Connect to Protect

Fairchild’s Connect to Protect Network is a citizen science program that enlists South Florida residents to plant native plants in order to connect the few remaining isolated fragments of pine rockland— our globally critically imperiled ecosystem. Installing native plants increases the probability that bees, butterflies and birds can find and transport seeds and pollen across developed areas that separate pine rockland fragments, improving gene flow and the prospects for survival of our region’s unique native plant heritage. The program is run by the Garden’s Conservation Team

Become a member / Contact us

Joining Connect to Protect is easy.  We only require that you are located in Miami-Dade or Monroe County, have an email address, and can maintain pesticide-free pine rockland plants on your property for at least two years. Persons without access to garden space are welcome to join as Email-only members.  To join, simply email your name, address, and telephone number to ConnectToProtect@fairchildgarden.org.  Schools and businesses, please provide the name of your institution and the name and email two additional coworkers who support joining the network.

Membership benefits:

  • Be a citizen scientist, providing information back to the network via occasional email polls. See our 2019 survey results.
  • Learn about nature through our monthly newsletter, group hikes, expert lectures, and more.
  • Pine Rockland Starter Kit.  New members may pick 5 free plants (10 for schools) grown by Fairchild native plant experts.
  • Yard sign. Click here to see our optional free sign.
  • Lower maintenance costs and increased wildlife presence.

Backyard biodiversity: ones to watch for

Once you have built great wildlife habitat in your yard, some of South Florida’s rarest butterflies and moths may come for a visit. Keep your eyes peeled for these rare gems, our 5 Most Wanted rare pine rockland pollinators: Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak, faithful beauty, Florida duskywing, lesser wasp moth, and yellow-banded wasp moth. We are tracking which of these appear in urban yards. Click the flyer on the right to learn more.

Seed needs

For a handful of species, we can never get enough seed and rely on homeowners to help provide them. Currently, our greatest needs are for pineland croton, torchwood, Biscayne prickly ash, and yellowwood. Members can drop seeds off at our nursery or mail them to us. Click the flyer on the right to learn more.

Pine rockland resources

Finding accurate information about pine rocklands can be tough!  These are some of our favorite resources.

Visit a pine rockland!

Are you wondering which pine rocklands are open for a visit?  Here are our top recommendations:

Preserves that are FREE to visit, have facilities and at least some portions that are ADA accessible.

Larry & Penny Thompson Park
Ron Ehman Park
AD Barnes Park

Preserves that are FREE to visit but lack facilities, staff, ADA trails, and/or parking.

Florida City EEL preserve
Goulds EEL preserve
Pineshore EEL preserve
Navy Wells EEL preserve
Rockdale EEL preserve

Preserves with admission fees; these have staff, facilities, and parking.

The Deering Estate (see the pineland on guided nature tour).

Everglades National Park

Get more plants!
Nurseries we recommended 

Click the buttons below to visit the websites of local native plant vendors. You can also purchase pine rockland plants at periodic sales hosted by Fairchild Garden or Tropical Audubon Society.

Silent Native Nursery   

Veber’s Jungle Garden

Plant Creations  

Casey’s Corner 

Richard Lyons Nursery

Garden help:
Design, installation and maintenance

These professionals have our recommendation for installing and maintaining native plant gardens. We gladly feature businesses that (1) have installed or upgraded at least 5 Florida native plantings, (2) do not install non-native invasive species, and (3) provide at least two clients who will vouch for their skills, work ethic and professionalism.  

Florida Roots, Inc.

Steven specializes in Florida native gardens. Contact him at floridarootsinc@gmail.com or 786.277.8739.

Jojo’s Garden

Joey specializes in Florida native gardens. Contact him at jojosgardenmiami@gmail.com 

adam & eve architecture & garden

adam & eve specializes in the design of native landscapes and modern homes.  Contact Buck: 786.291.4824

NaMa Native Landscapes

NaMa is a full service practice focused on the design and installation of South Florida native outdoor environments. Contact Natalia and Mauricio at 305.713.3596 or namanatives@gmail.com

Pot return program

We do use plastic pots in our nursery, but we hope they are not single-use plastic! CTPN members often return donated plant pots to us, for reuse them in the nursery.  We gladly accept undamaged pots during any distribution day for new member Starter Kits.  If you can reuse them at home, that is great, too!

Donations welcome

We gladly accept large and small donations from individuals or companies.  Donations help to purchase pots and soil, fund staff time, and keep CTPN free for all members. To donate, contact Jennifer Possley at 305-667-1651 ext. 3514 or jpossley@fairchildgarden.org. Online credit card donations are quick and easy. 

Photo credits:

Banner image by Eliana Ardila Kramer.

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