Is the soil safe?

  • Fences have gone up at Merrie Christmas Park in Coconut Grove on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013. The fence is being erected to keep folks from entering the park where soil contamination has been found. PATRICK FARRELL / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Metro Express Inc. workers Miguel Sanchez, left, and Alvaro Velasquez pave the parking lot as the City of Miami began digging up the contaminated soil found in the parking area at Blanche Park on Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 in Coconut Grove, putting in clean soil and laying down asphalt The city and the county have since taken more than 150 soil samples from the park, which sits on land that was once a former ashpit for a shut-down Miami incinerator named Old Smokey. The contaniments in the soil exceeded levels allowed by the county. PATRICK FARRELL / MIAMI HERALD

  • Environmental consultants move a piece of equipment called a Geoprobe into Blanche Park as the city and county started collecting soil samples at locations around the park on Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013. The Coconut Grove park was found to have very high levels of toxic metals and substances last month. The full results of the testing are pending. PATRICK FARRELL / MIAMI HERALD

  • FILE--Over 100 children from the City's Parks were among the first to dip into the pools of The City of Miami's first water park, Grapeland, in this May 14, 2008, file photo. The park was a former landfill and ash pit. Tests in 2005 showed its soil was contaminated by heavy metals. Its soil was eventually remediated and the park was made into a water park in 2008. MARICE COHN BAND / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • FILE--MIami's Busy Harbor, at what is now Bicentennial Park, is shown in this circa 1940's file photo. Testing in 2010 uncovered underground fuel tanks and elevated levels of arsenic and other contaminants in soil at Bicentennial Park. Tanks and soil removed. Partial reopening in December with inauguration of Perez Art Museum Miami. Historical Museum of Southern Fl / HISTORICAL MUSEUM OF SOUTHERN FLORIDA

  • A blue barrel lies abandoned near a fence on the West side of Fern Isle Park at 1100 NW 22nd Ave. The park was a former illegal dumping site -- the city of Miami used to dump construction debris there -- and has three monitoring wells on the park property. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • A cyclist pedals past one of three monitoring wells on the west side of Fern Isle Park at 1100 NW 22nd Ave. The park was a former illegal dumping site -- the city of Miami used to dump construction debris there illegally -- and has three monitoring wells on the park property. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • A family plays a game of soccer on the field at Hammocks Community Park at 9885 Hammocks Blvd on a recent October evening. The county found elevated levels of arsenic in the soil, although health officials determined the levels do not pose a health risk, so the park remains open. But the county has slated the park for soil remediation, a $2 million project. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • The playground at Hammocks Community Park at 9885 Hammocks Blvd. on a recent October evening. The county found elevated levels of arsenic in the soil, although health officials determined the levels do not pose a health risk, so the park remains open. But the county has slated the park for soil remediation, a $2 million project. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Children play on a sunken soccer field at Ives Estates Park, 20901 NE 16th Ave, on a recent October evening. The park has sunken fields and is surrounded by small rolling hills due to that it was formerly a landfill. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Children play on a sunken soccer field at Ives Estates Park, 20901 NE 16th Ave, on a recent October evening. The park has sunken fields used for soccer and football and is surrounded by small rolling hills due to the fact that it was formerly a landfill. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • A woman walks hand-in-hand with a small child along a path inside of Jose Marti Park at 362 SW Fourth Ave., along the Miami River on a recent October afternoon. Soil contamination was found in a small area, possibly a remnant of marine industrial activities on the river. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • An entrance gate at Jose Marti Park at 362 SW 4th Ave. Soil contamination was found in a small area, possibly a remnant of marine industrial activities on the river. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • The golf course at Melreese Country Club at 1802 NW 37th Ave. The golf course sits on the former site of an extensive ash deposit and landfill near Miami International Airport. Tests showed lead concentrations that although low, were sufficient to warrant corrective action, DERM concluded. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Golfers enjoy an afternoon at Melreese Country Club at 1802 NW 37th Ave. in Miami on a recent October afternoon. The golf course sits on the former site of an extensive ash deposit and landfill near Miami International Airport. Tests showed lead concentrations that although low, were sufficient to warrant corrective action, DERM concluded. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Abbriel Brown, 4, (far right) grabs onto Dameon Tyler's swing to help him along as the two play on the playground at Olinda Park at 2101 NW 51st St. on a recent October morning. The park, formerly a quarry and ash pit, was found to have significantly elevated levels of arsenic, lead and other heavy metals that exceeded federal safetey standards. The park was shut down in 2011 while it was cleaned up. The children's playground, which before was covered in sand, now has an artificial turf covering. The park reopened in June. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Abbriel Brown, 4, far right, does double-duty pushing both, Zachary Tyler, 2, left, and cousin Dameon Tyler, 2, center, on the swings at Olinda Park at 2101 NW 51st St. on a recent October morning. The park, formerly a rock pit, was found to have significantly elevated levels of lead, arsenic and other heavy metals and was shut down in 2011 while it was cleaned up. The children's playground, which before was covered in sand, now has an artificial turf covering. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • 8-year-old Harvey Vargas runs full speed ahead down a small hill at Mayor Roscoe Warren Municipal Park at 1400 E. Palm Dr. in Homestead on a recent October evening. The park had been a former Homestead/Florida City landfill and ash deposit. It was remediated and converted into park. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Fred Sotomayor,21, of Homestead, exercises on a pull-up bar at Mayor Roscoe Warren Municipal Park at 1400 E. Palm Dr. in Homestead on a recent October evening. The exercise area is covered in new artificial turf. The park had been a former Homestead/Florida City landfill and ash deposit. It was remediated and converted into park. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • Gwen Cherry Park at 7090 NW 22 Ave. It was a former quarry and trash dump. Testing in 1998 found elevated levels of arsenic and other contaminants in soil and park lake sediment. Lake temporarily fenced off. Portions of park excavated, paved and capped with two feet of sand. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

  • The playground at Gwen Cherry Park at 7090 NW 22 Ave. Testing in 1998 found elevated levels of arsenic and other contaminants in soil and park lake sediment. Lake temporarily fenced off. Portions of park excavated, paved and capped with two feet of sand. EMILY MICHOT / MIAMI HERALD STAFF