Environmental Teamwork & Wildlife Education


Environmental Teamwork & Wildlife Education grew out of our Conservation Leaderhip program at Simpson Park.

Program Elements:

  • Instruction in independent life and job readiness skills

  • Practical experience in habitat restoration, landscape teamwork, agriculture production

  • Instruction in wildlife education;

  • Videography and I-Movie to capture and edit film

  • Healthy exercise and the use of parks

  • Entrepreneurialism and small business management

Program Goals:

  • Provide regular instruction (5 days a week, 10 am – 3 pm) in job readiness and continuing education for young adults 18-30 years old with mid to higher level intellectual disabilities who are interested in working with animals at ZooMiami and in park systems, habitat restoration, farming, food production, and landscaping. Many of these young adults have so many untapped abilities yet little or nothing to do after leaving the school system.

  • Allow time and space for the students to learn wildlife education and nature studies through practical experiences at ZooMiami, as well as habitat restoration and environmental teamwork at local parks and other locations.

  • Provide short term work internships and create learner cohorts, cooperative teams learning to work together. Provide opportunities and supervision for job training in food services, parks, farms, and more.

  • Develop students’ social skills, time management and scheduling abilities, and ability to take transportation between South Dade and Palmetto Bay sites.

  • Empower young adults through videography to produce short films as well as other tools to express their unique perspectives. Help train them to be docents to selective audiences.


Palmetto Bay Parks Department; Homestead Hospital; ZooMiami; Frost Museum of Science; Miami Dade Parks and Recreation Department; Vizcaya; Fruit and Spice Park; Fairchild Tropical Garden; University of Florida/MD County Ag. Extension; Montgomery Botanical Center; FIU Embrace Program; Shake a Leg Miami; Tropical Audubon, Biscayne National Park; Everglades National Park; WPBT; UM School of Communications; UM CARD Center; Institute for Public History; private businesses and other nonprofit organizations.

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