HARLEM – Local residents, business leaders and public officials gathered in the Harlem Community of Clewiston Florida on Thursday, Oct. 20 to dedicate a multi-acre Community Tree Park in honor of longtime Florida leader and Glades Lives Matter President Janet B. Taylor.
The new Janet B. Taylor Community Tree Park is located at the entrance to the Harlem Community on 7th Street.
“Commissioner Taylor has been a tireless advocate for the people of Hendry County for more than 50 years, so it is only fitting for the park near her home in Harlem to bear her name in commemoration of her years of service,” said Kristine Petersen, mayor of Clewiston. “On behalf of our local residents, we congratulate Ms. Taylor for such an outstanding career in public service.”
Taylor, who was caught completely by surprise by the dedication and ceremony, had worked tirelessly for several years with local businesses, community organizations, churches and the Harlem Tenants Association to secure the land and develop the tranquil tree park for the residents of her community.
The event featuring local elected officials, community leaders, U.S. Sugar employees, friends and family was sponsored by Glades Lives Matter and organized by the family of Janet Taylor
In dedicating the park, U.S. Sugar Senior Vice President Robert Coker, a friend for more than 40 years, invoked Taylor’s signature saying, “May God bless you that you be a blessing to others” – a quote also is
inscribed on the park’s entrance sign. Land for this beautiful park was donated in perpetuity by the people of U.S. Sugar.
Taylor has been an influential force for good in Florida and Hendry County for more than 50 years. She formed the Harlem Tenants Association in the early 1970s and has been instrumental in providing health care and protecting the civil rights of residents in her community. Taylor was publicly recognized by Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart for public service and dedication to her community in 2018.
Janet B. Taylor was born and raised in Clewiston Florida. She was a farm worker who went on to become the first Black female police officer for the Clewiston Police Department, and then a Hendry County Commissioner – serving for 22 years. Taylor is the founder and President of Glades Lives Matter