Few things are as important to a community as its park system – and in Palmetto Bay even more so, since its moniker is “The Village of Parks.”
Parks clearly add to the quality of life in a community. They benefit residents both physically and mentally – and they even help boost property values. If nothing else, they just make you feel good to be alive.
The Palmetto Bay Village Council takes seriously the effort and planning that goes into providing top-quality public amenities for its residents – that’s why they work so hard to ensure that their policies and projects are a true reflection of what the community desires.
That’s also why they are about to engage in a Parks Master Plan Workshop, on June 2, to discuss the next phase in their parks system’s growth and to map out the a new 10-year vision for the current portfolio of public parks in Palmetto Bay.
The village’s first-ever master plan workshop in July 2007 focused on Coral Reef Park, Ludovici Park, Palmetto Bay Park, Perrine Wayside Park, and Thalatta Estate. But this time around, planning will include the future course proposed parks in the village such as The Woods, Palmetto Bay Village Center, Veterans Park, and neighborhood parks on SW 77th Ave., and on SW 159th Street.
Palmetto Bay’s first parks master plan had 20 specific goals established by residents. With 15 of those objectives met, this plan was mostly fulfilled. Additionally, the expressed desire for a community center is presently in the works, which was the second highest priority item on the list back in 2007. Surveys indicate that local residents are very satisfied with village park programs and facilities, but there is always room for improvement.
So where do we go from here?
Currently the council is considering ideas and innovations brought forth by residents through interim workshops and surveys conducted by the village. The number one item still pending is for a community room/wellness center, but there are many other items outlined in the survey results.
The work that takes place in June place now will provide a roadmap for the next 10 years, while at the same time, closing out the vision that was established in 2007.
Here are some ideas: if you truly are to be “The Village of Parks,” you really ought to have a park within walking distance of every resident’s home. However, only 55 percent of the population currently lives within walking distance of a municipal park. These parks also must be interconnected and provide a vast array of amenities for all residents.
I am sure there are many other great ideas out there – and this is where the residents come in. The village conducted a series of workshops and surveys over the past two years, in which residents were asked to provide input on the future of the system and what they envision. In the latest surveys, the following items were identified as being the preferred choice:
Palmetto Bay Park:
- Splash pad
- Additional restrooms
- Rope course
Coral Reef Park:
- Rock climbing wall
- Kayak/canoe rentals
- Miniature golf course
And so discussions at the upcoming workshop will include future projects and installations within the existing park system, such as the consideration of splash pads, kayaks, expanded playgrounds, nature centers, and expanded tree canopy. They also will assess current facilities and provide updates on current plans.
The Palmetto Bay Parks Master Plan Workshop takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church, 14401 Old Cutler Road, Palmetto Bay. Call 305-259-1234 for information.