As a childhood resident, Chris Davis remembers when the Triangle was an area riddled with crime, drug dealing and corruption.
After a clean-up through a joint effort from local government and police, the neighborhood is now called Magnolia North, and Davis sees the change that has taken place in the area.
But he wanted to take things a step further.
“The Triangle area had a negative connotation, but now the people in the community can see the development and can see an actual tangible change in the area,” he said.
After finishing his master’s degree in public administration from Florida A&M, Davis, 25, decided that he wanted to work in the city he grew up in. Davis is the community organizer for the Opa-locka Community Development Corp. One of his duties is to manage a series of Pop-Up Park events, a temporary initiative to engage residents until a permanent park can be built in Magnolia North.
“Through this event, we want to get residents excited about development going on in the area,” said Davis.
The event will take place at 1811 Washington Ave., an empty grassy lot near the intersection of James Street and Washington Avenue. It will feature a bounce house, sports activities, music for all ages, and a farmer’s market. Heath care vendors, like the Jessie Trice Community Health Center, will be on site offering health screenings, HIV testing and blood pressure checks.
During the event, residents will also be able to sign up to receive a car-seat for a $20 co-pay.
On display will be sample work from artists who will be producing artwork for various locations in the Magnolia area, like a huge metal statue that will be located at the end of Ali Baba Avenue where it meets Northwest 151st Street.
This is the second Pop-Up Park event. The first was in October. Davis said that the CDC plans to have a Pop-Up park event quarterly until a permanent park can be built.
“Opa-locka holds a special place in my heart,” said Davis. “I wanted to be a community organizer so that I could return back to my community and make a positive impact on the resident’s future while creating social change.”