S. Floridians offer to help revitalize park

Local 10 spearheads Gratigny Plateau Park effort


MIAMI – Barely a day after launching the effort to develop a county park in a northwest Miami-Dade neighborhood filled with children, Local 10 received offers and ideas from people all over South Florida willing to be involved.

Juan Montes, of Coastal Innovations Construction, said he instantly had a vision of what Gratigny Plateau Park could become.

"The biggest part of this is for the kids. We can do an exercise area here, you know, where you can do walking," Montes said.

Montes drove to the park Thursday in rush hour traffic from Kendall to see the park, which he and his wife have offered to help build.

"Last year, we finally got to work again. The construction industry went down, and so did we. And so, somebody helped us, and now we want to lend a hand, as well," Montes said.

Local 10 is spearheading an effort to change the park, which is currently an empty field, into a fun, safe center for the neighborhood.

After Local 10 announced the project Wednesday, emails flowed in to the station, offering help. A couple in Oakland Park offered sweat equity to clean and paint. A playground equipment retailer expressed a desire to help. And, others offered to donate what money they could.

"That's a wonderful thing to do, just for the community, especially these kids out here, because they'll be out here playing football, and now they can play other things," said Chris Paul-Etienne, who has lived beside the park for most of his life.

Paul-Etienne said secure fencing would be an important feature of the park to him.

The Miami-Dade Parks Department has already included such fencing in a rendering of a plan for the park. Officials are excited that the parcels of land the county was given by former owners decades ago will finally become a neighborhood park thanks to so many people joining Local 10's effort to make a difference.

Anyone who would like to help with the project can email share@local10.com.