Miami Springs has just won TWO Public Space Challenges!
CHALLENGE WINNER #1: Making it Safe to Access the Circle
Back in April, we reported on how two local Miami Springs residents, Maria Font and Jennifer Gonzalez, were on a mission to make accessing the Miami Springs Circle safe by adding crosswalks. They submitted an application to the Miami Public Space Challenge and worked hard to drive awareness on their campaign. Well, we’re happy to report that they won! Thanks to this grassroots effort, they will receive funding to help make accessing the Miami Springs a whole lot safer with actual crosswalks that lead to the circle.
Great job to the dynamic duo of Maria Font and Jennifer Gonzalez. Congratulations ladies! Your hard work will pay off for this community for many years!
Watch the video below:
In an interview with MiamiSprings.com, Maria Font stated the following regarding the Circle: “It needs to be accessible and traffic shouldn’t be a deterrent to walk in here [the Circle] and use this space. You shouldn’t have to J-Walk in here to enjoy it.”
CHALLENGE WINNER #2: Paddle the River at the Springs
This application was filed by Miami Springs Councilwoman Maria Mitchell. She has spearheaded the movement to make the Miami River more accessible to residents who may want to kayak, canoe, or paddle board down the river. It’s an incredible natural resource full of wildlife including birds, fish, and manatees.
Here’s what Councilwoman Mitchell posted to the Public Space Challenge:
MY IDEA TO IMPROVE THIS PLACE…
Miami Springs is located in the “Heart of Miami-Dade County” & the original Miami River forms the city’s northern border. There is an old boat launch site on North Royal Poinciana Blvd. and Quail Ave., near a dog park. Many years ago, nature lovers could simply launch small watercraft from that ramp and paddle west to the everglades or east towards Biscayne Bay! Miami River is now closed near LeJuene Road, but it would still be wonderful if this amazing boat ramp & its banks were made attractive for picnics, fishing & accessible to “hand launching” of small watercraft so that individuals & families would not have to carry a kayak to someplace as far as Oleta State Park to enjoy an afternoon of along one of nature’s amazing waterways!
SO THAT PEOPLE COULD…
By having a local attractive and accessible site to fish or launch a canoe, kayak or other small watercraft, it would relieve the traffic, commute and user wear on more popular waterway access sites such as Oleta and Matheson Hammock. It would also provide an easy place for parents to teach their kids about boating and the amazing waterways surrounding Biscayne Bay and lead to the Everglades, without having to travel long distances with a kayak on top of their car! The South Florida Water Management District, which oversees this waterway recognizes it as open to recreation, yet it is extremely rare for someone to use it for that purpose. Rather than simply being a border between municipalities, people could enjoy this amazing waterway!
In the interim, the City of Miami Springs has already made progress at the old boat ramp with a new Tiki Hut adjacent to the boat ramp area.
Congratulations to Councilwoman Maria Mitchell on winning the Public Space Challenge. We thank you for spearheading this project for all those who enjoy what nature has to offer.
What is the Miami Public Space Challenge Anyways?
The Miami Foundation’s Public Space Challenge is a contest open to anyone in Miami-Dade County with an idea for creating, improving or activating their local public spaces. Together with our partners, we invest up to $305,000 to make the top ideas a reality. Target is a partner in the Challenge this year, helping to foster ideas that support thriving communities and a healthy environment.