El Portal Little River Celebration Day

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Little River tour SAVE THE DATE 12.10.11


For immediate release
Florence Chamberlin
(786) 295-5365


DEC. 10, 2011

MIAMI—It’s a trivia question that perhaps only locals would know: Where in Miami is there a village with a Tequesta Indian habitation mound, a nature trail, and that also is a bird sanctuary? Residents know the Village of El Portal is one of Miami’s best-kept secrets, but it won’t be for long. To showcase its extraordinary native flora and fauna, unique heritage and cultural diversity, El Portal will be hosting the first ever “El Portal Little River Celebration Day,” Dec. 10, 2011, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m.
     “It will be a day committed to protecting, preserving and promoting the Little River and El Portal’s surrounding environmental assets,” El Portal Village Manager Jason Walker said. Sponsors of the festival include the Village of El Portal and the Village’s Architecture, Landscape and Environmental Committee, as well as with the support of various local organizations.
     Activities planned for the day include lots of family-friendly outdoor outings, music, art, and educational excursions. First up: a comprehensive bird tour with a resident member of the Tropical Audubon Society. A bird sanctuary, El Portal is home to peacocks, screech owls, cardinals and ibis, among other species, and the Little River is a habitat home to migrating bird species from all over the world.
     Next will be a “floating” first-hand view of the Little River’s native plant and wildlife, where people can kayak and canoe down the river and learn about its rich history and systemic significance. Together with the support of the Urban Paradise Guild, which formed a local chapter in El Portal last year, the excursion will be guided by Dr. Hugh Gladwin, an anthropologist and long time El Portal resident.
     Music performances will include a concert by the group Fatala, whose music features legendary Guinean balafonist, Ibrahima Dioubate, and the traditions of African folk compositions. Also performing is Inez Barlatier with her group Kazoots, an Afro-Indie Rock style band from the Miami music scene. Families can bring their own food baskets, chairs and blankets, and picnic on the campus of Horace Mann Middle School field while enjoying the show. Don’t forget to buy a ticket in a raffle of great prizes from local vendors and supporters, including a home water filtration system, veggie plant starters, Florida friendly plants, natural candles, yoga classes and others. Additionally, there will be a “river serenade” of Afro-Indigenous folkloric songs honoring fresh water by La Fortuna Muse Ensemble in the afternoon. The serenade can be viewed from various vantage points throughout the village. Biking and walking are encouraged for the event.
     Art will also be a centerpiece, as El Portal’s bridges will be decorated in interactive art installations. Thousands of peace flags representing cultures around the world will blanket the bridges, and festival-goers can create their own flags to be part of it. The installation, “Peace Flags in the Wind” by Joseph L. Vasile, comes to El Portal after venues such as Haiti, Romania, Istanbul, Turkey, New York City, Chicago, Panama City, and the Rosa Parks Museum in Montgomery, Ala. The author of a children’s book on the Miami Circle and Local Tequesta history, Yvonne Moyer will also share local knowledge of the Tequestas and sign copies of her book, “Millie May and the Miami Circle.”
     El Portal neighbors can register for a first-of-its-kind, village-wide residential composting initiative with CompostMobile. “We are very excited to help El Portal become one of the first communities in the state to implement a residential composting program,” said Jennifer Siquiera, coordinator of CompostMobile,. All scraps collected in El Portal will be given to the Horace Mann Middle School gardens and the nearby Little River Market community garden.
     For more information on the festival, visit http://elportalvillage.com/el-portal-little-river-celebration-day/

• 7:00 a.m.: BIRD TOUR – Meet at El Portal Village Hall – 500 NE 87th Street, El Portal 33138
• 1:00 p.m.: RIVER TOUR – Meet at El Portal Village Hall * Canoes or Kayaks only –limited space – advance registration required *
• 3:00 p.m.: RIVER SERENADE OF NATIVE AND AFRO-INDIGENOUS SONG Viewing points are at NE Second Avenue Bridge, North Miami Avenue Bridge, NW Second Avenue Foot Bridge, Tequesta Habitation Mound on NE 85th Street
• 3:30 – 7:00 p.m.: CONCERT & FAMILY PICNIC – Horace Mann Middle School Field, 8950 Northwest 2nd Avenue

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