Losner Park played host to hundreds of Homestead residents as they connected with environmental organizations, enjoyed organic food, learned about South Florida ecosystems, and encountered live animals during the first annual Homestead Eco-Fair on Saturday, February 7, 2015. Visitors also enjoyed a host of performances, educational speakers, and demonstrations.
The Homestead National Parks Trolley, which provides free ranger-guided tours and free admission to nearby Everglades and Biscayne National Parks, was over capacity during its tours at the event. The Trolley, program spearheaded by Vice Mayor Stephen Shelley, will continue to offer free rides and admission every weekend through April 26, 2015.
“Our first Eco Fair was a resounding success! The park was filled with families learning about our national parks, native and exotic animals, and even about local sustainability and organic produce,” said Vice Mayor Shelley who helped organize the event. “Most importantly it brought attention and a new audience to the Homestead National Parks Trolley, which brings people to our Historic Downtown and teaches them about our natural treasures in an interactive tour.”
The Homestead Eco-Fair, organized by the City of Homestead in partnership with Homestead Main Street, offered a chance for residents and visitors to connect with nature and celebrate Homestead’s leadership in environmental stewardship. As the Gateway to Biscayne and Everglades National Parks, the City of Homestead has a long-standing commitment to ensuring a high quality environment for its residents and future generations.
Miami-Dade County residents were able to exchange three old light bulbs for energy saving compact fluorescent light bulbs and exchange up to two water-wasting showerheads for water efficient models thanks to the Miami-Dade County Extension Office. The event featured live music from Grant Livingston, a local folk singer embodying the very spirit that created Florida, and performances from the Homestead City Ballet.
Among the participating organizations were the South Florida National Parks Camera Club, which offered a free nature photography workshop and ran an accompanying nature photography tour on the National Parks Trolley. Both the Youth Fishing Foundation and the Youth Environmental Alliance offered fishing demonstrations for children. Everglades Outpost and Safari EdVentures offered attendees the chance to interact with wildlife.
Also represented were: 350 South Florida, Air Base Elementary, Beauty Schools of America, Bee Heaven, Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper, Chefs on the Run, Crandon Park Visitors and Nature Center, Everglades Association, Everglades Bicycle Club, Everglades Invasive Species Management, Everglades Outpost, Everglades Preparatory Academy, Expressions Dance Company, Florida Native Plant Society, Gateway Environmental K-8 Learning Center, Homestead City Ballet, Homestead Main Street, Izaak Walton League of America, Kiwanis of Homestead/South Dade, MAST @ Homestead, Miami Dade County Chapter: Florida Nursery, Growers, and Landscape Association, Miami Dade County Extension Office, The Miami Herald, National Park Service, Paradise Farms Organic, Safari EdVentures, South Florida National Parks Camera Club, Tropical Audubon Society, Urban Habitat, Verde Community Farm, Youth Environmental Alliance, and Youth Fishing Foundation.
For more information on the Homestead National Parks Trolley, running every weekend through April 26, 2015, visit: www.cityofhomestead.com/gateway