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FLOR 500 Gardens
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500 Gardens (Public Gardens):

FLOR500 invites 500 schools and libraries from across the state's 67 counties plant 500 wildflower gardens and dedicate them to one of 500 important Floridians (selected by a team of historians) featured on this website. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to develop skills in art, history, and nature as they participate in celebrating 500 years of Florida.

Review the FLOR500 list of featured honorees in the their region and select a historic figure they want to honor when they plant their public wildflower garden.

For Title: Enter the NUMBER and NAME of Honoree from list,
For First Image: Enter MAIN Garden photo,
Add Credit Line for Photos if needed


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Garden 484 Ralph Hubbard Norton, Businessman and Art Collector

Posted By Dyana Cuan-Garcia, Thursday, April 24, 2014
Garden @ Amelia Earhart Park
401 E 65th St, Hialeah, FL 33013

The reason why I decided to plant my seeds in Amelia Earhart park is because Ralph Hubbard Norton was an artist and he would collect an extensive amount of art work for more than twenty years.  Norton founded what is now the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach and has been serving the community creatively since 1941. Amelia Earhart is like an art museum in a sense where they’re constantly displaying different “exhibitions” for different occasions. For instance, they host an Easter Eggstravaganza for families to enjoy the day with their children on Easter Sunday. That Eggstravaganza was as thought provoking and creative as an actual piece in an art gallery.  Amelia Earhart also hosts other events that are exhibit like such as Christmas events, annual fireworks for New Years and Independence Day, along with birthdays on the daily for whoever decides to host a birthday there.

Amelia Earhart Park also is like an art gallery in the sense where they have many activities to do throughout the park such as a petting zoo, kayaking, mountain biking, and volleyball, among many others. Attendees constantly go to the park as a form of a creative outlet. For instance, some people shoot photos; write novels, or journals, paint, or draw, etc. In essence, the park is like the Norton Museum where both locations are a cultural attraction for visitors and locals.

All in all, planting the seeds in Amelia Earhart in honor of Ralph Hubbard Norton was a great decision. Many people will appreciate the fact that his garden is planted there. The correlation between the park and his gallery are indubitably appropriate for this Flor 500 project. It will make many people happy once they walk past the growing garden.

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Tags:  484  amelia  garden 

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GARDEN 382 Dr. Howard Thurman, Civil Rights Leader

Posted By Gabriela Roque-Velasco, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Epiphany Catholic School

5557 SW 84 Street 

Miami, FL 33143



Dr. Howard Thurman, November 18, 1899-April 10, 1981, born in Daytona Beach Florida. A self made man graduated with honors from Morehouse College and the Colgate Rochester Divinity School. Thurman extended his ministry by serving as Director of Religious Life at Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. He was selected as the first dean of Rankin Chapel at Howard University.

Throughout his career, Thurman traveled heading missionary trips. One of his most memorable was a meeting with Mahatma Ghandi, where Ghandi told him he regretted not having made nonviolence more visible as a practice worldwide and suggested some American black men would succeed where he had failed. He left his post at Howard University, to establish the Church of the Fellowship of All People in San Francisco, the first racially integrated church in the United States. Dr. Thurman was invited to Boston University, and became the first black person to be named tenured Dean of chapel at a majority white university.

A prolific writer, Thurman wrote about 20 books of ethical and cultural criticism. His books influenced leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, such as Martin Luther King Jr. He later served as spiritual advisor to Martin Luther king Jr. Howard Thurman left a legacy. Thurman was named honorary Canon of the Cathedral of Saint john Divine. He was named one of the 50 most important figures in African-American history. Life magazine named him one of the 12 most important religious leaders in the United States. 

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Tags:  382  BostonUniversity  civilrightsleader  flor500  flora 500  garden  Ghandi  HowardThurman  MartinLutherkingJr. 

