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we are passionate

At Bound by Beauty, we are passionate about pollinators and about conserving the important biodiversity that our lives depend on. We want our children’s and grandchildren’s futures to be full of the beauty of butterflies and birdsong, the magic of migration and metamorphosis.

we can fight climate change together

To achieve this, we work to create paradigm shifts in what people believe and how they act. We believe that butterflies and the process of metamorphosis have the power to transform the apathetic mindsets of “business as usual” and “there is nothing we can do about climate change.” Climate change is a scary existential concept, and fighting it seems an impossible task for many. But people want to do something positive. Saving butterflies is a powerfully positive proxy for combatting climate change.

OUR Vision

The creation of a stronger, more resilient, and sustainable region in the face of climate change and sea-level rise.

OUR MISSION

To transform how we interact with nature and with neighbors to create a more beautiful, resilient and sustainable community, using butterflies as the catalyst for change.

OUR MOTTO

Connect, Educate, Transform, Replicate

What else can achieve the following paradigm shifts?

transform
A cloud of butterflies transformed a young woman’s face from grief-stricken into awestruck in the blink of an eye.
convince
Another cloud of butterflies convinced a neighbor to stop using Roundup, after resisting despite the fact that his dog developed a cancer associated with the product.
watch
Watching the process of metamorphosis transformed a nonagenarian from a “glass half empty” into a “glass half full” person.

INSPIRE

Seeing a butterfly drinking nectar from a flower they planted for them transforms people into nurturers of nature, setting in motion a cascade of positive effects, from individuals stopping the use of toxic chemicals, to inspiring neighbors to carve up their lawns to create sanctuaries for native plants and wildlife, to transforming communities through the power of example and the magic of social media.

THE RBG

Opening people’s minds to the need to protect the beautiful and important biodiversity of the nature under our noses.

An offshoot of Bound by Beauty, The Rebel Botanists Gang was formed due to a revelation: we could use a rather dry document entitled “Some Lawn Weeds of South Florida and The Butterflies that Use Them”, created in 2014 by Steve Woodmansee of Pro Native Consulting, to open people’s eyes to the importance of these plants through fun and educational programs and activities, such as Wild Plant Scavenger Hunts and Cool Bug Safaris; Sidewalk Chalk Art; an exhibit entitled “Weeds to Wildflowers: Wild Plants that Host Butterflies; a Field Guide; and, last but not least, Butterfly Circles. We believe that once eyes are opened, people’s minds will follow with the need to protect this biodiversity.
Learn how you can start in your own garden to create a better future, and feel the joy, awe and wonder we experience on a daily basis.
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Our Board

Mary Benton

Founding Director

Mary Benton is a portrait painter, sculptor, and jewelry designer who put down roots in Miami Shores after 30 years of living all over the world. Concerned by the “business as usual” and “there’s nothing we can do about [climate change and sea level rise]” attitudes she encountered after moving to South Florida, she founded Bound by Beauty with a group of friends as a means of creating paradigm shifts in people by opening their eyes to the beauty and importance of nature through butterflies and the magical process of metamorphosis. Bound by Beauty designs innovative programs to transform neighbors into nurturers of nature and is constantly seeking new ways to open people’s eyes to the importance of conserving vital native flora and fauna in order to pass on to future generations a natural world that can sustain them.

Doug Barnes

Chair

Douglas Barnes is a professional résumé writer and former U.S. diplomat and international consultant with extensive experience in Latin America as well as in East Asia and Europe. Doug spent much of his Foreign Service career working in public diplomacy, promoting international exchange programs and managing relations with the press and public at U.S. embassies and consulates. A lover of nature and driven by concern for our planet’s future, he helped his wife Mary launch Bound by Beauty in 2016 and, as the stodgiest member of the board, was a shoo-in for Chair, a position he has held since January 2020.

Gwen Burzycki

Director

Gwen Burzycki is our fashion-conscious Board member. She is also a wetland ecologist and botanist who has spent much of her career in South Florida working in land conservation and restoration. She is an enthusiastic gardener with an environmental focus and recently documented over 100 species of native plants in her yard, along with many species of butterflies and other native and beneficial insects that have never been counted because they won't sit still long enough to allow documentation. In addition to serving on the Bound by Beauty Board, Gwen is also a member of the Dade Chapter Florida Native Plant Society, the Tropical Audubon Society, and several other non-profit organizations that seek to educate the public about the environment that surrounds and supports us and how we can be better stewards. Bound by Beauty is a natural fit for her and she is delighted to serve.

