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U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart Presents Check in Support of MDC’s Environmental Center

U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart Presents Check in Supportof MDC’s Environmental Center

(L-R) MDC Kendall Campus Environmental Center Director David Lotker, U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart and MDC President Eduardo J. Padron

Miami, June 9, 2009 - Surrounded by more than 300 species of plants, resident birds, butterflies, tortoises and iguanas, U.S. Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart recently presented Miami Dade College (MDC) with a check for $142,500 in federal funds to enhance the Kendall Campus Environmental Center. The money will be used for infrastructure improvements, such as placing solar panels on the 9-acre preserve.    

“We can not survive by asphalt alone,” Diaz-Balart said. “It’s not a ton of money, but it’s a step in the right direction. Every penny, every amount of money spent for MDC, I know it will be well spent.”

As a symbol of gratitude for his long-time support of the Environmental Center, MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón presented Diaz Balart with a special proclamation. A group of grade schoolers on their first day at the campus’ Science and Nature Camp served as witnesses.    

The funds for the Environmental Center were made possible thanks to Diaz-Balart’s efforts and through the Fiscal Year 08-09 omnibus appropriations bill that was signed into law by President Obama this past March.

College and campus officials hope the donation inspires others to give as well. The goal is to build a large-scale educational facility that will be a learning environment for green workers and site where individuals from the community can learn best practices. But much more money is needed.

The center includes a 3-acre lake that is home to numerous species of fish, pine rock land, an orchid house, butterfly garden, observation deck, chickee huts and other features that give students and the community a place to get hands-on environmental education.

The Science and Nature Camp is a 10-week program for children ages 6 to 11. Each week focuses on a different theme, including astronomy, ecology, microbiology, recycling and more.  

For more information, please contact Joe Pena, MDC’s federal relations director, at 305-237-3959 or  


Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

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