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402 Coacoochee (Wild Cat), Seminole Leader

Posted By Manuel Garcia, Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Planted in a small area inside of Indian Hammocks Park (11395 sw 79 st Miami, Fl) lies a small garden dedicated to Coacoochee, also known as Wild Cat. Coacoochee was a Seminole leader in Florida during the 18th century. He led a group with his father of Seminole Indians and Black Seminoles that had resided in Florida for over a century. His father was captured in 1837 and imprisoned in Fort Marion. Coacoochee went to the fort in a ceremonial headdress as a sign of peace. Colonel Thomas S Jesup agreed to speak with Coacoochee and his Seminole brothers. When the all the Seminoles arrived Jesup ordered they all be arrested. He was able to escape along with nineteen other Seminoles. Coacoochee then went to lead Seminole forces against Zachary Taylor at the Battle of Lake Okeechobee. He fought until he was forces to retreat with his men into the Everglades in 1841. It wasn’t until his father’s death in 1843 that Coacoochee surrendered to U.S. forces along with 200 of his followers. After worsening conditions with constant attacks from other tribes on his reservation and lack of support from the government Coacochee took 100 of his followers and settled in a new community in Mexico. The garden that was planted for Coacoochee symbolizes freedom, which is what this Seminole Chief was fighting for. He fought for freedom regardless of ones origin. Despite being Seminole or of color Coacoochee fought to protect his people and helped shape Florida into what it is today.

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Tags:  402  coacoochee  garden 

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341 Jacob Brock

Posted By Joselyn Miranda, Sunday, April 20, 2014
Name of the garden: A Truly Tropical Spot

472 NW 26 Avenue
Miami, Florida 33125

Dedication Essay: Jacob Brock was a major businessman figure in the history of Enterprise, Florida. The city of Enterprise is located in northern Florida which made it hard for me to find any location in his name. It was also very hard to find a hotel and have the permission to plant a garden in his honor. I therefore just chose to plant the Florida native flowers in my house where I have a garden and decided to give it a name and make it a public place. I came across the title “A Truly Tropical Spot”, from an advertisement of the Brock House, which was the hotel that Jacob Brock bought in 1854 and had a lot of business and tourist visiting and passing from the St. John River. He wanted to detour all the competition of other hotels towards his hotel. The Bock House later became the first winter hotel in Florida that attracted and became known for sportsmanship. He helped in the foundation on this city as well. It was interesting to have the garden in his honor in my house because he followed his desires of creating and founding the hotel when there wasn’t anything to start with. It was an interesting to be a part of this project as well conserving and creating awareness of what the state of Florida has gone through the past 500 years. With our rich history, we have a lot of things that we don’t know of and this is just on
e out of five hundred important Floridians.


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Tags:  Flor500  garden  Jacob Brock  The Brock House 

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Garden 405 Josephine Cortes

Posted By Cesar Gaviria, Sunday, April 20, 2014
Flagami Elementary School
920 SW 76th Ave
Miami, FL 33144

Josephine O. Cortes, a Journalist, publisher, and Pioneer. An adoptive Floridian, who always cared for her neighbors, friends and the entire community of Englewood Florida. Originally  working for
the United States Office of Education in Washington D.C. Josephine moved to Englewood with her son and daughter, where she would find her true home. She was a reporter for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, helped establish The Elsie Quirk Public Library, as well as the Englewood Herald, and she is the founder of “Pioneer Days” a yearly celebration in Englewood celebrating the founders of the small town. She was described as enthusiastic, and caring, she often spearheaded many initiatives within her community, including one where she gathered donated clothing and personally shipped to Poland for people in need. She wrote two books, It Happened in Englewood. a collection of her columns in the Sarasota Herald, and History of Englewood on the founding of Englewood, and its pioneering settlers.

An inspiration, Josephine’s attitude is one that is not found very often, hundreds of people have been effected by her many contribution to society and don’t even know it. That is why it is an honor for me to plant a few flowers and give her just a little bit more recognition for her actions.

 Josephine shall be remembered as one of 500 Floridians that helped shape this great state and the people within it.

Image of Josephine Cortes collected from- the Englewood review:
Memories: Josephine Cortes

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Tags:  405  Cortes  flora 500  garden  Josephine 

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