Liangy Calli

Director

Liangy Calli is a content writer, artist and activist. She is a transplant from the island of Puerto Rico since the 1980’s. She attended Miami Dade Community College for a degree in visual arts and simultaneously worked at a boutique law firm. Over the course of 20+ years she became a paralegal, graphic designer and office administrator – while attending the Art Institute and Florida International University. Today, Liangy has ditched her heels for “birks” and enjoys the wonder of her garden, a pandemic labor of love. Transformed by Bound by Beauty’s Mission and ongoing projects, she dedicates her time to writing content, making presentations and being an environmental advocate and political activist, using her talents to advance their efforts.

Carol Eannace Respondek

Director

Carol has spent almost 40 years in film/video production. Carol started out in Miami learning line and executive production, moving to post production as a post producer and later general manager of two leading post facilities in town, before opening her own production company, which has been in business now for about 25 years. She has learned to work easily with almost anyone and to build creative, efficient teams. A South Florida gardener from way back, it was not until she met Mary Benton that her interest turned to native plants and pollinators. Now she is very happily removing more ornamentals from her garden each year to provide additional space for the the wildlife we love, as she learns more about our biodiversity.

Jennifer Gibbs

Director

Jennifer Gibbs is a creative thinker and self-starter offering more than 20 years of experience as a professional fundraiser and public relations strategist. She is an award-winning director of marketing and public relations campaigns. Her family, civic and professional roots run deep in the South Florida community. Her grandfather, Alex Gordon, was a former Miami-Dade County Commissioner. She has also worked as a fundraiser and strategist for some of South Florida’s most recognizable non-profit institutions. She led the capital campaign efforts as the Senior Vice President of Development for the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science and most recently has a fundraising consulting practice. Jennifer is passionate about the climate justice movement.

Jeffrey Matthews

Treasurer

Jeffrey grew up in Vermont. After finishing college, he moved to Washington, DC for nearly 20 years and then relocated to Miami in 1998. He worked in the financial services sector serving in various roles over his career of 35 years. Upon an opportunity to enter into retirement from his professional career, he soon found another voice calling him into children’s education and began working at a private school in Miami in 2016. Through mutual friends, he met Mary and Doug several years ago and became intrigued by Mary’s passion for butterflies. He joined the Bound By Beauty board in July 2022 and accepted the role of Treasurer.

Mike Oliva

Director

When not toiling away helping Stanley Black&Decker plan their financial future, Mike can generally be found behind a table saw making sawdust, behind the stove cooking up something tasty, or toiling away in the garden creating homes for all the world’s creatures. He has been with Bound By Beauty since 2018 and served as Treasurer from 2020–2022.

Jan Domlesky

Director

Brought up on 52 acres and spending every spare minute in the field and forest with her brother and dog, Jan learned the value of Ohio hardwood forest ecosystems. With a big dose of Girl Scouts, gardening and family camping as a child and adult, outdoors is her undisputed happy place. Her professional career led her to administration and strategic planning, mostly in healthcare and lately at UM. She is active in the political realm to influence climate-related regulations as well as being active in the women’s movement and her family’s environmental education. She is a member of the Tropical Audubon Society and the Sierra Club. After living most of her life in northern states from Massachusetts to Oregon, transitioning to a South Florida garden 22 years ago was a radical learning endeavor. She is still pulling out non-natives in her landscape and replacing them with beautiful thriving native plants. And still learning!

Doug Barnes

Chair

Douglas Barnes is a professional résumé writer and former U.S. diplomat and international consultant with extensive experience in Latin America as well as in East Asia and Europe. Doug spent much of his Foreign Service career working in public diplomacy, promoting international exchange programs and managing relations with the press and public at U.S. embassies and consulates. A lover of nature and driven by concern for our planet’s future, he helped his wife Mary launch Bound by Beauty in 2016 and, as the stodgiest member of the board, was a shoo-in for Chair, a position he has held since January 2020.

