Urban Paradise Guild brings green life to Miami (includes video story)

Miami is more vulnerable to climate change than any other big city in the United States. The Urban Paradise Guild believes we should fight to protect the 305 so that everyone can enjoy living in paradise years to come.

Sam Van Leer’s mission is to re-create native habitats in urban areas of Miami-Dade County and to promote sustainable models for healthy living that safeguard, enhance and integrate both human and natural worlds.

“I have been doing this for over 10 years, so I should have an army behind me right now,” said Van Leer, as he explained the urgency needed to combat the threats of climate change. “Wake up and smell the carbon.”

The Guild’s student volunteers work on many environmentally sensitive sites, such as ACE Preserve in North Miami and Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah, to bring back endangered plants and remove invasive species. The organization also promotes policies that protect the green spaces scattered throughout Miami.

Hennessy Sepulveda is an FIU student who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree
in Digital Journalism. She obtained an associates in arts in Mass Communications/Journalism
from Miami Dade College. She has also worked as a contributing writer for PantherNow.

Beatriz Rivera is a senior Digital Communications/Digital Journalism She has worked with many nonprofit organizations such as The Little Lighthouse Foundation, MOCA North Miami, Pérez Art Museum Miami, and Creations for Cures. They combine their passion for the arts and compassion for the community through various practices that benefit the community that she has grown up in.