Recognizing that public parks, open space, community gardens, playgrounds, and recreational facilities are essential to improving the health of residents, OLCDC is implementing a plan to build parks, open space and community gardens throughout the community. Presently, each of OLCDC's residential developments includes a playground and areas for children to interact with the environment and engage in physical activities. OLCDC's goal is to transform neighborhoods into places that promote living an active lifestyle.
Pop-Up Park is a joint effort between OLCDC, the City of Opa-locka Parks and Recreation Department, and the Gold Coast Section of the American Planning Association. A Pop-Up Park is a temporary recreational event developed for and brought into a community as a way to provide open space activities to a neighborhood that lacks access to parks and green space. The Park promotes living an active lifestyle and making healthy eating choices by bringing healthy foods, physical activities, health screenings, and other healthy options to families. Magnolia North was the first neighborhood to host a Pop-Up Park. Look for the next Pop-Up Park in a neighborhood near you.
Magnolia North Community Park
The success of the Magnolia North Pop-Up park led to creation of the neighborhood's first permanent public space, the Magnolia North Community Park. In Summer 2013, OLCDC was awarded a KaBOOM! grant to build the Park's playground, which was based on designs drawn by local youth at a special October 2013 community design event.
The overall park has been planned and designed in phases that included community involvement and in-kind services from Florida International University's Landscape Architecture Department Chair Roberto Rovira and local landscape architects Rudolf Uhlemann and Anwar Morales.
On January 24, 2014, OLCDC, the City of Opa-locka, KaBOOM!, and 300 volunteers from the Opa-locka community, MetLife Foundation, Cypress Financial Group, Public Allies Miami and others joined forces to build the playground, install pathways and domino tables, plant landscaping, and paint a small mural as part of Phase I.
Since then, the community has engaged in Phase II of the Park's development. Local youth collaborated with the University of Miami's Socially Engaged Art class to design and build artful bike racks, which will be installed along with picnic tables in Fall 2014.
Residents also will help plant a butterfly garden and additional shade landscaping for the Park, thanks to additional funding from the Alliance for Community Trees and a partnership with Boise ASPEN.
This initiative, which was awarded the APA Florida Award of Excellence in the Grassroots Initiatives category, has provided residents with new opportunities to positively impact their environment while enhancing their sense of pride and ownership over their community.
Park City Apartments Playground
In addition to the play area, the new space includes benches, planters, a game board, and a shaded area. It will serve the Park City community for years to come, helping ensure that the neighborhood's more than 200 kids get the balanced and active play they need to become healthy and successful adults.
In addition to KaBOOM!, the Carmax Foundation, and Hallkeen Management, sponsors for this effort included Home Depot, Frye's Tool Rental, Cabot Creamery of Vermont, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, Gamma Zeta Omega Chapter.