This fall we are shining a light on one Sunny Isles Beach resident who has helped bring beauty and culture to our city. In 2012, he was the guiding force behind securing a Sister City relationship with Hengchun, Taiwan. He also proposed and helped develop the beautiful butterfly garden in Gateway Park. Keith has not only strengthened our international ties but also ensure a lasting environmental impact on our city.
How long have you lived in Sunny Isles Beach?
In 1991, I purchased my first Sunny Isles Beach oceanfront condo as a future retirement home. In 2004, it became my full-time residence.
Tell us a little about your involvement with the Sister City Program and Hengchun, Taiwan.
My wife Fang (Yvonne is her American name) was born and grew up in Taiwan. We met while she was studying for her Doctor’s Degree at NY Columbia University. In 2004 we married and in 2008, Fang became a U.S. citizen. I was thrilled to hear her say that becoming a U.S. citizen was the proudest moment in her life! Traveling the island of Taiwan together, I fell in love with their pristine Hengchun beaches similar to Sunny Isles Beach. After Netanya and Taormina Sister Cities were completed, I approached our Mayor and City Commission in 2012 about the value of Hengchun becoming our third International Sister City.
Tell us a little background about your involvement with the Butterfly Garden at Haulover Park and then at Gateway Park.
My wife and I both love nature and became annual members of Butterfly World in Coconut Creek. Fang asked if I could create our own butterfly garden. After testing many host plants at our home garden, we applied to adopt a section of Haulover Park. With great success and support from Miami-Dade County, our home and Haulover butterfly gardens still exist today. Next, as Gateway Park was in the early concept stage, I proposed at a City Commission Meeting to create another larger butterfly garden behind our Gateway Park stage. After unanimous approval, the city manager invited me to meet with the architect and landscape design team to share the best butterfly host and a flowering nectar plants and trees making our garden a great success.
Why should someone visit the butterfly garden?
The garden is very peaceful and filled with hundreds of flowers that bloom in different seasons. It’s a great way to connect with nature in our busy growing city. You will see butterflies flying every day and see children get excited to see live butterflies up close for their first experience.
What type of impact do you hope to have on our community?
I hope the garden will far outlast my lifetime, continuing to bring joy and happiness to our local community and visitors.
- Know someone who does great things for our Sunny Isles Beach community? Nominate them today!
- View our quarterly community spotlights.