The readers’ forum

Fracturing Miami for foreign profits


Art of Cultural Evolution’s mission is to make environmental education accessible to the public. Over a year ago, we leased a vacant lot in Midtown Miami to develop a Sustainable Land Lab, dedicated to demonstrating to residents what is possible in their own back yards.

We fed, in the growing season, about 15 families with free organic produce shares grown on site. There are demonstrations of three types of composting, solar energy use, rain water harvesting and, more importantly, soil restoration.

The soil restoration led to the restoration of the local ecology, and populations of birds, bees and butterflies have increased. With the growing of food in the garden, the nutrition awareness of the neighbors has risen and they are planting their own gardens.

In the middle of the lease, the landowner sold the property, without informing us, to a businessman in Dubai who wants to cut down 60-year-old mango and avocado trees. These trees produced so much fruit that we fed ourselves, the neighbors, the homeless and Miami Dade College’s Philanthrofest.

In short, the new owner intends to move out every resident on the block, pour concrete, fracture the community and rid the area of native ecology and food. In fact, he doesn’t even have the heart to grant us an extension to move our plants to a new location.

Miami is the most climate-vulnerable city in the United States. How can we be resilient in the face of sea-level rise, storm surge or any other disaster when we honor money over sustainability? This will be Miami’s demise if we do not protect our communities and year-long residents. A man from Dubai doesn’t care about the Everglades or the salinization of our aquifer, only about realizing his business venture.

We may often feel disconnected, but community is here in the Magic City.

I have seen residents who devote their lives to protecting all aspects of South Florida from transit, food, water and education. Organizations like Tropical Audubon, CLEO Institute, Transit Miami, Urban Paradise Guild and all members of the Environmental Education Providers are examples of energetic communities bringing awareness and connecting community to sustainable futures.

What is the point of your condo on the beach, when the ocean water is full of algae blooms and flesh-eating bacteria?

It’s because of developers like AB Abundance LLC, which intends to cut down an ecological paradise, developed in part by my organization and the residents of Wynwood and Edgewater, for short-term monetary gain that Miami will be left uninhabitable and stripped of all its natural resources.

Blair Butterfield, director,

Art of Cultural Evolution, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • Redistricting redux

    One need to look no further than the Aug. 12 piece Challenges expected on approved maps on redistricting that shows Florida’s Legislature simply cannot be trusted to impartially and apolitically draw legislative districts. When the House Redistricting Committee chairman, Republican Rep. Richard Corcoran (in addressing the revised Congressional map previously found unconstitutional) says, “If that is a Republican map, I’m proudly and utterly guilty of doing that,” then it’s clear the Legislature is unwilling and unable to enact the Fair Districts amendments. It’s high time for the courts, or a nonpartisan third party, step in to craft legislative districts.

  • Floating courthouse?

    I suppose the new courthouse (in the unlikely event its funding is approved by the citizens) will be elevated to account for sea level rise predicted by all local climate experts. Where will its users come from as the sea inundates the densely populated coastal areas of Miami-Dade while state and local governments played the proverbial Nero’s fiddle? We have limited funds; let’s prioritize wisely and put survival of our community ahead of the admittedly dire needs of the justice system.

  • Lifetime Rocket fan

    I read with disgust the letter that Coach Roland Smith of Miami Central High received from a Hoover football fan. I have been an educator my entire life and I’ve tried to eradicate the ignorance of judging someone for the color of their skin. My mentor and best friend in the school system for years was Percy Oliver, a black All-American football player from Illinois who became principal and head of athletics for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He became my dad after my father died, and we never let the color of our skin determine the limits or boundaries of our friendship.

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