MIAMI-DADE, Fla. – The One and Only Local10 News' latest Make a Difference project took two years to complete.
In 2012, The One and Only Local 10 News Reporter Glenna Milberg worked on a story about the desolated land listed as Gratigny Plateau Park.
In the forgotten Pinewood neighborhood, three undeveloped properties near Northwest 8th Avenue and 117th Street were part of the Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreations inventory. Records showed the former property owners deeded the land asking that it be turned into a public park.
Milberg learned that lack of funding and resources prevented the development.
Despite regular maintenance, the lots were magnets for parked cars, garbage and dangerous pieces of broken glass.
"We're following the course with the money we've been given to spend," said Miami-Dade County Parks Director Jack Kardys in 2012. "If we find money through impact fees or something, we will certainly invest in parks like this."
Kardys spoke with Local10 News 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 News spearheaded that same spirit by harnessing resources to develop Gratigny Plateau Park with direction from the community.
"Bravo! That's nice," said resident Michelle Chenet. "I'd like to see playground, swings and slides."
The public-private partnership included dozens of South Florida companies and volunteers. Miami-Dade County officials worked with the donors to overcome obstacles. The One and Only Local 10 News Special Projects Producer Mayte Padron coordinated the effort with Miller Construction.
The vision of a flower-shaped path bloomed August 6. After two years of hard work, Chenet and other residents were able to explore the park when it opened to the public with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
"The children are happy. The residents are ecstatic ... It's going to be wonderful for this community for generations to come," Padron said.
The One and Only Local 10 News President Bert Medina, who grew up in Miami-Dade, was at the ribbon cutting ceremony. Medina encouraged the Local 10 News team to contribute to the Make a Difference park project.
The project gave Local 10 News "a great opportunity to give back to our community ... This is a fantastic thing to do," Medina said. "When you see the kids in the park, when you see the families come out here, it has made the last two years all real worth it."
SPECIAL SECTION: Complete coverage of Gratigny Plateau Park