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Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
MIAMI– The centennialanniversary initiative of the National Park Service (NPS), including a visit from U.S. NPS Regional Director Patricia Hooks and a senior Department of the Interior official from Washington, D.C., Thursday, March 22, and the 150th anniversary of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), a major partner in designing the Greenway vision, are converging to spotlight the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway and President Bush’s National Parks Centennial Initiative.
The Biscayne-Everglades Greenway is a multi-partner project that will connect two of South Florida's national parks with an attractive, non-motorized, multi-use trail. Funding for the greenway design workshops is provided through a 150th anniversary AIA 150 Blueprint for America grant for $10,000. AIA Miami received this grant from the national organization to assist with the design of the greenway.
Two related community workshops will run consecutively on the evening of Thursday, March 22. The Biscayne - Everglades Greenway Community Workshop will take place from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. and the National Parks Listening Session from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. The first workshop will include an update on the Biscayne – Everglades Greenway, reviewing the selected Greenway route and focusing on key issues and amenities that will be incorporated into the final Master Plan. When completed the Greenway will be a premier non-motorized transportation alternative for South Miami Dade residents and visitors, linking Homestead, Florida City and neighboring communities with Biscayne and Everglades National Parks.
This event is the 2nd Greenway Community Workshop (the initial workshop soliciting public input was held in June 2006) and will begin with a preview of exhibits and displays, followed by brief presentations from community and sponsoring-agency leaders, and then a presentation of the Greenway vision by the project consultant, Glatting Jackson. The Greenway workshop will conclude with small group discussions among the public, project team members and representatives from the Miami Chapter of the AIA. The event will be held at the Miami Dade College Homestead Campus, located at 500 College Terrace, Aviation Building F, Room F222-F223, in Homestead, FL.
On Saturday, March 24, a Greenway Design Workshop will feature an AIA design presentation from 5 to 6 p.m. that the community is invited to attend. The venue will be the same as the March 22 event. The day will begin with a tour of the greenway route from 8 - 11 a.m.. Afterwards, AIA architects and project planners will lead an all-day design workshop to draft plans and visual renderings of amenities, signage and other features along the proposed route. Participation is limited to the first 50 people who register for the tour and design workshop.
The March 22, the National Parks Centennial Listening Session will be presented by Big Cypress National Preserve and Biscayne, Dry Tortugas and Everglades national parks from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. During the following three weeks, sessions will be held around the nation to discuss President Bush’s proposal to provide up to $3 billion in new public funding and private investment to improve and expand national park conservation, preservation and visitor service programs by the National Park Service’s 100th birthday in 2016.
"We will travel the country listening to our fellow citizens who care deeply about our national parks," Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne said. "This is a time for a thoughtful review of what needs to be done over the next decade, a great opportunity to think big and act boldly to develop a plan to prepare national parks for the future."
Participants for the NPS listening session are asked to focus their comments on three questions:
● Think of you, your children or future generations enjoying national parks in 2016 and beyond. What are your hopes and expectations?
● What role do you think national parks should play in the lives of Americans and visitors from around the world?
● What are the centennial signature projects and programs that you think should be highlighted for completion over the next 10 years?
Based on these discussions, Secretary Kempthorne and Director Bomar will identify signature projects and programs and set goals for more ranger-led programs, restored natural and cultural sites and greater volunteerism and philanthropy. They will present their recommendations to President Bush by May 31.
The Biscayne-Everglades Greenway is a collaboration among AIA Miami, the Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department, Biscayne and Everglades national parks, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Office of Greenways and Trails, the City of Homestead and the NPS Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program, among many others.
John Forbes, AIA, coordinator of the grant for AIA Miami, said, "Through the AIA 150 Biscayne-Everglades Greenway Project and our collaboration, we will achieve cultural connectivity at the grassroots level, community by community, with designs that reinforce the ethnicity and culture of each."
Anyone interested in participating in the March 24 workshop and tour should call Mark Heinicke of the Miami-Dade Park and Recreation Department at 305-755-5461 or e-mail him at e-mail us.
The Miami Dade College Homestead Campus is located at 500 College Terrace, Aviation Building F, Room F222-F223, Homestead, Florida.
NPS Centennial Initiative: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Biscayne – Everglades Greenway: Mark Heinicke, 305-755-5461
AIA Miami: Connie Crowther, 305-445-5545 or 305-710-3773