Gulfstream Academy Rain Garden

By Stephen Cummings

October 28, 2021

Hallandale Beach Organizations Working Side By Side

Gulfstream Academy has been the recipient of a beautiful new landscape in the front of the school filled with Bahama Cassia plants that will attract butterflies punctuated with pulchritudinous shrubbery through the volunteer efforts of several organizations and volunteers.

Volunteers planted a large variety of native plants including firebush, coontie, swamp lily, beautyberry and wild coffee.

Jonathan Carrillo, Program Director for the Hallandale Beach Police Athletic League garnered grant money from National P.A.L., the Kiwanis Club of Hallandale Beach and the city’s Rain Garden Rebate Program by creating a picturesque panorama.

A rain garden was created capturing the rainwater from the school’s roof and filtering it through the layers of plant roots and rocks on the way to the aquifer. Rain gardens can help reduce flooding and support wildlife.

A project of this magnitude required professional supervision for excavation of the soil and the proper design and placement for the sparkling brush and Ron Rollins is credited as the landscape architect who is employed by Broward County.

He was greatly assisted by Alyssa Jones Wood who is the LEED Green Associate for the Department Of Sustainability And Resiliency in Hallandale Beach and Rose Bechard Butman serves as the Naturescape Broward Outreach Coordinator.

Additionally, Victor Suarez and Yasmin Laycee were hands-on during the two-day event.

In a period where violence has permeated our local communities, children and adults throughout Hallandale Beach were galvanized working side by side for the benefit of a common goal.

Volunteers who worked tirelessly included the Hallandale High School Key Club revitalized by their new faculty advisor, Haymara Font, the Hallandale Beach Police Athletic League Leadership Academy mentored by Robert Flagg and the Hallandale Beach Teen Zone sponsored through our Parks and Recreation Department.

The young adults were rewarded with lunch from Marco’s Pizza and Wingstop for their untiring efforts.

A very special recognition to Munawear Ahmad Chaudhry and her group from the Baitul Naseer Mosque located at 208 Northwest 7th Court, Hallandale Beach, Florida 33009. They showed no hesitation to engage in the physical work of digging the soil and pushing the wheelbarrows. Munawar serves as the Ambassador for a Charity named: Humanity First linked with her Mosque that generously runs a Food Pantry that donates food on the last Sunday of each month.

A modest accolade must go out to Hallandale Beach City Commissioner, Sabrina Javellana who demonstrated her passion for service knee deep in dirt working in the garden both days. Javellana has supported a vast number of charities and causes and constantly seeks agenda items that will benefit the residents of whom she proudly represents.

Sabrina worked side by side with her dear friend and fellow Hallandale High School alumni, Noemi Lopez. Noemi is a recent honors graduate from the University of Tampa and works in the film industry behind the camera, but has been an indefatigable volunteer since she joined the key club at the age of 15.

Hallandale Beach City Manager, Jeremy Earle stopped by to view the progress and ensured the success of the project by providing the necessary equipment needed from the City for its completion.

Stop by Gulfstream Academy located in the southwest quadrant of Hallandale Beach located at 1000 Southwest 3rd Street, Hallandale Beach, Florida 33009 and view the magnificent collaborative efforts of men, women and children of all backgrounds beautifying their community and leaving them bursting with pride.