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Written by Janet Goodman, BT Contributor   
October 2019

Miami Beach’s Pinetree Park gets better and better

IParkPatrol_1t had been nine years since I visited Pinetree Park in Miami Beach. I remembered it as a dark place with a thick canopy of trees and a fenced-in dog run. Since then, a lot of positive changes have occurred at the 7.2-acre pride of Mid-Beach.

The City of Miami Beach has 43 parks; according to the Trust for Public Land, 95 percent of its residents live within a ten-minute walk of at least one of them. Pinetree Park serves 2545 of those residents who live within that ten-minute-walk radius. Located at 4411 Pinetree Dr., the rectangular-shaped park has approximately 750 feet of frontage along Indian Creek waterway to the east, across the water from two historic hotels: the Fontainebleau and the Eden Roc.

In 2012, the City of Miami Beach installed a kayak launch and gravel-covered ramp at the park’s water’s edge, which was partially funded by a Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) grant. It’s built for walk-in vessels only; there’s no drive-up boat launch.

A new, eye-catching and decorative red concrete walkway meanders along the length of coastline, and the shore is fortified with levee-style, flood-resilient construction and a mangrove preserve, which are protected from foot traffic by recently improved post-and-double-chain fencing.

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The city is planning to replace the fixed kayak launch with a floating one, as it is underwater and unusable during high tides, and often needs repairs.

Design plans for the Mid-Beach Community Garden were announced in late 2010, to be located next to the future kayak launch site in the northeastern section of the park, which had been utilized as the Miami Beach Police K-9 training area that since moved to the Normandy Park area. The creation of this organic garden was originally funded with $40,000 as a capital project. In 2015, a $20,000 grant by Lowe’s Keep Miami-Dade Beautiful, and additional city funds were used to make the garden ADA-accessible by installing a navigable walkway, and 10 of the 85 new eight-by-eight-foot planter boxes were raised for those gardeners in wheelchairs.

Plant-bed boxes can only be rented by garden members. Signs indicate that Mid-Beach Community Garden is a certified butterfly garden with the North American Butterfly Association, and a certified Monarch Butterfly Garden.

ParkPatrol_3

On a BT visit to the park in August, monarchs were seen in the numerous nectar plants in and around the garden, and a huge firebush tree was lit up with zebra butterflies. There are multiple butterfly hatcheries on site. Miami Beach has two other community gardens: Joseph J. Vallari Victory Garden aka South Beach Victory Garden, and North Beach Community Garden at Parkview Annex.

On the opposite end of the park, to the south, is the sizable fenced-in dog park built in 2001 with funds from a general obligation bond. There are separate runs for small and large dogs, and each enclosure has a human/canine water fountain (one is a recent addition) and three new green metal park benches. For pet safety, there’s a double-gated entrance and a recent addition of another “pet foyer” between the small and large dog areas.

In an e-mail exchange with the BT, Melissa Berthier, assistant director of marketing and communications for the City of Miami Beach, notes that the dog park fencing was installed not so long ago and that the sod has been replaced multiple times in the past three years. The gate connecting the two sections is difficult to latch and needs to be serviced.

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The small-dog area is shaded by a large banyan tree and has a center of mostly pea gravel mixed with crushed organic material, followed by a narrow outer ring of natural grass surface. The area for large dogs is less shaded, with smaller trees but is entirely covered with natural grass.

Recently, several new pieces of agility equipment were installed in the large-dog section, including hoop jumps, a doggy crawl tunnel, and a series of stepping paws platforms.

Miami Beach has five additional dog parks: South Pointe Park, Belle Isle Park, North Beach Oceanside Park, Flamingo Bark Park, and Washington Avenue Bark Park. Bark Beach isn’t fenced but allows dogs.

Four pet waste stations and numerous garbage receptacles (I lost count, there were so many) are placed in high-volume areas of Pinetree Park. New hybrid metal/recycled plastic benches are everywhere, too, and are essential for visitor relaxation. But above and beyond all these nice amenities is the beautifully landscaped and well-maintained greenspace with huge banyans, native gumbo limbo and mahogany trees, century-old Australian pines, sea grape, and palms.

ParkPatrol_5The once-thick canopy was partly due to a $10,850 donation in 1999 by the Tropical Audubon Society, accepted by the City of Miami Beach and used to create a coastal maritime hammock of native trees at Pinetree Park. Since then, the canopy has been thinned by storms, allowing in some sunshine and helping the grass to grow while still providing plenty of shade for welcome heat relief. Berthier says the city has been adding more natives to the tree canopy since Hurricane Irma.

Walkers and cyclists take advantage of the park’s asphalt walkways that loop through all this lovely greenery.

The entrance to Pinetree Park is nicely landscaped with fountain grass and attractive fencing made of embossed limestone and concrete blocks connected by chains. A bike rack, human/canine water fountain, a pet waste station with bags, and side-by-side garbage and recyclable bins sit nearby. Parking is plentiful here. The lot at the Pinetree Drive entrance has 15 spaces plus a handicap spot. Signage indicates free three-hour parking, but three hours may not be enough. This is a park you’ll likely want to hang out in all day.

 

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Park_map


Pinetree Park
4411 Pinetree Dr.
Miami Beach, FL 33140
305-861-3616


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


Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Picnic Tables
: No
Picnic pavilions: No
Dog Park: Yes
Community garden: Yes
Athletic fields: No
Kayak Launch: Yes
Night lighting: No
Playground: No

 

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