Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at Matheson Hammock Park West

Raquel Regalado, County Commissioner, District 7

As a park fanatic, I’m delighted that so many individuals are so obsessed with Matheson Hammock Park West – though few agree on its future.

I’ve learn the emails and the petition and take the feedback critically. I visited the park and requested the administration plenty of questions. I wished to take the time to coach myself not solely on the problems raised by many residents, but in addition in regards to the environmental situations within the park, and the way Matheson West suits into the bigger image of the parks we’re constructing. and keep for the good thing about the group.

After spending time in Matheson West with the departments and with my very own youngsters, I noticed how a gem it’s. However I’ve additionally seen the problems that stop everybody from having fun with it as absolutely as attainable.

The plan on the desk now could be very nicely intentioned, however I believe taking a step again and looking out on the parks on this area holistically will help us strike a greater stability between nature and repair. The curator of Coral Gables, Vince Lago, contacted me, providing to assist function a sounding board.

In conversations with Parks, my advice was to complete Chapman Canine Park and repair Chapman Subject Park first. It’s a group park virtually subsequent door that has been virtually deserted for over a decade. Amongst different issues, we have now to revive two baseball fields, end the entry street to the canine park and higher disguise the mini dump with public artwork. These are all issues I’ve been deeply concerned in in parks, DERM, and cultural affairs.

That achieved, again to Matheson. Backside line, Matheson is just not like different parks. It’s largely a pure forest and one of many final and largest rock hammocks within the county, about 65 acres of the 109 acres on the west aspect.

What the residents’ petition is asking for is, “Cease the environmental bloodbath at Matheson Park – West, and reopen the north aspect door for ALL !!”

Let’s take them separately.

For a number of years there was a dispute over College Home Highway. Initially the parks used it as an inner entry street, however over time it has turn into widespread observe for residents to make use of it to enter the park. It is rather handy, particularly for individuals with diminished mobility. The residents of Hammock Lake don’t need automotive visitors to cross by means of their neighborhood. Comprehensible.

Parks created a grasp plan to attempt to stability these points by closing the neighborhood road (arguing {that a} regional park wants a correct entrance), constructing parking elsewhere, and an ADA accessible boardwalk to attach it. . Parks additionally proposed to construct a two-acre canine park, strolling trails and different facilities.

The 2 arguments that resonate probably the most with me are the accessibility of ADA and environmental considerations. To this finish, I’m working with DERM to ascertain the very best makes use of of all environmentally endangered land (EEL) in Miami-Dade County, together with Matheson. I additionally requested Parks to search for options to the stroll.

The objective of the EEL program is to each protect and restore habitat. I believe centering the Matheson Plan on this objective and including an academic program to showcase the distinctive nature of this reserve is vital to attaining the fitting stability between entry and the setting for all residents who benefit from the park.

What the pandemic has taught us is that our inexperienced areas are very important to group well being and that entry to a wide range of customers is each useful and obligatory. Extra households needs to be current and inspiring this, whereas defending the pure components, would require thought and compromise.

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