project leader
Sam V
(Amelia Earhart Park)
latest update rss
No updates yet.

the project

UPG Garden Centers on 6.5 acres will become epicenters of change in Miami!

They will provide the resources and know-how needed to grow food in the city, especially in food deserts. Low-income families living in apartments will each have their own 70 sq. ft. raised-bed organic Family Gardens. Food forests will allow access to fresh fruit and other produce in public areas. Composting will provide high quality soil and amendments. Nurseries will provide a flow of fruit trees, heirloom vegetables, and native species for projects.

The Neighborhood Transformation program will help homeowners, businesses and public spaces plant eatables and natives as landscaping.

UPG Volunteer Staff and Volunteers will do the majority of the site preparation, but eventually the families themselves will be responsible for their own gardens. Outcomes include organic food for better nutrition, exercise from gardening, cost savings for fiscal sustainability, and protecting Miami from Sea-Level Rise (SLR) through reduction of pollution caused by chemical farming and long-range transportation. Natives will provide food and habitat to wildlife. As the Garden Centers grow we plan to offer Family Gardens to 500 families (35,000 sq. ft. total). Nurseries will expand to at least 20,000 sq. ft., including a large shade house. Fruit trees will capture carbon from more SLR protection and provide shade for walkers or mountain bikers. 

the steps

UPG is creating two Garden Centers in parallel.

Negotiations began in 2010 at Amelia and 2011 at Lemon City. Facilities will expand as resources allow, and open at a basic level by Summer 2014.

  1. Site Control: formal agreement to use the space. (Garden Center at Lemon City: complete in 2012. Center at Amelia: in process.)
  2. Power: Provide electricity to well pumps. (Garden Center at Lemon City: Not yet. Center at Amelia: Partly funded.)
  3. Wells: Drill well and install pumps. (Wells at both Centers are fully funded and pending power.)
  4. Fencing: Provide basic security to gardens and infrastructure. (Garden Center at Lemon City: Complete. Center at Amelia: incomplete.)
  5. Food Forests. (Center at Lemon City: Planted w/ 70 trees + shrubs. Center at Amelia: Planned.)
  6. Nurseries: Grow trees and plants for projects. (Nurseries at both Centers are fully funded; temporary nurseries in operation.)
  7. Family Gardens: Provide raised beds to families. (Partly funded.)
  8. Staffing: Provide installation, education and site supervision. (Volunteers are providing basic levels of support; a master gardener will expand services and hours.)

why we're doing it

Food is among the most fundamental human rights, yet thousands of families in the Miami area live in food deserts. The only food they have access to is fried fast food and corner-store snacks. This high-fat and high-sugar diet is killing them.

We are working to change this, to create new traditions of self-reliance, and at the same time, new opportunities for education and economic empowerment.

Big problems require big solutions. Each UPG Garden Center will provide essential resources: Family Gardens for those living in apartments, composting, soil, seeds, plants, trees, and experiential education.

Nurseries will grow fruit trees and vegetables for Urban Agriculture, and Natives for Urban Forestry and Neighborhood Transformations.

Butterfly Gardens will give life to rare and even endangered butterflies.

Children will grow up knowing that they have the power and the knowledge to make the world they live in a better place because they have done it! 


DISBURSEMENT BUDGET (as of 5/26/15): 

RAISED = $14,007
ioby Platform Fee -- paid for by The Miami Foundation $35
3rd Party Payment Processing Fee (3%) -- paid for by The Miami Foundation $420
TOTAL TO RAISE = $14,007



Funding Needed Description
$35,000 Staff: Master Gardener
$2,000 Staff: Oversight & Planning
$7,500 Organic Topsoil & Amendments @ $150 per 5 Cubic Yards
$2,000 Composting - Worms & Supplies
$7,500 Irrigation for Raised Beds
$1,125 Fruit trees & shrubs for Food Forests
$500 Marketing/Publicity/Advertising
$500 Printing & Copying
$1,060 Additional Insurance - Required by Partner
$1,213 Fuel for Service Vehicle
$500 Parts for Service Vehicle
$400 Insurance for Service Vehicle
$2,000 Tools
$2,000 Nursery Supplies & Pots
$600 Seeds (Heirloom Vegetable, for Seed Crops)
$510 Well - Wiring Components & Installation - Amelia
$200 Well - Generator Fuel - Amelia
$1,000 Well - Generator Repair Parts & Services - Amelia
$250 Permits - Amelia
$4,000 Well - Wiring Components & Installation - Lemon City
$500 Permits - Lemon City
$70,358 Subtotal
- $8,500 Our Miami Public Space Challenge Award (to be used as a match)
$61,858 Subtotal left to raise
$35 ioby Platform Fee (paid for by the Miami Foundation)
$1,855.74 3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3% of the subtotal left to raise)
The following funding and support is already on hand! 
$50,165 In Kind commitments of items, professional services, and projected Volunteerism. 
$12,264 Grants from the Florida Forest Service for Nurseries and Wells.
These figures do not include the value of land at Lemon City (3 acres) and Amelia (3.5 acres).



Sorry, but this project doesn't have any updates yet.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Norma A.
  • Jim Harper
  • Judith G.
  • Lyndy Lambert
  • Oppenheim Architecture+Design
  • Rob & Carol Van Leer
  • Tim W.
  • hector r.
  • You helped my Stevie find a home
  • Nicole K
  • Anonymous
  • Michael G.
  • Nicole K.
  • Daniel H.
  • Amanda P.
  • Florence C.
  • Emily E.
  • Nate B.
  • David D.
  • Andrew W.