Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

Miami Gardens receives donation from Miami Dolphins for parks

Tom Garfinkel, Miami Dolphins president and CEO, poses with Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert and Twan Russell, Dolphins senior community affairs director. The city received a $50,000 gift from the Dolphins foundation at Sunday’s game to help with park renovations.
Tom Garfinkel, Miami Dolphins president and CEO, poses with Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert and Twan Russell, Dolphins senior community affairs director. The city received a $50,000 gift from the Dolphins foundation at Sunday’s game to help with park renovations. Miami Dolphins

Miami Gardens received another boost in its efforts to improve and renovate the city’s parks when it was given a donation from the Miami Dolphins Foundation at their final home game Sunday afternoon.

The city received $50,000 from the Dolphins Foundation and an NFL Foundation grant to fund renovations of Lester Brown Park, 310 NW 191st St., and the Brentwood Pool, 18800 NW 28th Pl. The parks are both near Sun Life Stadium and will feature the Dolphins’ Play 60 logo at both of the facilities.

The work will include building a new outdoor exercise area, new fencing around the park, expanding the walking trail and re-sodding the field. New landscaping and irrigation will also be installed along with video surveillance.

“Providing children and their families the opportunity to enjoy these renovated parks for generations to come is an inspiration to our entire organization,” Dolphins president and CEO Tom Garfinkel said in a statement.

Mayor Oliver Gilbert said he was happy to work with a community partner to give residents the opportunity to get more use out of the park space.

“It gives us the opportunity to transform the open space into more than just open space,” Gilbert said. “It allows people to come and and use the park to the greatest extent possible, even if it’s just for exercise.”

Assistant City Manager Craig Clay said he met with members of the Dolphins Foundation to talk about fitness stations and potential uses for the park and those talks created this partnership.

“We hope this is the first step in a long partnership with the Dolphins,” Clay said.

The planned renovations to the parks come as the city continues to expand plans for its general-obligation bond projects. Voters approved the $60 million bond issue last April and $50 million is set to be used on improving and renovating parks throughout the city.

Some plans for the bond have already been announced including a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) facility at Risco Park, 19010 NW 39th Ave., that will also house a recording and TV studio and instruction facility. The city negotiated a 40-year lease agreement with the Miami-Dade School Board, with two 10-year extensions.

Staffing for the STEM after-school programs will be paid for by the School Board, while the city will pay $1 a year for the lease and will handle maintenance of the land.

Continued work on Rolling Oaks Park and on a real-time crime center have also been discussed. City officials, at town hall meetings before the bond vote, said they will continue to hear community input as they plan future projects.

Clay said city staff hadn’t outlined a timetable for when the renovations will began but he hopes the work will begin soon after the new year.

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