South Florida Green Team adopts and plants tree seedlings to restore coastlines in Biscayne Bay

By Krista Van Tassel
January 22nd, 2014
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Seedlings grow in the Wells Fargo Miami location.

Wells Fargo Green Teams focus on both community and office projects to help support our company’s environmental commitment. In Miami, our South Florida Green Team came up with a unique solution to supporting coastal restoration while also raising awareness of environmental issues at work.

The Miami Science Museum (now known as the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science), which received a Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities grant in 2012, needed help from volunteers for its fall project to collect mangrove seeds (called propaguls) that would be cultivated then replanted to help restore the coast line. Mangroves are a highly visible feature for tropical Florida and they serve an important ecological purpose by helping to protect coastal areas from erosion and storm surges, as well as create a healthy environment for fish, birds and reptiles.

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Volunteers navigated the coastlines of Biscayne Bay before planting the propagul seedlings.

Our Miami Green Team used the call for volunteers as a way to build awareness of their new 2013 Green Team and increase its membership.

In September, more than 45 team and family members gathered at Oleta State Park in North Miami Beach, to help collect mangrove seeds they would adopt to incubate at home. Because mangroves grow in coastal swamps, the team used kayaks to row through Biscayne Bay. Team members of the South Florida Green Team cared for several seedlings in the office.

In December, when the mangroves were ready for transfer to the swamps, the team organized a second volunteer event to plant more than 1,200 seedlings at a local park.

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The seedlings were successfully planted in September 2013.

What’s more, the South Florida Green Team tripled its membership after using this unique volunteer event to generate interest in protecting the local environment through actions we can all take at work, at home and in the community.

Now that the team is up and running, it’s looking forward to future volunteer opportunities and office campaigns to keep the eco momentum moving in Miami.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on creative approaches to community and team engagement. Please tell us what you think about this project or share your ideas through the comments section below.

Tags:   Florida   mangrove   Miami Science Museum   volunteer   
Krista Van Tassel

Krista Van Tassel

As Community and Team Member Engagement manager for Wells Fargo’s Environmental Affairs Team, Krista supports the company’s 70+ Green Teams, recognizing and promoting environmental innovator best practices, and engaging and educating team members about their role in helping the company’s sustainability efforts. She also manages Wells Fargo’s Environmental Solutions for Communities’ $3 million annual nonprofit grant program focused on helping make long-term sustainable economic investments in local communities where its customers and 264,000 team members work and live. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2009, Krista worked in a variety of sustainability and marketing positions in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors. Krista earned her MBA in International Business at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

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