Red Mangrove Project

Red Mangrove Project CanoeThe Coral Gables Garden Club began the Red Mangrove Project in 2013 to restore mangroves to our coastal area.

The club planted 300 pups in the bay and won the National Garden Club's First Place Award for the 2013-2015 theme "Making a Difference" for this project. We also won the Project of the Year Award by the Miami Dade Council of Garden Club Presidents.

Thanks to our committee chair, Commissioner Rhonda Anderson, the club continues to grow pups. She spearheaded the Red Mangrove project in 2020, producing 800 trees that the not-for-profit Mang organization has planted in Florida and throughout the Caribbean.

This New Year of 2022, the club joined forces with boy scout troop seven and the City of Coral Gables to grow over 1500 mangrove pups. Once sprouted in about six months, the final destination of these pups will be the Florida coastline. Mangroves are the first line of defense for our coastline against storms; they filter water and provide a healthy habitat for our native wildlife in and out of the water.

The collection of these mangrove pups began in November 2021 for the 2022 planting with Commissioner Anderson's leadership, continued through January, sorting over 5000 propagules.

On January 8th, they were planted and are now being stored at the temporary nursery behind the boy scout troop clubhouse on the Granada gold course. 

Below are pictures from the November and December collections after high tide at the Matheson Hammock Park. Over 5000 propagules were collected during these two dates and transported to Commissioner Anderson's home, kept in watertight containers.

Commisioner Anderson explaining to kids what to look for when harvesting propagules.
Belen Jesuit Preparatory High School volunteers.
Maria Ason, a friend to the Garden Club helped this harvest day.
Commissioner Anderson, Grace Carricarte, Susan Rodriguez, Maria Ason and Kelly Dawson Neito.
Commissioner Anderson led volunteers into the muddy waters of Matheson Hammock Park.
L.R. Commissioner Anderson, Paula Beihler, Susan Rodriguez, and Grace Carricarte.
Propagules collected.
Propagules collected.
Propagules collected.

January 2nd, 2022 a group of Garden Club members gathered at commissioner Anderson’s house to sort over 5,000 mangrove pups for planting the following weekend.

Pictured are Sandy Milledge, Rhonda Anderson, Sherry Jordan, Judy Mangasarian, Maria Ason and Grace Carricarte.
Pictured Susan Rodriguez, Judy Mangasarian, Amy Kutell, Sandy Milledge, Sherry Jordan, Rhonda Anderson and Maria Ason.

A fantastic day of collaboration with the City of Coral Gables, Commissioner Anderson,  Garden Club Members, and high school volunteers, thanks to Grace Carricarte.

On Saturday, January 8th, 2022 we all came together to plant the propagules in mixed soil and positioned them in 20 pools on city property at the boy scout troop on the Granada Golf Course. The scouts and the city will tend to them for the next six months before they get planted on the coastlines of Florida by the Mang organization. The group planted One thousand five hundred pups. Go, Coral Gables!!

A Group photo of city employees, garden club members, residents and teen volunteers
Twenty pools that are the temporary home of 1500 mangrove propagules.
To the left is Commissioner Anderson, the top plant whisperer and is no stranger to shoveling dirt. R. Commissioner Anderson, Deena Bell-Llewellyn, Susan Rodriguez, Maria Ason, Marlin Ebbert and Matt Anderson
L.-R. Grace Carricarte
Marlin Ebbert, Jasper Brock, Maria Ason, Susan Rodriguez, Commissioner Anderson, Judy Mangasarian and Deena Bell-Llewellyn

The Mangrove Maniacs are taking care of the project behind the Boy Scout clubhouse on Granada Golf Course. Jan-August 2022

Celebrating and saying goodbye to the Mangroves as Mang picks up the trees to be hardened in saltwater before their final destination. August 2022

Ransom Everglades student Will Charouhis who started his own foundation, We Are Forces Of Nature.

Members enjoying food and celebrating Commissioner Anderson's birthday
L. Tara Auclair, Susan Rodriguez, Wendy Cook, 
Rhonda Anderson in the background.
Sitting and relaxing with the team, the night before Mang picked up the trees.
Grace Carricarte

Until next year!!

Saturday, November 12th, 2022, Susan Rodriguez and Commissioner Rhonda Anderson had the distinct pleasure to meet with globally renowned and award winning eco-artist and UM Professor Xavier Cortado. to plant mangrove trees that the garden club raised this past year.  UM students from many disciplines: Architecture, Business, Science,  Environmental and Sustainability planted mangroves on the canal edge next to the Herbert School of Business. Before we planted the group was educated by Mr. Cortado and Commissioner Anderson on the importance of planting mangroves.

February 13th, 2023, Christopher Columbus high school students met with Enviromental chair. Rhonda Anderson at Vizcaya Museum to pick up red mangrove propagules and white and black mangrove seedlings. 

"Our goal is to help restore the natural ecosystem to support fisheries, birds, and butterflies, remove water pollution, and protect shorelines from storm surges.  Clean waterways are critical to prevent fish kills, maintain property values and support South Florida’s tourist industry," said Commissioner Anderson.

Once again, we will be collaborating again with Mangear and We are Forces of Nature.


A group photo of Rhonda Anderson and the Columbus high school volunteers

Columbus high school students, Kevin and Kyle Alsonso, planting mangroves with members Maria Teofilo, Susan Rodriguez, friend Denise Glasser and Maria Ason.

Columbus students with members Maria Teofilo, Susan Rodriguez, friend Denise Glasser and Maria Ason

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

– Margaret Mead
In 2013, Judy Mangasarian, Sherry Jordan, Jana White, Charlotte Henderson, Sharon Trbovich, Mary Whitcomb, & Garlin Lewis planted the first crop of red mangroves.
Sandy Milledge planting Mangroves in 2013.
Charlotte Smiley displaying Baby Mangroves
Hilda Lawhorn & Plant Assistant

Tour of Mangroves in Miami

Led by Ana Zangroniz, Florida Sea Grant Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension, Miami-Dade County.