News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
July 16, 2014
Media Contact:
Laura Phillips
laf@miamidade.gov
305-755-7842

Miami-Dade Parks, Miami-Dade District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime and the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation announce the completion of new development at NFL Y.E.T. at Gwen Cherry Park


(MIAMI, July 16, 2014) —  The Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, Miami-Dade County District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime and the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation announce the completion of new development at the NFL Y.E.T. at Gwen Cherry Park, located at 7090 NW 22 Avenue, Miami.  This activity was made possible by the Our Miami Public Space Challenge, a project of The Miami Foundation and the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation, Inc. 

The public is invited to see the new park amenities during two dedication ceremonies on Thursday, July 24:

New Shade Structure - Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Time/Location: 10:00 a.m., Fitness Court 

New Field Lights - Lighting Ceremony

Time/Location:  7:00 p.m., Baseball Field 

“I am very happy to see this partnership between the Parks Department and the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation continue to increase the use of Gwen Cherry Park for the recreational enjoyment of the community and our children who participate in after-school and summer camp programs at this park," said Mayor Gimenez. 

“Gwen Cherry Park is a jewel of the Liberty City community.  These improvements represent an investment in this beautiful park and neighboring residents and their children," said Commissioner Monestime. 

“The Gwen Cherry Park Foundation is pleased to see the new improvements at Gwen Cherry Park and is glad that the shade canopy at the park has received the support of The Miami Foundation, Miami-Dade County Parks, Commissioner Monestime and the community,” said H.T. Smith, Chairman of the Board of the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation. 

"I would like to thank HT Smith and the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation for their continued efforts on behalf of Gwen Cherry Park.  This great park and these new amenities would not be possible without their generous time and support,” said Miami-Dade County Parks Director Jack Kardys. 

The park’s existing fitness court received a new 50-foot-long by 50-foot-high Mega Span shade structure, manufactured by Shade Systems. Providing shade canopy over the outdoor fitness area was inspired by a winning idea from the community that was submitted to The Miami Foundation’s 2013 Our Miami Public Space Challenge.  More than 250 ideas were submitted in the Challenge, of which 15 winning ideas were selected to share $130,000 in grant funding to make them a reality. The total cost for this project was $60,000.  Funding for the shade canopy was provided by: The Miami Foundation, as a Public Space Challenge grant to the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation; “Building Better Communities” General Obligation Bonds; and Park Impact Fees. 

An existing baseball/softball field received a new Musco sports lighting system, which included the installation of eleven (11) new concrete light poles, eighty (80) new 1500-watt lighting fixtures and a new electrical control panel. The new sports lighting will allow the field to be used for additional sports activities, such as football and soccer. The total cost for this project was $741,000 and made possible with funds provided by a Community Development Block Grant, Impact Fees and Capital Outlay Reserve Funds. 

The 38.5-acre Gwen Cherry Park contains three lighted multi-purpose athletic fields; two lighted basketball courts; a lighted 400-meter track; lighted baseball and softball fields; a swimming pool; an outdoor fitness gym; a fitness court; an amphitheater; a picnic area; a tot-lot; and the NFL Y.E.T. Center—also known as the National Football League (NFL) Youth Educational Town (Y.E.T.) Center—where children engage in recreational and sports programs, and after-school activities in its air-conditioned library, computer and arts-and-crafts rooms, game room, and 9,000-square-foot gymnasium for cultural, recreational and special events.  The new enhancements of a shade structure for the fitness court and new field lighting add to its list of quality amenities for the community to benefit from.  

One of 260 parks within the Miami-Dade County parks system, Gwen Cherry Park is named after the first African-American woman elected to the Florida Legislature, the late Mrs. Gwendolyn Cherry.  It has been a popular gathering space for the Liberty City community, since it first opened as the park’s recreation center in 1970 and its opening as NFL Y.E.T in 1996.  

For more information, the public can call Gwen Cherry Park at (305) 694-4889 or visit Miami-Dade County Parks on the web at www.miamidade.gov/parks. 

About the NFL Y.E.T. at Gwen Cherry Park:

The National Football League (NFL) Youth Educational Town (Y.E.T.) at Gwen Cherry Park in Liberty City is the result of the NFL's commitment to enhance the lives of at-risk youth in cities that host the Super Bowl.  Miami-Dade County became the recipient of a Youth Educational Town after hosting Super Bowl XXIX.

The third of 15 Y.E.T.s in the nation and the only NFL YET in Miami-Dade County, the facility originally cost $3.1 million dollars to build, which was funded by the NFL, the Super Bowl Host Committee of Miami and private funds raised through the United Way.  On December 16, 1996, the NFL Y.E.T. Center at Gwen Cherry Park opened to the public. 

About the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation:

The Gwen Cherry Park Foundation is the fundraising arm for the NFL Youth Education Town (NFL YET) located on Gwen Cherry Park. The Foundation’s mission is to provide financial support to the academic, health, cultural, social, and athletic programming at the NFL YET at Gwen Cherry Park. The Foundation’s long term goal is to fully fund an endowment to guarantee adequate funding for NFL YET programming in perpetuity. The Gwen Cherry Park Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. H. T. Smith is the Foundation’s Board Chairman. For more information on the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation, Inc. please visit: http://www.gwencherryparkfoundation.org/

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

About the Miami Foundation Public Space Challenge:

The Miami Foundation’s Our Miami Public Space Challenge uncovers the best ideas for creating, improving and activating local public spaces. The Foundation invests $100,000 to make the top ideas a reality. Health Foundation of South Florida invests an additional $30,000 for ideas promoting healthy exercise and access to fresh food. The Challenge is part of The Miami Foundation’s Our Miami initiative, which aims to attract and retain young talent in Miami-Dade by fostering a greater sense of community and building attachment to the city. Learn more at ourmiami.org

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