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More about Parks
Miami-Dade Parks also offers outstanding attractions including:
- Fruit and Spice Park - The only tropical botanical garden of its kind in the United States and a gardener's and horticulturalist's dream destination. The 35-acre park boasts more than 500 varieties of exotic and tropical fruits, vegetables, nuts, spices and herbs.
- Zoo Miami - A 740-acre cageless zoo that showcases more than 900 animals belonging to more than 250 species. It has excelled in the successful breeding of rare and endangered animals.
- Deering Estate at Cutler - A historic 444-acre bayfront park with nature preserves, archaeological sites, off shore island, and a education center and museum on South Florida Ecology. House tours of restored 1922 Stone Mansion.
- Crandon Golf Course - On Key Biscayne and Audubon certified, it is one of South Florida's premier golf courses in a pristine natural setting with breathtaking views and wildlife.
- Crandon Tennis Center - The Crandon Park Tennis Center and the Stadium, is home to the Sony Open Tennis Tournament, a 12-day tennis tournament featuring the top 96 men and women tennis players in the world.
- EcoAdventures - Naturalist guided tours through South Florida's unique and exciting network of parks, beaches, wildlife-landscapes, and wetlands, including the Everglades.
Arts and culture are also celebrated in Miami-Dade Parks facilities, creating a positive and inspiring environment for the presentation and development of the arts and to use the arts to bring together people of diverse cultures, generations, and walks of life.
Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department also welcomes persons with disabilities in all of our facilities, programs and events, and provides a wide variety of fun recreational opportunities for people of all ages with disabilities.
Miami-Dade County Parks is supported by The Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade a non-profit 501(c)3 organization supporting the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department's efforts to further develop Miami-Dade County's world-class parks system for residents and visitors.
Its mission is to create a healthier, more livable and sustainable Miami community by ensuring the implementation of the Parks Open Space Master Plan and the development of year-round park and recreation programs for local children, adults and people with disabilities.
Miami-Dade Parks began as a Division of the County Road and Bridge Department in 1929, planting trees along our community's highways. A.D. Barnes, a leader in the National Parks, Recreation and Open Space movement, persuaded Commodore Matheson to donate 80 acres of land for, the first county park, Matheson Hammock Park.
Miami-Dade Parks now manages more than 12,000 acres and has more than 280 parks, recreational facilities and greenways. It continues to provide outstanding recreational facilities and programming to more than 25 million residents and visitors, making it one of the nation’s largest and busiest leisure service agencies.
A three-time national Gold medal winner for excellence in Parks administration, it is the only municipal park system of its size to be awarded National Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation and Open Space Agencies.
Parks are significant assets of a community's heritage. They are places of social and cultural gatherings, places of nature's beauty and places where we simply play.
In Miami-Dade, we have 75 years of parks that have enriched our lives and environment. Miami-Dade Parks is proud to preserve that heritage. We have designated seven parks that have played a vital role in this community's history, environment and recreational and cultural experiences.
Right-of-Way Aesthetic and Assets Management Division (RAAM)
The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department also comprises the Right-of-Way Aesthetic and Assets Management Division (RAAM) for the County. It fulfills five primary functions: Landscape Maintenance, Roadway Landscape Maintenance, Basic Roadside Safety Mowing, Enhanced Roadside Safety Mowing, and Metrorail/Metromover Landscape Maintenance Services.
Landscape Maintenance: Since Hurricane Andrew ravaged our community in 1992, the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners has recognized and emphasized the importance of landscape beautification, tree canopy restoration and maintenance along roadways in order to provide long-term environmental benefits and improve the quality of life of residents and tourists.
In 1999, the Miami-Dade County Public Works Department created the Right-of-Way Aesthetic and Assets Management Division (R.A.A.M.), to manage the contracts for landscape maintenance of medians and roadsides, and to provide professional quality tree care, planting, structural pruning and trimming, and tree fertilization and watering.
Roadway Landscape Maintenance: The R.A.A.M. Division provides landscape maintenance services to rights-of-way along Miami-Dade County roads. The work responsibilities include: grass mowing services along roadway medians and roadsides; tree trimming and pruning, and the collection and disposal of litter and debris. Since South Florida's climate contributes to a relatively fast vegetation growth rate, mowing is performed 15 times per year to adequately maintain the aesthetic appearance of the County's main roadway corridors.
Additionally, the R.A.A.M. Division provides landscape maintenance services 9 times per year to roadsides located in the unincorporated areas of the County. Depending on the characteristics of the rights-of-way areas, two levels of service are provided.
- Basic Roadside Safety Mowing: the mowing of a four to six-foot wide motorist safety shoulder strip next to the edge of the roadway.
- Enhanced Roadside Safety Mowing: mowing the full width of the public right-of-way area where trees have been planted by the County, maintaining tree rings, and mowing around utilities, such as, fire hydrants, utility poles, etc. This enhanced level of service also includes the trimming of tree limbs and branches, and litter pick-up and disposal services.
- Metrorail/Metromover Landscape Maintenance Services: The R.A.A.M. Division also provides full landscape maintenance services to all Metrorail/Metromover
In 2008, three of Miami-Dade County's largest public parks-Tropical, Tamiami and Goulds began providing free wireless service to residents and visitors as part of a pilot program. Since then, over 100,000 users have logged on. Due to the success of this pilot program, wireless service will be included in select future parks and in some parks being upgraded.
The success of the pilot program has reinforced the goal of Wireless Miami Dade - to create an environment that is technologically appealing to residents, visitors and businesses; to establish and maintain a sense of community safety; and to reach out to underserved residents. So far, we've concentrated on providing municipal Wi-Fi to residents to shrink the economic obstacles associated with access and deployment. But, more importantly, we want to improve residents' experiences when utilizing County services. So, we began to ask ourselves: what else makes sense today?
Based on our successful pilot program, we decided to expand our pilot to Metrorail and Metrobus. Since the pilot launch, wireless access has improved the transit experience for commuters, transit workers and has been an added convenience for the residents of Miami-Dade County. Wireless routers have been installed on four coaches serving a total of 20 trains throughout the entire rail network and in two 95 Express Buses.
Today, riders can hop on a train or bus, and check e-mails, read the newspaper online, or just surf the web on laptops, hand held devices, Kindles and iPads - for free - before they even arrive at the office. It's all about convenience and making the Miami-Dade transit experience better.
We're moving forward… embracing new technology and improving service for our residents.
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