After protests, Miami promises to remove fake grass from Brickell

Resident say Astroturf is unsanitary, harms trees

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor, Louis Aguirre - Anchor/Reporter

MIAMI - Miami officials have agreed to remove recently installed Astroturf from sidewalks in the city's Brickell neighborhood after protests from neighbors.

Mayor Francis Suarez told protesters gathered along Brickell Avenue on Monday that the company that installed the AstroTurf, Easy Grass Miami, has agreed to remove the plastic turf at no cost to the city.

City officials plan meet with residents next week to discuss lingering concerns and to ensure the areas are replanted with natural grass.

Neighbors said the artificial grass is harmful to trees and worried that the plastic strips would become unsanitary from pet waste. Some of the sidewalk medians were covered in concrete with the fake grass placed on top.

"I can tell you hundreds of dogs go to the bathroom in that Astroturf every day, and you can already see little dried poops all over the place," protester Miriam Merino said.

The Astroturf was part of larger beautification project in the neighborhood that cost more than $300,000. Merino called it the "plastification" of Miami.

While the protesters were pleased with the city's decision, some of them remained skeptical.

"We still will have a very sharp eye on top of them," Merino said.

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