An Update from our friends in Miami
It’s been nearly two years since 300 volunteers brought their influence, labor and love to Miami Marine Stadium, Historic Virginia Key Beach Park and North Point. The impact made in one day in May, 2014 has been far reaching – our sites continue to gain attention and our work is flourishing.
At Historic Virginia Key Beach Park:
The 800 plus trees planted last year by Tourism Cares at the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park are all thriving. After the May 30th event we had a very rainy summer of 2014 that greatly aided the trees successful establishment and many have grown significantly. The efforts made by the Tourism Cares volunteers have achieved a 99% success rate. In the summer, Gary and his team at TREEMENDOUS mapped out and cut a winding nature trail through the eighteen acre hammock so access is greatly improved and the public can more easily appreciate the variety of the growing tropical forest. He is currerntly working with the park to create a series of interpretive signs and ID tags for selected trees growing along the nature trail.
As the park grows, so does its need for plants! TREEMENDOUS is continuously organizing planting projects. If you are in Miami and want to help, please contact Jessicaa@tourismcares.org
At North Point:
The picture speaks for itself! The seagrasses the thriving! Since that tremendous effort the city completed the restoration and enhancement of that dune feature and planted a total of 36,000 sea oats and other native dune plants with volunteers. In 2015, eight loggerhead sea turtles nested along this beach, an American crocodile nested on the northern portion of the dune and it’s 13 progeny now reside in the adjacent wetland, and a significant population of the endangered beach peanut (Okenia hypogaea) recruited to the fore dune and occupies almost 400 linear feet of shoreline.
and finally, The Miami Marine Stadium:
The big news for the Marine Stadium is that the Miami Boat Show is moving to the Marine Stadium site for its February, 2016 show. The Miami Boat Show is the largest Boat Show in the world, and this exhibition will provide enormous exposure to the Marine Stadium. While the Stadium itself will not be used, the tents for displays will be placed adjacent to the Stadium and a large in water area in front of the Stadium is planned.
The 100,000 visitors to the Show will gain a firsthand look at the Stadium through the show. The sponsor of the Boat Show, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), is working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to provide a centrally located booth to describe the Stadium and its future. The National Trust has stepped up its involvement in Marine Stadium restoration plans. In September, the Trust lit up the Marine Stadium-with spectacular results.
As part of these efforts, the City of Miami has completely renovated the grounds around the Stadium. When the Boat Show leaves, the City will have a Flex Park made up of artificial grass-as described in the Virginia Key Master Plan.
There is more progress in the works. Through the efforts of the National Trust, the American Express Foundation has provided an $80,000 grant to analyze the seaside pilings and other significant structural characteristics of the Marine Stadium. This is a precursor to any renovation work. The City of Miami has also approved a Request for Letters of Interest to solicit proposals from groups who would like to operate the Marine Stadium. And the State of Florida has provided a grant of $1 million to go towards architectural work.
Finally, the City of Miami is about to establish a Virginia Key Oversight Committee. The purpose of this government appointed board is to encourage Island wide planning. This is a direct result of the Tourism Cares Miami initiative.