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Sandy Dayhoff, East Ridge Resident

There’s a new face at the East Ridge Garden Center who is sharing her love of gardening with her neighbors.

When Sandy Dayhoff and her husband, Fred, moved to East Ridge, she wandered over to the Garden Center and knew she had found the perfect place.

The couple had lived and worked in the Big Cypress National Preserve, and Sandy worked with the Everglades Environmental Education Center on Loop Road. As a park ranger for 33 years, she taught children about the Everglades ecosystem and would take them camping and hiking.

They lived on five acres of land adjoining the Education Center.  Her yard was heavily gardened with tropical species of plants and orchids and also included an aviary.

When they found East Ridge in their search for a retirement community, Sandy felt it was everything she was looking for.  She certainly sees more people than her previous home, where her closest neighbor was about a half-mile away. East Ridge offers the tranquility and quiet they sought, and she was able to bring many of her plants, including her orchids.

Sandy acknowledges she doesn’t have a master gardener certification but has learned over the year how to care for plants.

Sandy Dayhoff in the East Ridge Garden Greenhouse

“I enjoy helping people and am happy to pass along tips, says the fourth-generation Floridian, who was born in Miami but lived in the Everglades for 57 years.

The Garden Center at East Ridge includes a spacious greenhouse and Garden Shop.  Sandy enjoys weeding and watering and can be found at the Garden Center just about every other day.  While some East Ridge residents have been devoted volunteers such as Kathleen Frost and Bob Parkerson, she’s recruited new enthusiasts such as Annie Gonzalez, Kathy Scarborough and Fran Plummer who enjoy watering.  Volunteers are always welcomed.

About East Ridge

East Ridge at Cutler Bay is Miami-Dade County’s only true life care retirement community. The not-for-profit community draws from the neighborhood charm of suburban Cutler Bay and the vibrancy of Miami in a lush tropical setting of 76 acres, located at 19301 S.W. 87th Avenue.  The community offers a continuum of care including independent and assisted living apartment homes in a neighborhood setting, respite and skilled nursing care, and rehabilitation services available within Three Palms Health Center.  For more information or to schedule a tour, please call (305) 256-3564 visit