Take these actions for a better Miami TODAY

This is the UPG Newsletter sent 12/31/2015…
Please subscribe to the UPG Newsletter HERE.
The steps each of us takes in 2016 will shape Miami’s future. We must be proactive now, or important opportunities will be lost forever.  If you are like me, you have made resolutions before: In the new year, I will start doing XYZ! Yet acting on the resolution got pushed back, old (bad) habits stayed in my routine… and the resolutions lost steam.
That changed when I awoke to the fact that action is a state of being. To start UPG, I had to be resolved to work to make Miami a better, safer place. I was no longer waiting to find the time, I was making the time, allocating the resources.  Every single victory – large or small – has only been possible because I am resolved.
Why should we be resolved?
The news is full of grim projections about Climate Change, and South Florida’s Coastal Flooding realities are beyond debate. Species teeter on the brink of extinction because of destructive humans. Children suffer malnutrition of body, mind and soul in the land of plenty. Corporate greed is stealing our Solar future.  Which ones motivate you?


Take Action: Easy Step by Step!  
Don’t just make a resolution. Be resolved. Start taking action today!

Tomorrow, take action again… and you will enter the new year with this new habit: taking action for Miami! 

We’ll call it the 9 Days of New Year.

1. Take the UPG Survey.
The only way we-the-people are going to help Miami is by raising a new generation of leaders. UPG is on it – we win awards for this!  We lead by example, encouraging volunteerism, service-learning, activism, sharing of knowledge, and fostering people who care about our ecosystems and our community.  We’ve been working for 7 years, and it is time to update our strategic plans. We need your input to grow!  Click to take the UPG Survey.

2. Volunteer with UPG.
We have Volunteer Opportunities at least 5x per week. Get your hands dirty – you will see the change!  Every project makes Miami a better place for people and for wildlife, and protects Miami from the causes and effects of Sea-Level Rise. Visit the Calendar for info, and make your RSVP.

3. Protect our Solar Future.
Big business is stealing our Solar Future, and Tallahassee has sold us out. We need to amend the FL Constitution to protect our right to have Solar Power. This campaign is out of money, so it is in your hands. Please sign the petition, and print extra copies for your friends, family and colleagues. It has to be hard-copy, and signers must be registered voters. Not a voter? Collect signatures! Full info here. Sign the Solar Choice Amendment Petition.

4. Prevent an Extinction.
The Miami Tiger Beetle needs YOU! The Richmond Rocklands, the last habitat where it lives, is in peril (a developer wants to turn it into a Walmart). Your input is needed.  The US Fish & Wildlife Service wants public comments in support of listing it as Endangered.

5. Donate to UPG.
If you haven’t already… or want to give more… please donate. This is so important – it keeps UPG working! Any amount will help… and you can even set a monthly donation amount that is right for your budget.  Please click here to donate.

6. Join the UPG Facebook Group.
If you use FB, it is a great way to hear what’s up. Invite your friends, and share information on local initiatives. Share & learn what you can do in your own backyard. Join the Facebook Group.

7. Nurture a Leader.
Students are learning that a UPG Internship, Team Leader or Specialist position is the decisive difference in building their careers. Experiences in the real world, tailored to their career track are the UPG difference. Acceptance to college and grad school, and obtaining scholarships (see below) are among the outcomes. Commitments range from 125-500 hours. Please forward this to a young leader (High School, College or Grad) who might benefit from this life-changing experience.  More info here.

8. Get Volunteer Service Hours.
UPG’s award-winning Service-Learning is open to virtually all students. Forward this to students, instructors and administrators so students can get their Volunteer Hours. More info here.

9. Join the UPG Policy Team!
We’ve been making major contributions for years… Climate Actions began in 2009, and are ongoing. We had major wins on Virginia Key, Oleta Annex, AC Preserve.
In collaboration with a growing list of Partners, we founded the Miami Climate Alliance this year, and changed Miami-Dade County’s Climate policy.
To get involved, send me an e-mail: [email protected].

Next. Stay Tuned!
We have more announcements coming up soon. There are important ways you can contribute behind the scenes!

Other News  

* Dan Paul Park (also known as Parcel B): Pavement on this spark space has been removed, and it looks like the County is fulfilling its commitment to provide public access! This is the site of the Chalktacular back in August.

* Former UPG Intern Carlos Perez (UPG Amelia & Oleta) was recognized by the Hispanic Scholarship Fund for his service to the community with a $2,000 Scholarship. Congrats!

Be Resolved to make Miami a better place, and to do your part.
Thank you in advance for taking action!

Happy New Year!

Sam Van Leer
President & Founder
Urban Paradise Guild
[email protected]

Please subscribe to the UPG Newsletter HERE.