Park Naturalist Receives 2017 Dade Heritage Trust Preservation Award

City of Miami Celebrates Completion of Wagner Creek, New Affordable Rental Building in the Hospital District(Miami, FL April 26, 2017) – City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department is proud to announce that Senior Park Naturalist Juan G. Fernandez has been recognized by the Dade Heritage Trust, for demonstrating outstanding contributions to the to the historic preservation movement making a lasting impact as a conservation leader.

Since 1998, The City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department, led by Senior Park Naturalist, Juan Fernandez, has been working to improve the health, preservation, and public appreciation for Miami’s Urban Forests.  Parks and Recreation Director, Kevin Kirwin, emphasizes that this prestigious award recognizes the efforts of the parks department toward preservation and conservation of its natural areas. “Mr. Fernandez has been an asset to the City of Miami, for more than 18 years he has been working to improve the natural environment for residents and visitors to enjoy. This also includes a number of nature trails that are now open to the public that were closed before Mr. Fernandez was able to restore them. We are very proud to have him as part of the Parks and Recreation team.”

Under the leadership of Mr. Fernandez, The City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department Natural Areas division’s has served more than 21,433 volunteers more than 462 educational tours, and more than 9,864 community members and the work has expanded into the wetland areas, which has provided additional spawning and nursery habitat for many fish species.  After 20 years of reforestation efforts, the City of Miami natural areas has expanded to nearly 200 acres; after the removal of a vast number of invasive exotic species, close to 25,000 native trees and more than 32,000 native species shrubs and ground cover have been planted, including endangered species.

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