Testimonials

  • My traditional SFL garden of orchids, palms, bromeliads, cycads and aroids has been transformed over the years to highlight native plants that benefit butterflies, birds and bees, thanks to the inspiration of Bound by Beauty. I've always valued conservation, as seen in our national parks, but didn't realize how important and joyful it is to be part of this same conservation in my own yard.
    Carol E.
    Bound by Beauty helped us shift our perspective on our garden as a habitat & ecosystem. Since we do not use chemicals we often get what some people consider to be “weeds” like Bidens Alba and “pests” like aphids. BbB taught us that native plants like Bidens alba feed butterfly caterpillars and pollinators and that aphids when left alone invite in native predators like hoverflies and ladybugs, and the more biodiversity the better. Our planet is at such risk and every green space can be part of the solution. Thanks BbB for all you do!
    Avra A.
  • I started planting native plants 23 year ago but I had never planted many flowers to attract pollinators until I learned from Bound by Beauty. Now I have many types of pollinators to add to my many native shrubs and trees. I also didn't know about the Atala butterfly and since I had many coonties I was able to establish them in my garden. Now I have many butterflies of different types, bees and many birds enjoying my wonderful garden.
    Ed L.
    Throughout the pandemic one of the things kept me sane-and even joyful- has been my garden. And I have Bound by Beauty to thank for that! Prior to discovering the wonders of native gardening and nurturing butterflies, my yard was a place to do battle with weeds and a struggle just to keep the lawn alive. Now I renew myself among the beautiful creatures that lay their eggs and grow into gorgeous butterflies, all nurtured by the plants that nature intended to be here in the first place! And the wonderful people I’ve met that are now friends has been an added bonus! Thank you BbB for bringing us together and helping to beautify the world around us.
    Karen H-M.
  • Bound by Beauty radically transformed my idea of what is possible in a suburban neighborhood. Creating a wildlife sanctuary and immersing myself in nature as a lifestyle has been my daily tonic. I pinch myself every day. I live in a tropical paradise teaming with butterflies, birds and a kaleidoscope of flowers.
    Jill L.
    I love being part of a community that looks out for one another by sharing crucial information, sharing ideas and concepts that benefit our environment - protecting our pollinators that we so desperately need. BbB has turned my heart green with passion, for a better tomorrow.
    Liangy C.
  • I love nature and Bound by Beauty inspires me to learn more, grow more native plants, and help our pollinators thrive. My garden is a wildlife sanctuary and I have Bound by Beauty to thank for it. It is a win/win for nature and me. Every day my garden brings me joy.
    Susan H.
    What a wonderful wonderful inspiration!

    To opening minds and worlds to the beauty of nature and to teach us all to be better stewards of this extraordinary planet.

    A few humble words of thanks seems so inadequate.
    Lola H.
  • My traditional SFL garden of orchids, palms, bromeliads, cycads and aroids has been transformed over the years to highlight native plants that benefit butterflies, birds and bees, thanks to the inspiration of Bound by Beauty. I've always valued conservation, as seen in our national parks, but didn't realize how important and joyful it is to be part of this same conservation in my own yard.
    Carol E.
  • Bound by Beauty helped us shift our perspective on our garden as a habitat & ecosystem. Since we do not use chemicals we often get what some people consider to be “weeds” like Bidens Alba and “pests” like aphids. BbB taught us that native plants like Bidens alba feed butterfly caterpillars and pollinators and that aphids when left alone invite in native predators like hoverflies and ladybugs, and the more biodiversity the better. Our planet is at such risk and every green space can be part of the solution. Thanks BbB for all you do!
    Avra A.
  • I started planting native plants 23 year ago but I had never planted many flowers to attract pollinators until I learned from Bound by Beauty. Now I have many types of pollinators to add to my many native shrubs and trees. I also didn't know about the Atala butterfly and since I had many coonties I was able to establish them in my garden. Now I have many butterflies of different types, bees and many birds enjoying my wonderful garden.
    Ed L.
  • Throughout the pandemic one of the things kept me sane-and even joyful- has been my garden. And I have Bound by Beauty to thank for that! Prior to discovering the wonders of native gardening and nurturing butterflies, my yard was a place to do battle with weeds and a struggle just to keep the lawn alive. Now I renew myself among the beautiful creatures that lay their eggs and grow into gorgeous butterflies, all nurtured by the plants that nature intended to be here in the first place! And the wonderful people I’ve met that are now friends has been an added bonus! Thank you BbB for bringing us together and helping to beautify the world around us.
    Karen H-M.
  • Bound by Beauty radically transformed my idea of what is possible in a suburban neighborhood. Creating a wildlife sanctuary and immersing myself in nature as a lifestyle has been my daily tonic. I pinch myself every day. I live in a tropical paradise teaming with butterflies, birds and a kaleidoscope of flowers.
    Jill L.
  • I love nature and Bound by Beauty inspires me to learn more, grow more native plants, and help our pollinators thrive. My garden is a wildlife sanctuary and I have Bound by Beauty to thank for it. It is a win/win for nature and me. Every day my garden brings me joy.
    Susan H.
  • What a wonderful wonderful inspiration!

    To opening minds and worlds to the beauty of nature and to teach us all to be better stewards of this extraordinary planet.

    A few humble words of thanks seems so inadequate.
    Lola H.

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