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                      DePalma Park

M.E.’s place

Commission renames park in honor of resident

By Michael d’Oliveira
Pelican Staff

It may be small, .10 acres, but it’s hers; at least in name.  On July 28 Wilton Manors Commissioners unanimously voted to rename “Slash Pine Park,” located at the corner of Northeast 20 Drive and Northeast 7 Avenue, to “M.E. DePalma Park.”

 Commissioner Tom Green called DePalma “an inspiration” to him and said he wasn’t happy with the park’s original name.  “I hate the name of that park.”  DePalma, a 17-year resident of the city and former planning and zoning board member, played an important role in getting Wilton Manors certified, in July 2006, as a Community Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.

 “I am so grateful for you and all those who have worked with you to build up our community,” said Vice Mayor Justin Flippen.

 The goal of the program is to get people to landscape their yards in a more environmentally friendly way that also provides shelter, water and a source of food to native birds, butterflies and other species.

 At the commission meeting DePalma held up a map, showing 152 homes, businesses and places in the city that are certified as Wildlife Habitats.  “These are the people that live in Wilton Manors that think this city is an important place to live,” said DePalma.  “I didn’t make the difference, they did.”

 She also thanked Diana Guidry, with NatureScape Broward, and Patrick Cann, Wilton Manors leisure services director.  “He just kept being there for me,” said DePalma of Cann.  Wilton Manors was the second city in Broward County to be certified; Coconut Creek was first in 2005. 

 DePalma also served on the board for Naturescape Broward and helped get the county certified.  In 2005 Broward and Arlington County, Virginia tied as the first two counties in the nation to be certified.

 “You helped my wife and I get our house to be one of the ones that helped push the city to be what it is today and it’s a greener, meaner place to be in, so to speak.  It’s a remarkable thing that you’ve done for this community,” said Commissioner Scott Newton.

 “She does so many things.  She says it’s everybody else but she’s really the catalyst of it all,” said Hadny Fayyaz, vice president of the Fort Lauderdale Garden Club, of which DePalma is a member.

 DePalma joked about when Flippen first approached her with the idea.  “I think that would be absolutely wonderful but I think you have to die to have that done, and I’m not ready to die.” 

 A ceremony to officially rename the park took place February 17th, 2010 at 6 PM

walkway under
                      depalma park september 2010
February 2010
 September 2010


The City installed a walkway and a monument.  They are planting butterfly attracting plants like native salvia, beauty berry, wild coffee, milkweed, porterweed, pentas and wild lime.  The park bench in the shape of a butterfly was also added.

 butterfly bench

To see the photos from the dedication ceremony, current  images of the park, the plants selected that will attract birds, and a list of nectar and larval plants you can use to attract butterflies to your yard, Visit: http://www.medepalmapark.com


In November of 2011, Ms. DePalma was named National Ideal Ms. Florida Senior - Read the Sun-Sentinel April 2012 article: "Senior Spotight" . (in pdf format) and view EAST Magazine May 2012 feature article (page 16 image)





M.E. Depalma
Wilton Manors Pioneer - 2017

M.E. DePalma was honored by the Wilton Manors City Commission on May 9, 2017 as a Wilton Manors Pioneer. Nominated for the honor by the Wilton Manors Historical Society, Ms Depalma represented the City of Wilton Manors at the Broward County Historic Preservation Board's Pioneers Day Celebration on May 20, 2017. Broward County has recognized pioneers for over 40 years, honoring longtime residents who have been active in their communities, exemplifying a "pioneer" spirit. See Wilton Manors Historical Society - PIONEERS by Benjamin B. Little. View the article in the Town Crier/July/August 2017 (page 22)

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