between SW 7th St and Miami River
The River Room connects The Underline to the Miami River Greenway and the Miami River.
The Miami River is an important natural waterway in our city, originally flowing from the Florida Everglades to Biscayne Bay. It provides habitat for our manatees, dolphins, and many fish. Aside from being an important natural feature, it adds beauty, facilitates transportation, and promotes urban development.
Pollinators on the Underline
Hello there! Did you see me fly by? I am one of your friendly native pollinators! Pollinators can be butterflies, bees, moths, beetles, flies, mosquitoes or even bats! You can meet different types of pollinators all along The Underline’s gardens. Butterflies are the easiest to spot, so keep your eyes peeled for our colorful wings!
Here in the River Room, you can spot Cassius blue butterflies, scientific name Leptotes cassius. We are light blue and at the bottom of our wings we have two small brown dots that look like eyes. We are some of South Florida’s smallest butterflies (only three quarters of an inch!) so look very closely if you want to find us. Can you see us?
What do pollinators do and why are we so important? Pollinators visit flowers to drink their sugary nectar (yum!). But flowers are also covered in a yellow powder, known as pollen. Pollen is dust like and will one day become the seeds of the new flowering plant.
When I land on a flower to get my sweet drink, that dusty pollen gets stuck on my legs. I visit many flowers in a day, picking up grains of pollen from new flowers and dropping off pollen from other flowers. This exchange of pollen is called “pollination” and is part of the process that creates the fruits and seeds that plants produce.
Pollinators are responsible for spreading the seeds of 75% of the world’s flowering plants. Many of those plants include the fruits and vegetables we eat, the plants we use to make our clothing (like cotton), the wood to build our homes (like oak and mahogany), and even many of our medicines (like aspirin!). Without pollinators, we would not have any of these important things!
The more pollinators you see, the healthier your environment is! Seeing less bees like me means that you may witness the effects of climate change. Why? Because butterflies, bees and other pollinators are very sensitive to the changes in our environment and important for more plants to grow.. Hotter temperatures and urban development change our native habitat. Sometimes the plants we use as food start to disappear and we must find new homes.
But good news, you can plant gardens around your city to help us find homes! Keep reading about urban gardening to learn how to help keep pollinators and our environment healthy!!
Do you see any other pollinators here in the River Room? Snap a pic! Post your pics and be sure to tag us! #climatechamps @theunderlinemia