Coral Gables Garden Club Plants Trees at Local Schools

Project Canopy is Dedicated to Longtime Garden Club Member, and Environmental Advocate, Sallye Garrigan Jude

Since 1927, the Coral Gables Garden Club has been helping to beautify the city with landscaping projects. That year, they began by planting trees and bushes in the interior patio of Coral Gables Elementary School. Since then they have landscaped everything from the grounds of the Alhambra Water Tower to those of the Coral Gables Youth Center.

Now the club wants to throw shade – in a good way – on the campuses of five local schools: Coral Gables Prep, Coral Gables High, Ponce de Leon Middle, G.W. Carver and Henry S. West Laboratory. The goal, says club member and project director Susan Rodriguez, is to plant three 14-foot trees at each school.

“What we wanted to do this year in particular is to provide shade trees and increase our canopy, for a variety of reasons,” says Rodriguez. “Shade for kids, natural habitat for native wildlife and to reduce storm water runoff.” Most importantly, says Rodriguez, “Project Canopy” will be dedicated to longtime garden club member, and environmental advocate, Sallye Garrigan Jude. To honor Jude, who is now 94, the Coral Gables City Commission issued a proclamation last month in support of the project.

The first school to accept the trees was Carver. Unfortunately, their campus layout will not permit the use of heavy equipment for planting. So, they have opted instead for five smaller trees that will be planted by hand, pro bono, by the crew of Steve Pearson’s Miami-based nonprofit TREEmendous.