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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 451 Arthur Vining Davis, Community Developer

Posted By Katie Alea, Sunday, April 13, 2014
Garden 451- Arthur Vining Davis
Continental Park 
10000 SW 82 Avenue, Miami, FL, 33156

Photo Credit of Mr. Davis portrait to Sir William Orpen in 1919

           When Mr. Davis died in 1962, he was one of the most respected businessmen in the Southeastern United States and the fifth richest man in America. He was an innovative and successful contributor to American industrial growth and Florida land development. He invested in land and other enterprises such as banks, airlines, shipping companies, and hotels. Davis is not just an important man but an influential one as well. He started with no money and no stock in the company and worked his way up. When he was in charge, the company (Alcoa) dominated the aluminum industry. 

       Although he was an ungenerous man alive, after his death he left behind the majority of his money to a trust he had established in 1953 and to Arvida (from ARthur VIning DAvis) a model town he had founded in 1927 for working families. Currently, there is The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations that provides financial assistance to educational, religious, cultural, and scientific institutions, and are regular PBS donors. Davis had joined what TIME called “the most distinguished club in U.S capitalism” -- the founders of vast philanthropic foundations. 

 The reason why I’m planting this garden is so that, just like Davis, this plant will start from the bottom and grow to dominate the park in botanical wildlife. It is also to display Mr. Davis’s legacy and influence any of the children who play in the park that if they work hard enough they can be just as successful and make Florida a better place. 

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Tags:  dog  garden  nature 

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Garden for Charles Ringling

Posted By Dammy Osh, Thursday, December 5, 2013

 Garden at Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition,Grounds 0901 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33165

Charles Ringling is no average Floridian. His brothers and himself wanted to create a type of recreation where people from far and wide could come and be blow away, thus the Ringling Brother circus was born. Charles Ringling created an experience of circus life that not even the Barnum and Bailey circus, which was leading at the time, could handle. He made attractions that not only brought entertainment but also helped the US economy and developed a true Floridian culture of providing pure entertainment and amusement Due to the thriving circus in Sarasota, the city was nicknamed Circus City, USA. People traveled world wide just to see the wonders and innovative ideas that Charles Ringling and his brothers could produce. In the pursuit of advancing Sarasota Florida, Charles Ringling and his brothers bought an estimated worth of 67,000 acres with 52 commercial lots that would be used for civil advancement. He created something never before seen in Sarasota, which was a 10 floor, 125 luxury hotel that was called Sarasota Hotel. I am dedicating this garden to Charles Ringling because of his major positive influence to the Floridian way of life. When people come to Florida, they come for relaxation, theme parks, excitement and a good time. I think we can all that Charles Ringling for that. Charles set the tone for Florida to be a fun and exciting place to come for enjoyment due to his love of wowing people and surprising them with something new to give them happiness. He expanded the possibilities of business in Florida especially with real estate and hospitality. Its now easier to understand why everyone buys land in Florida to build houses. Charles developed Florida’s real estate due to how he positively used the land for others to grow and expand on. This same principle is seen today because many people from around the world do come to Florida to grow and expand families and even businesses. He opened up the door for Florida to be big in hospitality. With his 125 room hotel which was something new for Floridians, he developed in in such a way that people would travel from far places, just to come and experience Florida’s hospitality services and experience. He set the tone in making Florida a well-attracted state in the US. I’m planting this garden at a fair because although I could not find a circus, a fair brings a wow factor and happiness to people that stay with them and cause them to always come back for more. Just like Charley Ringling would have done it.   

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