‘Focus on Parks’ connects area youth with outdoors

‘Focus on Parks’ connects area youth with outdoors

Group of 27 young South Dade camera buffs tried out digital cameras during a six-week program culminating with
a “sleepover” at Everglades National Park on Mar. 23.

Touring Miami-Dade parks and visiting scenic spots became a new adventure for Goulds Park area youngsters, many of whom rarely had traveled outside their neighborhood.

A six-week program took them on a bike trip to Cape Florida State Park, a boat tour of the Miami River and a walking tour of history in downtown Miami through cosponsorship of Miami-Dade Parks and the National Park Service.

Photography lessons were combined with use of camera gear to document their experiences, ending with a night camping out in Everglades National Park on Mar. 23. Photos of their excursions will be on display at the park’s Gallery Night on Apr. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m.

“Some of the children never have gone outside their own neighborhood, let alone seen the ocean or a forest,” said Jack Kardys, Parks director.

“By introducing photography to their outdoor experience we allow them to tell a visual story to share with participants, families, friends, and the community.”

The first “Focus on Parks” program session began at Gwen Cherry Park in the north end of the county in January, followed by a second group meeting Saturdays at Goulds Park, 11350 SW 216 St.

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