Groundbreaking held at Gratigny Park

Published On: Jun 07 2012 01:48:45 PM EDT
Updated On: Jan 07 2013 04:39:45 PM EST

Thursday is a big day for Local 10's Making A Difference project at Gratigny Plateau Park.

MIAMI -

Local 10's plan to build a community park in local neighborhood is moving forward.

On Thursday, organizers broke ground on Gratigny Plateau park in the 800 block of Northwest 117th Street. 

SPECIAL SECTION: Gratigny Park

PHOTOS: Groundbreaking ceremony

It's a transformation that's decades overdue and will turn three blighted lots into a badly needed community park.

"Yes we do, been needing it for years, and now finally it's going to be," said resident Charlie Durham.

The idea for this project was born two months ago, following a Local 10 story about why the space, which was designated as a park by the county, was little more than an abandoned field.  The county purchased the land back in the 1950s, but there has never been a funding source to develop it into a park.

So, with the help of our friends at Miller Construction and EDSA, the plan to build Gratigny Plateau Park came to life.

The residents were consulted, and the final design approved. The park will feature a playground for kids, exercise stations for adults, walking paths and open space, all in the design of a flower.

"And really, looking at the stems, the flower, the roots, and combining all that so that it can be memorable to everybody," said Kona Gray, with EDSA, the architect of the park.

"I'm originally from Miami, and so I'm happy to do it. Our company's history has just been to be involved in community projects," said Tom Miller, owner of Miller Construction Co..

The groundbreaking was made even sweeter with a big cake and refreshments from Publix. Local 10's Laurie Jennings and Calvin Hughes were among those who turned the first shovels of dirt.

The construction is just getting started, but the project already shows how a partnership between private business, residents, community leaders and even TV news anchors can make a difference in our community.

"Parks make such a difference in a community, not only for the kids to recreate, but I think as a whole it's going to do good to tighten up the community," said Miami Dade Parks Director Jack Kardys.

Construction on the park will begin in about 30 days and should take three months to complete.

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