Like so many cities across America, Miami is experiencing a period of rapid growth. Booming real estate development, a growing population and expanding infrastructure are all part of the trend. But forgotten among the new high-rises and shopping centers are the natural green-spaces that offer a clue to Miami’s simpler past, a welcome escape from its hectic present and a natural buffer to mitigate future challenges like storm surge and flooding.
Wednesday, The Nature Conservancy, in partnership with the Miami Foundation and the University of Miami, is kicking off the Wagner Creek Greenspace Project, an effort to revitalize one such forgotten urban ecosystem with a community visioning session to create new green-space along the banks of long-neglected Wagner Creek.
For the unfamiliar, Wagner Creek originates in Allapattah, bisects Miami’s Health District and meanders through Overtown and Spring Garden before flowing into the Miami River. Once identified as Florida’s most-contaminated body of water, the waterway is now undergoing an $18 million cleanup funded by the City of Miami and the State of Florida.
Through its nationwide Cities Program, the Nature Conservancy will build on that positive momentum by creating new public green-space along Wagner Creek’s banks in the concrete-covered Health District. Using the public input we gather as a guide, we will create much-needed natural space for the 100,000 people who live and work there to exercise, relax, and connect with nature. These are small — but important — steps in a city where green-spaces are already at a premium and being further limited by development every day.
We invite the community to join us on the banks of the creek to share their vision for this welcome new urban green-space.
The Nature Conservancy in Florida,