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Urban Explorers: Climate Change Public Awareness

Join us for a spring session of job skills and life skills. Learn about climate change and express yourself through videography, art, dance, and gardening.

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Last Summer Session of Saturdays By The Bay at Shake A Leg


We would especially like to thank Shake A Leg Miami for allowing us to use their boat and their facilities to cook. We also would like to thank Gary Milano for captaining the boat we went out on. It was a wonderful day.


Gary Milano and his wife making sure we stay the course !

The beautiful place we live.

We got to see our very own Virginia Key from the boat. 

When we got back to Shake A Leg, Chef Cody fired up the grill and we made some delicious hamburgers.

After lunch we had an impomptu video interview lesson. Everyone videoed eachother talking about their experience this summer at Naturelinks. Stay tuned to the website for the video !!!


Saturdays by The Bay 7/21


Better Late than never ! We wanted to share the fun and photo's from a couple Saturdays ago.

We started in the plant nursery with City Parks Senior Naturalist Juan Fernandez. We planted Coontie seedlings.

Juan explained a bit about the plant and it's importance to the eco-system of Virginia Key. Coontie is a native plant and has an root that is edible if boiled.

As usual our participants and park staff had a wonderful day.

Chef Marta and her assistant were ready to instruct the class on how to make a delicious chicken salad.


At the end of the day, Denise Prehay led a discussion group with everyone to discuss how they felt thus far about their time at Naturelinks and with eachother.

7/28– Swim Day and Guided Nature Walk with Gary Milano !

 Another great day for everyone at Naturelinks. We took a guided nature walk with Gary Milano, whom demonstrated with us the success of the restoration project he has been in charge of on Virginia Key. 

Gary Milano points out the fresh water lagoon, that was made by simply digging into the ground and allowing the fresh water from the aquifer to rise up. The combination of fresh water and salty water area's is vital to the area's natural fauna.

After the walk we went for a swim to cool off from the hot Miami sun !

After our swim, we returned to the concession stand to make lunch. Chef Marta taught us how to make simple and delicious wraps.

After lunch we walked back along the beach to our swim spot for a second swim. It was a very hot day.

We found some interesting things as well.

It was a great day and we look forward to many more ! Our participants have been having such a great time and learning so much, they don't want the summer session to end.

Nature Links went to the Mango Festival at Fairchild Tropical Gardens last Saturday 6/14/2012

Last Saturday we went to the Mango Festival at Fairchild Tropical Garden ! It was a great time, we learned alot about plants and ate (too many) mango's !

Everyone loved catching sight of these lovelyWest African Rainbow Lizards.

Mimi and Bruno enjoy the gardens.

Sean is actually looking at a snapping turtle at the shore of the lake, he just is not visible in the photo.

Erin and Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

Jenna shows Erin that is is possible to climb tree's !

We were sitting after a long day of walking around discussing all that we saw, tasted and learned.




Saturday # 2 – Plant Identification

 On our nature walk Saturday with Juan Fernandez, he had the participants take a piece of Virginia Key native plants home with them to further identify them.

Erin was given – Spanish Stopper

Paula – Simpson Stopper

Sean- Coco Plum

Logan – Black Bead

Bruno – Sea Grape


Mimi – Mastic

Michelle – Invasive – Austrailian Pine


First day of Our Summer Program: Saturdays by the Bay

The first day was a total success. All of our participants had a great time on our nature walk, cooking session and lunch. We look forward to the rest of our Summer program filled with educational and fun activities.

Paula and Cindy taking a break during the introductory nature walk led by City of Miami Parks Senior Naturalist Juan Fernandez.

Beautiful Historic Virginia Key Beach Park !

Juan Fernandez removes an invasive species commonly known as “half flower”.

Having fun at Nature Links !

Chef Cody teaching Michelle how to grill chicken.

Paula and Cindy with new volunteer Arielle in the Historic Concession stand.

Sean holding our soon to be lunch in his hands.

Bruno and Logan squeeze limes for the dressing to our delicious chicken salad lunch.

We would Like to begin by thanking all who have helped us to get this program off the ground: The Historic Virgina Key Beach Park Trust, Miami Dade County Public School System, Miami Dade College Culinary Institute, MEED, ADA, The City Of Miami, University of Miami Card center, our board of Directors: John De Leon, Mari Chael, Alberto Ruder, Lixon Nelson and Jill Brookner and a special thanks to volunteers such as Anik Sternberg and Gary Milano of DERM.







Nature Links Orientation and Strong Women Strong Girls Service Project.

Strong Women Strong Girls came on Friday May 11, 2012 for a service learning project. They helped us get the facilities on Virginia Key ready for the begining of our summer program: Saturdays by The Bay, to begin on June 30, 2012.

Here we all are scrubbing down the historic concession stand where we will have cooking classes and a small classroom in the back where we will hold classes on topics such as: Weather Studies, Videography and Environmental Studies.

After cleaning the concession stand we started to build the raised beds for our organic gardens. Dylan Terry of Ready to Grow Gardens provided the soil and a few season appropriate plants. He also donated his expertise in garden building to our garden ! With everyone's help we managed to complete this project by the end of the day.

After a long day's work the volunteers were rewared with a guided nature by Gary Milano of Environmental Resource Protection Services of Miami Dade County. Virginia Key has an incredibly unique eco-system and it's just minutes away from Downtown Miami.

To finish their day off, they went for a ride on the historic train. Thank you Ladies !

On the following day Saturday May 12, 2012, we held our orientation for our Forthcomming program : Saturday's by the Bay, to begin June 30, 2012. About 25 parents and potential participants showed up to Virginia Key.

The event started with a power point presentation by Dr. Gregory Bush which briefly went over the island's rich history and an overview of the program. Following this Richard Towsend of Miami Dade College (pictured below in front of the crowd) gave an introduction to the types of environmental education Nature Links will be providing.

After the presentation , Mark Walters a board member of The Historic Virginia Key Beach Trust and naturalist ( The gentleman carrying the child) gave a tour of the island.

 If interested in participating in our summer program please fill out and send in our application. click here