Neglected park to get makeover

Local 10, community will join to develop rundown park


MIAMI – A neglected, underdeveloped county park in a northwest Miami-Dade neighborhood is about to be reborn, as Local10 joins with neighbors to make a difference.

Gratigny Plateau Park has been in the county inventory of parks for decades, since the three lots near Northwest 8th Avenue and 117th Street were deeded to the county by the owners who asked that it be maintained as a park.

But lack of funding and resources prevented development.  Despite regular maintenance, the lots are magnets for parked cars and garbage.

 "We're following the course with the money we've been given to spend," said Miami-Dade County Parks Director Jack Kardys. "If we find money through impact fees or something, we will certainly invest in parks like this."

Kardys spoke with Local10 after an event at Fairchild Tropical Gardens, one of the county's crown jewels of a park that is largely sustained through engaged, private donors and volunteers.

Local10 will spearhead that same spirit by harnessing resources to develop Gratigny Plateau Park, with direction from the community. Individuals and companies have already expressed interest in getting involved.

"Bravo! That's nice," said resident Michelle Chenet.  "I'd like to see playground, swings and slides."

Other neighbors had similar ideas for a playground in a community filled with families.

County Commissioner Jean Monestime, whose district comprises the park land, said he had already set his sights on Gratigny Plateau Park.

"We've been asking the administration to find money to build a decent tot lot or put some other equipment in," he said.

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