News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
April 09, 2014
Media Contact:
Laura Phillips
laf@miamidade.gov
305-755-7842

Miami-Dade County Parks and Miami-Dade County District 10 Commissioner Javier D. Souto make way for a Future Improvement Project and Roadway Naming for Tropical Park


(MIAMI, April 9, 2014) - The Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department and Miami-Dade County District 10 Commissioner, Senator Javier D. Souto, invite residents to join them at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 12, 2014, as they announce an upcoming improvement project to the stadium at Tropical Park, located at 7900 SW 40 Street, Miami.  The ceremony will unveil signage to mark this designation. The event will also introduce the naming of the existing roadway leading to the internationally renowned Ronald Reagan Equestrian Complex as Dr. Roberto Parajon Way. The late Dr. Parajon was best known as “Ambassador-At-Large” for the Florida International Agri-business Trade Show for nearly two decades. The roadway naming is the result of a resolution sponsored by Commissioner Souto and approved by the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners. 

“Tropical Park is one of our community’s true gems. The improvements and roadway naming will serve to strengthen its vitality for the enjoyment of residents and visitors for years to come,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. 

“I am extremely pleased that Tropical Park’s landmark Memorial Stadium will soon have these much-needed track and field improvements,” said Commissioner Souto. “This park prides itself in its rich legacy, which Dr. Parajon will forever be part of.  He shared his talent for international agri-business to help us grow the Miami International Agriculture, Horse and Cattle Show to the world-class stature that it is today – attended by more than 60,000 visitors from more than 24 countries. It is only fitting that we honor him in this way.” 

“By improving park spaces we are enhancing the recreational appeal for visitors.  The addition of memorial markers adds pause for reflection of the people behind the makings of this great park,” said Miami-Dade County Parks Director Jack Kardys.  

The preliminary improvement plan includes new artificial turf for the football field and new surfacing for the track at Tropical Park Memorial Stadium. The budgeted cost for the stadium improvements is $3.4 million.  Funding will be provided by the “Building Better Communities” General Obligation Bond Program and a National Football League Grant. 

Dr. Parajon was born in Havana, Cuba on August 3, 1913, and passed away on July 5, 2010, at the age of 96. During his lifetime, he worked as a veterinary physician specializing in large animals, as special assistant to Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Doyle Conner and as a Marketing Specialist with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs, a position he held for nearly 20 years until his retirement.  Among his accolades, he is one of only three recipients to receive the Florida Department of Agriculture Honor Award and James A. Graham Award for Outstanding Service.

The 275-acre Tropical Park attracts more than one million visitors annually.  Visitors enjoy bicycling, walking or running on the miles of pathways, as well as boating at the park’s four lakes.  Athletes can play tennis, racquetball, basketball, soccer or join one of the popular softball leagues at this park.  The Equestrian Complex is a world-scale venue for premier equestrian sports and entertainment events – hosting nearly 36 equestrian events each year, three state and local dog shows, as well as the annual Miami International Agriculture, Cattle and Horse Show, a three-day event which drew approximately 30,000 visitors from around the world in 2012, and horse and cattle exhibitors from more than 18 states.  There is also a two-acre dog park with separate exercise and play areas for small and large dogs.  The park’s 6,000-seat Memorial Stadium is home to high school football games and the nationally recognized Miami-Dade Track and Field Team.  It has hosted such prestigious nationally track and field events as the Junior Olympics and USA National Track and Field Championships.  Located in front of the stadium is the Veterans Memorial.

For directions and information about recreational activities at Tropical Park visit www.miamidade.gov or call (305) 226-8315.   

About the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department:

Nationally accredited, a three-time winner of the NRPA National Gold Medal Award, winner of the 2013 Florida Governor’s Sustained Excellence Award and the 2009 Florida Governor’s Sterling Award for excellence in management and operations, Miami-Dade County Parks is the third largest county park system in the United States, consisting of 260 parks and 12,825 acres of land.  It is one of the most unique park and recreation systems in the world.  Made up of more than just playgrounds and athletic fields, it also comprises out-of-school, sports-development, and summer-camp programs; programs for seniors and people with disabilities; educational nature centers and nature preserves; environmental restoration efforts; arts and culture programs and events; the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler; the Crandon Tennis Center, home of the Sony Open; golf courses; beaches; marinas; campgrounds; pools; and more.  For information about Miami-Dade County Parks call 3-1-1, or visit www.miamidade.gov/parks/

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.  For more information on the Parks Foundation, please visit www.liveaparklife.org

To request material in accessible format, information on access for persons with disabilities, or sign language interpreter services (7 days in advance), call (305) 755-7848.