway.


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     Palm frond in front of Helene Pancoast's place on Poinciana.
     
   While they'd make great Christmas gifts, you can't buy the calendars yet. The project team is still figuring out which trees work best.  When they come up with something I'll let you know.
    In the mean time, I may organize a bike tour to introduce you to these old friends personally. 
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