Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a 83-acre (34 ha) botanic garden, with extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palms, cycads, 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.
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.