Touch a baby alligator. Hoot back at an owl. See a garden that grows dinosaur food.
Community Foundation of Broward Fundholders and Legacy Society members did that and much more during a behind-the-scenes experience at the Broward treasure, Flamingo Gardens.
The 60-acre botanical garden and Everglades wildlife sanctuary in Davie hosted the Community Foundation’s latest Food for Thought luncheon – an exclusive opportunity to learn about Broward’s big issues and how philanthropy through the Foundation delivers solutions.
About 60 Food for Thought attendees learned how support from Foundation Fundholders helps Flamingo Gardens rescue injured animals and preserve precious habitat.
They were able to see a bald eagle aviary made possible by gifts from Fundholders.
They took a tram ride through the new Fundholder-supported Cycad Garden, which features ancestors of once-abundant-but-now-threatened plants that dinosaurs used to devour.
The group also saw firsthand how Flamingo Gardens teaches visitors about the value of caring for South Florida’s wildlife and dwindling natural lands. The Fundholder-supported “Save our Swamps” ecological class is one of the ways Flamingo Gardens spreads that message to more 30,000 school children who visit each year.
“The environment is foundational and fundamental to all of our wellbeing and to the generations who follow us. And it needs special care,” said Maggie Dunn, a Foundation Legacy Society member who attended the luncheon. “Without this special care from the Community Foundation of Broward, we might not have these precious environmental resources.”
In addition to showcasing the results of past Fundholder support for Flamingo Gardens, the Food for Thought event explained the vital role that philanthropy through the Community Foundation will play in Flamingo Gardens’ future. A $500,000 grant from the Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund will support construction of a new 10,000-square-foot welcome center, featuring more meeting rooms, exhibit space and other updated facilities Flamingo Gardens needs to better serve guests.
Also, support from the Scott Family Fund will enable construction of a new parrot aviary.
“I thank all of you and the Community Foundation of Broward for helping us preserve this beauty spot,” Flamingo Gardens Executive Director Keith Clark told the Fundholders and Legacy Society members at the luncheon. “For helping us rescue and protect our native animals. And for helping us educate the public about our ecological impact to the Everglades and its inhabitants.”
Flamingo Gardens’ work to help Broward’s animals and environment exemplifies the kind of results the Community Foundation seeks to deliver through its ECO Broward and Animal Welfare initiatives. Since 1997, Foundation Fundholders have delivered more than $2.5 million in grants to organizations such as Flamingo Gardens that move the needle on care for animals and the environment.
Those philanthropic resources will need to grow to keep pace with the effects of Broward’s booming development, sea level rise and other environmental threats.
“Our goal is to create a vibrant community for everybody to live, both humans and animals alike,” the Foundation’s Charitable Grants Manager Justine Morgan said. “Make it a more livable and sustainable place to call home.”
Flamingo Gardens receives support from the following Funds at the Community Foundation of Broward:
Scott Family Fund
Mary N. Porter Legacy Fund
Harold Rosenberg Fund for Children’s Education
Elizabeth Clark Wood Fund
Helen and Frank Stoykov Charitable Endowment Fund
Allan Wolpowitz Fund
Elizabeth Ryan Fund
Mary and Alex Mackenzie Community Impact Fund
If you are ready to join our movement to tackle ECO Broward, Animal Welfare and other Issues That Matter, contact the Foundation’s Vice President of Philanthropic Services Nancy Thies at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-761-9503.