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partners | fairchild tropical botanic garden

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a 83-acre (34 ha) botanic garden, with extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palmscycads, flowering trees and vines. It is located in metropolitan Miami, just south of Coral Gables, Florida, surrounded at the north by Matheson Hammock Park.

Fairchild opened to the public in 1938. With 45,000 members and over 1,200 volunteers, Fairchild plays many roles, including museum, laboratory, learning center and conservation research facility, but its main role is preserving biodiversity, which the garden’s scientists, staff and volunteers all contribute to on a daily basis. In 2012, Fairchild also became the home of the American Orchid Society.

Fairchild scientists are conserving tropical plants, hoping to avoid the extinction of species and their habitats. These activities are measured by the delivery of quantifiable conservation benefits to Fairchild’s priority geographic investment regions (South Florida, Caribbean, oceanic islands, tropical Africa, and Madagascar) and plant groups (palms, cycads, tropical fruit and tropical trees).

These have been selected because of conservation need, institutional expertise and history. Main activities include field exploration of important plant areas, conservation assessments, species recovery and direct support to in-situ conservation.

With active partnerships with area colleges (including Florida International University, University of Miami, Miami Dade College, and University of Florida) Fairchild trains graduate and postdoctoral students that will directly interact with BioTECH students.

Visit Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden Conservation to find out more about ongoing projects.

Ms. Amy Padolf
director of education
fairchild tropical botanic garden

office: 305-667-1651

Amy Padolf is currently the Director of Education at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Miami, FL. She holds a BA in Rhetoric from the University of Pittsburgh and a MS in Science Education from Duquesne University. For 18 years she has been working in informal education; beginning her career in the zoo field as the Director of Education at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to coming to Fairchild, Amy was the Director of Operations at the Miami Children’s Museum. Additionally, she has taught in the classroom as an elementary and middle school teacher and also as an adjunct professor at Chatham College.


Mr. Thaddeus Foote
BioTECH lead
fairchild tropical botanic garden

office: 305-667-1651

Thad Foote grew up in Miami, finding adventure in the mangroves and shallow waters of Biscayne Bay. After a decade in New England where he taught for many years and earned an M.S. in environmental education, Thad returned to Miami to join the education department at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. Miami is the perfect place to start a zoology and botany magnet school and Thad is thrilled to be on the BioTECH team.





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