My family and I moved into Miami’s Golden Pines neighborhood four years ago. We did so in part because of the popular 10-acre Douglas Park. Each week, I would take my children to enjoy the park’s many amenities — tennis, playground equipment, basketball, a jog/walk path and exercise equipment. Douglas Park was truly a park for everyone of all ages and abilities.
Then, 25 months ago, the city closed the park. Contamination had been found, including traces of toxic metals that — by the city’s own admission — were dangerous to children. Other parks, located in more-affluent Coconut Grove, experienced the same fate.
Rather than fully close off access to the park and begin the remediation process, the city has stalled. No cleanup has occurred. Now, the park is partially open, allowing residents easy access to its contaminated soil. This puts residents at risk.
The kicker? The Coconut Grove parks have been cleaned up and reopened.
As a former city administrator, I’ve had the pleasure of opening, creating and renovating several parks. If the park is contaminated, the city should take all steps necessary to clean it up and make Douglas Park a community asset once again. All we want for Christmas is our park.
Ralph Rosado, Miami