One of the things I miss the most about my previous job, besides the smell of freshly sharpened pencils, is teaching science. I used to absolutely love exposing children to rotting plants and going off on tangents about how we needed to find ways to live sustainably. You would be surprised how many 4th graders in the inner-city had never planted their own seeds. Surprisingly, since I began exploring Miami more deeply, I have found that we are emerging as a sustainable city. If you don’t believe me, let me tell you about three amazing projects happening right now in some of the most unexpected places.
Finding a garden in Allapattah, a neighborhood West of Wynwood, is like finding a gringo in Hialeah; surprising and refreshing. Smart Bites is not the exception. The deliciously fresh meals and natural juices are only the tip of the iceberg of sustainability.
From its conception, Smart Bites set out to grow fresh ingredients in their own backyard. Using salvaged materials, they have been able to create a hydroponics cloning station for less than half of what it would have cost to purchase one. Just walking around the site you will not only find some classic Renda Writer street art, but you’ll find healthy and beautifully green garlic weed, kale, lettuce, sunflowers, and so much more. Be warned, meeting Will may inspire you to find some PVC pipe and get to work on your own garden.
A floating lab, the barge is decked out with Eco-friendly materials including recycled steel, shipping containers, and sustainable wood, and is docked in one of the most beautiful locations in the city, Museum Park. Complete with aquaponics growth systems, including adorable seahorses among other amazing species, the Miami Science Barge promises to be a hub of education and sustainability and an extended classroom in which we can all learn.
As a bonus, the views from the barge are unrivaled and you can also peep some Ahol Sniffs Glue artwork on deck.
A gorgeous retreat in Little River on the Miami River, the property dates back to the 1920s. It’s a lush one-acre property with a farm house, two story boathouse, and six colorful cottages reminiscent of a Caribbean village which can be leased for short stays. The rustic furnishings inside all of the cottages are all made out of Dade-County pine and rescued from a trailer park down the road.
The best part of this multi-use property isn’t even the natural beauty, or carefully curated décor, but the native wildlife roaming free. On a peaceful day, you can see manatees slowly swimming past on the river, or you can meet Rebecca, the most adorable and friendly pig rescue ever.
More than ever before, I have been able to see that science doesn’t start and end in a classroom. It continues to permeate the air we breathe. And if we want that air to be clean, healthy, and pure- then we need to start supporting these local sustainable projects. Miami is growing at a phenomenal pace in many aspects of culture and, as these projects prove, if we can trash our old habits we will be well on our way to becoming the next most sustainable city in the U.S.