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Two Parks, One Name PDF Print E-mail
Written by Janet Goodman, BT Contributor   
February 2019

We find the real Parkview Island Park

DParkPatrol_1epending on whom you ask, you get different answers as to which Miami Beach park is named Parkview Island Park.

Ask Google Maps. A search will reveal two separate Parkview Island parks, one at 7430 Wayne Ave. and one on Dickens Avenue between 73rd and 74th streets.

At the Wayne Avenue site, there is no identifying park signage. But at the Dickens Avenue location, there is this signage: Parkview Island Park Accessible Kayak Launch. This is odd because the Dickens Avenue greenspace is located across the Tatum Waterway, and not on Parkview Island.

The BT asked Melissa Berthier, assistant director of the Office of Marketing and Communications for the City of Miami Beach, to solve this puzzle. She verified with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department that the true Parkview Island Park is the sign-less property at Wayne Avenue.

“The Dickens Avenue area is not officially a park,” she says, “but it is a passive greenspace. It has been historically referred to as Parkview Annex.”

ParkPatrol_2But what about the Dickens Avenue signage?

Berthier explains that the sign was erected by the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND), which issued a $142,000 grant that funded half of the kayak launch project. (FIND is the local sponsor of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and gives assistance to governments to develop waterway access and improvement projects.) FIND refers to this project as the Parkview Island Park Accessible Kayak Launch, even though it is at Parkview Annex and not at Parkview Island Park.

To add to the confusion, the city’s website refers to the Wayne Avenue property as Parkview Park, while the City of Miami Beach Blueways Master Plan refers to the Dickens Avenue site with a slight variation: Parkview Island Waterfront Park.

The real Parkview Island Park (on Wayne Avenue) received a major $111,000 overhaul in July 2017, funded through a general obligation bond and regular capital project funds. Previously, it was a passive greenspace; now it features a five-station Energi Prime Total Body Fitness System installed among woodchips, and a children’s playground with a slide and various climbing equipment.

ParkPatrol_3The playground has a rubberized safety floor, 360-degree fencing, and three benches, all protected under a broad blue canvas pavilion. Three additional benches are strategically placed along concrete footpaths. This park, at nearly two acres, has always been a popular community dog-walking spot, and two new pet waste stations help keep the area clean.

Also new to Parkview Island Park are the ample garbage receptacles, human water fountain, night lighting, and metal perimeter fencing installed for security. Native gumbo limbo, sea grape, poinciana, and other flowering trees offer shade and a quaint ambiance to this once-barren property. And where else in Miami Beach is there a free parking lot? This park gets high marks for its amenities, as well as for its transformation and beautification of the neighborhood.

Parkview Annex is located across Dickens Avenue from North Shore Park’s baseball fields. You can find plenty of spots at the $1-per-hour public parking lot south of the Annex between 72nd and 73rd streets, and a Citi Bike sharing and rental station is right there along Dickens.

This greenspace is home to many massive old trees, as well as younger, braced ones, perhaps victims of Hurricane Irma in 2017. There is a new eight-foot-wide concrete walkway compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act that takes you off the main street and through the site; for dog walkers, there is at least one pet waste station equipped with bags.

ParkPatrol_4The approximately 1.7-acre Annex was chosen as the location for the public kayak launch project, completed in May 2017. Berthier explains that the installation includes an accessible approach concrete platform, aluminum gangway, and a pile-anchored floating dock on the Tatum Waterway. Other improvements include the removal of invasive vegetation, and the planting of additional mangroves and other trees waterside. Environmental signage is now displayed at the gangway entrance to help educate visitors.

Berthier writes in an e-mail exchange with the BT: “This kayak launch installation restored the local ecosystem and created an environmental asset for the North Beach community. The launch provides Miami Beach residents and visitors easy access to the Blueways System, a natural network of adjoining canals, rivers, waterways, and lakes.”

At the northeast corner of the Annex property is a 0.2-acre plot reserved for the North Beach Community Garden. Opening in May 2008 and costing the City of Miami Beach $50,000 to create, this public garden is independently run by local gardeners.

ParkPatrol_5Edgar Rodriguez, who has worked in the garden for the past 11 years, serves as the manager, block captain, handyman, and main contact for the 46 active gardeners who rent space here and help him with his duties. He tells the BT that garden plots are available only to Miami Beach residents for an annual voluntary $10 donation, which helps cover the costs of repairs, hoses, and tools. Fall registration is in October.

Rodriguez estimates there are 85 plots (I counted at least 100). Previous garden renters have priority to keep their plots, and others interested are put on a first come, first served waiting list for the remaining boxes. There are three sizes of plots, all costing the same: 2.5 feet x 2.5 feet; 4x4; and 8x4. Plots are assigned according to the gardeners’ experience. Some 75 percent of the plots grow edible plants (vegetables, herbs, and fruit trees), while the remainder grow flowers.

Boxes are brimming with healthy plants this winter. Butterfly-friendly nectar plants pop up throughout the North Beach Community Garden, and also provide a bordering hedge interspersed with cardboard palms (Mexican cycad,  Zamia furfuracea) along the garden’s metal perimeter fencing.

Monarch butterflies were busy feasting on a yellow tropical milkweed near the Dickens Avenue fence gate during my visit. Only birds and butterflies have unfettered access to this charming, Eden-like garden, as it is only accessible to key-carrying garden members.



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Park_map

Parkview Island Park and
Parkview Annex


7430 Wayne Ave. and
Dickens Ave. at 73rd St.,
Miami Beach, FL 33141
305-861-3616

 


Park Rating
palm-1 palm-1 palm-1 palm-05 palm-0


Hours: Sunrise to sunset

Picnic Tables: No
Barbecues: No
Picnic pavilions: No
Athletic fields: No
Fitness equipment: Yes
Night lighting: Yes
Swimming pool: No
Playground: Yes
Kayak launch:<B> Yes

 

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