Coconut Grove

Contaminated Coconut Grove park cleaned, reopened

Merrie Christmas Park, closed 18 months ago after the discovery of toxic heavy metals in the soil, has finally been cleaned and reopened.

The city of Miami announced Friday that a $1.2 million cleanup plan at the sloping lawn on South Le Jeune Road and Barbarossa Avenue has been completed, and the gated western half of the park reopened. The park is the second contaminated green space to undergo a full environmental remediation since the city shuttered portions or all of seven in late 2013 due to concerns about contaminants in the soil.

To clean the park, city contractors dug out contaminated soil from certain areas and ensured the contaminated portion of the park was sealed by layering at least two feet of clean soil on top. A bonded rubber mulch was placed around large banyan trees, and an existing playground was refurbished along with the installation of a rubberized playing surface.