The city of Miami has scheduled a public meeting Oct. 16 at City Hall to detail its plans to reopen Merrie Christmas Park and five other city parks that remain partially or entirely closed due to the presence of toxic soil.
Merrie Christmas Park, located at South Le Jeune Road and Barbarossa Avenue, was closed one year ago after the discovery of toxic metals linked to dumped ash from a nearby incinerator closed in 1970. Crews began working last month on a county-approved plan to cover the soil with about two feet of clean fill and cap it, a plan some neighbors say is unacceptable because it includes the spreading of some toxic soil to other areas of the park for re-grading.
Miami officials say they’ll discuss the cleanup efforts, and Dr. Richard Weisman of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine will explain the risks associated with the contaminants in the soil. The meeting is at 3500 Pan American Dr.
EXPLORE: Until the 1970s, local officials often created parks atop landfills, ash dumps and old quarries without any safety standards. Here’s a look at Miami-Dade’s park history and safety.