A barren open field once known as “Palm Glades Park” will be transformed by the county’s Parks and Recreation Department to give nearby residents a mini-park and their children a landscaped playground area.
Miami-Dade Commissioner Lynda Bell led a happy group of youngsters in a ground-breaking ceremony on July 8 at the 9.75-acre site celebrating the start of an $865,000 landscaping and improvement project at what is now “Debbie Curtin Park.”
Development plans at 22820 SW 112 Ave. include a 2,700-square-foot playground, eight-foot wide concrete walking path, new access road to paved parking and site furniture.
A shade canopy will be created by extensive Live Oaks and flowering trees. Bahia sodding will be implanted for a new lawn surface. The park also will be re-contoured to improve storm water drainage.
The former Palm Glades Park was renamed and opened in 2012 to honor the late Team Metro director who served in several leadership positions during a 25-plus year career with the county.
As a founding director for Team Metro, she helped establish eight offices throughout the county to provide direct services and assistance programs, including establishment of the Citizens Academy focused on bringing government and services closer to the people.
“Debbie Curtin devoted her life to public service and making our community a better place to live,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
Curtin who retired from county service in 2001, then focused her energies on a personal battle with cancer. She later chaired the American Cancer Society’s Miami Unit and helped organize “Relay for Life” and “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” programs, prior to her death in 2008. She was honored posthumously for distinguished service by the ACS.
“Debbie always put neighbors first and soon neighboring families and their children will have a new play area and exercise spaces to keep them healthy and fit,” Commissioner Bell said.
The project was developed by the Parks Design and Build Team with the design firm of Glatting, Jackson, Kercher, Anglin Inc. with funding by impact fees and a Community Development Block Grant.