Citizen support to help beautify the “West End” of M i a m i – D a d e County has been sought by Commissioner Juan C. Zapata who has initiated both artistic and cultural programs to recast West Kendall’s image.
In an open letter dated Sept. 18, Zapata asked residents to report any unsightly areas needing improvement while asking input for a Community Day of Service program directed toward cleanup of grafitti-covered walls.
Maintaining attractive landscapes throughout neighborhood street medians, swale and park areas is a focus of a Beautification Plan that most recently targeted seven walls in different communities.
All have been re-painted in a single color to cover multi-colored layers of clashing paint tones as well as unsightly grafitti.
Three medians have been beautified along SW 26th Street at the intersections of 137th, 132nd and 122nd avenues. New plantings spruce up areas along SW 42nd Street, SW 104th Street; SW 144th and SW 157th avenues.
Planting of 22 trees and 2,000 plants used matching funds of District 11 in partnership with the Miami-Dade County’s Million Trees Miami program.
Kendall area Boy Scouts contributed to the overall beautification effort with a Sept. 12 landscaping project, cleaning an area at a recently planted butterfly garden installed in Olympic Park, north of the Kendale Lakes Library.
Continuing with his arts and cultural programming, on Oct. 2, Zapata hosted one in a series of “West End After Dark Gallery Nights,” a continuing series held evenings at the library, 15205 SW 88 St. Free refreshments were provided by Total Wine and Firehouse Subs as residents toured an exhibit to honor Hispanic Heritage Month. The program, inaugurated in May, highlights the works of local artists.
Other recent public art projects have included the inaugural West End Art Fair in April, installing 10 artistically painted lawn chairs in local parks, and decorating 25 utility boxes with colorful wraps.
Zapata also seeks citizen involvement through service on any of six advisory committees that include Parks & Beautification, Bikes, Education, Economic Impact, Social Services and Art & Cultural Activities.
High school and college-age volunteers to assist the commission staff with special projects and events as well as citizens seeking more information on beautification should call the Commission District 11 office at 305-375-5511.