Miami’s Nature Links will help young adults with disabilities


It started out as Project Bridge to help students with disabilities through age 22 in Miami-Dade Public Schools. But after those students “age out” — about 3,000 graduate with special diplomas every year — where do they go?

Gregory W. Bush, a University of Miami professor and community activist, found a gem of a solution by creating Nature Links for Lifelong Learning (

It has partnered with federal and state agencies and Miami Dade College’s Miami Culinary Institute for a job training program that meshes the culinary arts with organic gardening, native habitat restoration and other continuing education for young adults who otherwise would be leading a life of isolation. As it is, the state has a 10-year waiting list to provide services for adults with disabilities.

On Thursday, the Miami City Commission should give the nod to this modest program that has huge potential.

Helped by private donations and partnering with the state’s vocational rehabilitation agency, the new culinary arts program will cost the city one part-time assistant at Lummus Park for 25 hours a week and just $7,500 annually to cover insurance costs.

Already, Nature Links has been holding Saturdays by the Bay at Virginia Key Park — the next program starts Aug. 3 and offers these young adults experiences in marine studies, cooking, gardening and island ecology.

Nature Links is the type of private-public partnership that helps those most in need gain experience to live independently and become active participants in our community. We all benefit.

Read more Editorials stories from the Miami Herald

Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, Charlie Crist’s running mate, signs a petition in Clearwater to let undocumented immigrants get driver’s licenses.

    Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

    The drive for common sense

    OUR OPINION: Grant undocumented immigrants driver’s licenses

  • Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

    Filling the bench

    OUR OPINION: The selection of judges a problem in the Florida gubernatorial race

  • Miami Herald | EDITORIAL

    Black eye for the region

    OUR OPINION: Venezuela does not deserve support for Security Council seat

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category