I have enjoyed Jungle Island — once Parrot Jungle — for many years as one of the last true Miami attractions for the entire family and tourists to enjoy. Its move from Pinecrest to Watson Island was a Herculean effort. It survived hurricanes, recession and Pinecrest politicians. Pinecrest is now having to allow functions they denied Parrot Jungle to survive there. And now there are only the gardens, not all the beautiful birds and animals.
Miami and Miami-Dade County spent a great deal of money on the first arena for the Miami Heat, which was torn down, Marlins Stadium and the old Marine Stadium, which is still unusable.
Jungle Island employs 600 people. It pays taxes, including sales taxes. The books are audited, and the owners have put their own money and assets into it to keep the attraction afloat.
With the PortMiami tunnel construction adding to its access problems, Jungle Island continues to work on.
Let’s give this home-grown asset a hand and work with it. Times are tough, but it is getting better. I want my grandchildren and our tourists to enjoy this real Florida attraction.
Jean Newland, Miami Lakes