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About: Melissa Contreras

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"A dreamer, I have always wanted to make the world a better place. Why not start in my own back yard?" Melissa Contreras graduated from Florida International University in 2005 with a BA in International Relations, Magna Cum Laude. Her minor was Geography, and she worked as a research assistant on a National Science Foundation-funded study on civic engagement in Latino neighborhoods in transition (from gentrification or other processes). She was very pleased to see high-density urban barrios in Little Havana with food gardens in their front yards. Having been a gardener all her life, she decided that the revolution must begin at home. The land we each live on, no matter how small, has been entrusted to our care, and we must become good stewards of that land. Our yards should be full of life: microorganisms in fertile soil nurturing plants which nourish us, along with the birds, butterflies, bees, and other wildlife. Organic gardens for people and planet, keeping us healthy, as well as the water we drink. She lives in Miami, and thinks that a city with a year-round growing season should be an Urban Oasis. Plant food, not turf. If you are willing to eat what grows in your yard, then it must be chemical-free. Imagine an interconnected oasis of thousands of yards and patios, sustaining birds and pollinators as well as people. Please join us!

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