City of Miami Gardens: Parks and Recreation Department Review and Recommendations

Report National Resource Network Miami Gardens, Florida August 7, 2017 Finance + Operation

In 2014, residents in the City of Miami Gardens, Florida, approved a $60 million General Obligation bond referendum to support construction, renovations, and various improvements in the city’s 18 parks. Of voters, 62 percent voted “Yes” for the bond which is expected to cost the average household in Miami Gardens about $46.28 per year for 30 years.

In 2015, City Council unanimously passed the bond implementation plan, which included the construction of a culinary arts facility, an alternative sports complex, a recording studio, a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) facility, and a senior center. Other improvements included renovated lighting systems, new playgrounds, ADA-compliant parking and walking trails, and new fencing. In addition, the plan outlined a number of public safety enhancements.

That same year, the City of Miami Gardens and the National Resource Network began a partnership focused on three related quality of life issues in Miami Gardens:

  • Addressing neighborhood level blight issues
  • Supporting efforts to reduce crime
  • Maximizing the benefits of the City’s investment in Parks and Recreation

In 2016, the Network initiated engagements in each of these areas. The Center for Community Progress provided recommendations to the City on strategies to address blight and vacant property issues (found here). The Trust for Public Land provided recommendations based on best practices on how to implement programs based at the City’s parks and recreation facilities designed to prevent and reduce crime.

The Network’s final report to the city provided a programming and funding plan that included site-specific activities and staffing levels, identified ongoing funding needs, and outlined possible financing sources. Specifically, the report included recommendations on how Miami Gardens can enhance programming and engage partners to leverage the $60 million capital investment. The report provided analyses of the Parks and Recreation Department’s budget, staffing, and programming offered at the City’s parks and recreation facilities. In addition, the report offered recommendations grounded in national promising practices that can help the city maximize the impact of the $60 million investment in a fiscally sustainable way.

The Network’s engagement in Miami Gardens was led by consortium member PFM, with support from the Center for Community Progress and the Trust for Public Land.

See other articles about Miami Gardens, FL here.

City of Miami Gardens: Parks and Recreation Department Review and Recommendations