The Barnyard

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About Us


Coconut Grove Cares is a not for profit organization dedicated to building a better community for the children and families in the Village West Coconut Grove.


Founded in 1948 by Elizabeth Virrick and Father Theodore  Gibson to fight social injustice,    Coconut Grove Cares (CGC) has a legacy of fighting social injustice in West Coconut Grove. Originally created as a Slum Clearance Project, Coconut Grove Cares evolved as the community’s needs evolved–from civil rights in the 60s and ex-offenders programs in the 70s, to today’s Barnyard. Opened in 1983, the Barnyard Community Center is a safe, supervised place for neighborhood children. Through The Barnyard, Coconut Grove Cares offers free After-School and Summer Programs to children ages 5-13. The Barnyard is analternative to the streets and the crippling realities of unemployment, poverty, violence, teenage pregnancy, and drugs–which are now exacerbated by the relentless pressure of gentrification.

Elizabeth Virrick

   “The story of Coconut Grove Cares is part of the history of this community”                 

   – Founder, Elizabeth Virrick




  • Catherine Pennekamp, Board Chair
  • Tony Argiz, Treasurer
  • Nate Brand, Secretary
  • Shakeh Grady, Recording Secretary
  • Lauren Amron
  • Georgette Ballance
  • Ilaria Belloni Barreto
  • Diane Grob
  • Christa Gurka
  • Diane Rosenberg
  • Jula Tuellmann

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