This is a pivotal moment for our c o m m u n i t y because Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is asking commissioners to let voters to tell them whether the county should continue to fund the parks and recreation system at the current levels or to even consider enhancing funding to make up for the many maintenance and programmatic reductions the system has faced over the last 6 years. He wants the people to give him their opinion about the importance of parks, greenways, beaches and public spaces to their lives and communities.
Every day, thousands of children and adults rely on the Miami-Dade Parks System to provide clean, safe recreational facilities throughout the county. Whether it is the children who are enrolled in the after-school care programs, youngsters who play in youth sports programs every day, adults who participate in baseball or softball leagues in the evening and on weekends, tennis players who enjoy the facilities at centers around the county, or people who walk or jog on trails, tracks and open spaces, it is important to our quality of life that we continue to sustain and develop our parks program.
Miami-Dade residents and the many visitors to our community each year depend on the availability of clean, safe and engaging open spaces and beaches provided by our parks department workers. Our parks offer essential services — such as providing access to swimming lessons, exercise and fitness programs and even equestrian facilities — for children and adults of all means. It is important that we make the funding available to continue these vital and important programs.
Our community, along with the rest of the nation, is battling an obesity epidemic, and the Miami-Dade Parks system offers nationally recognized programming to help our children combat this problem. The parks system also provides an organized sports program for our children. These programs help children develop life skills that go far beyond physical fitness, skills such as discipline, leadership and teamwork, qualities that will help them to grow and become productive citizens in our society.
As the Greater Miami area continues to develop, the preservation of our open spaces and natural resources is even more critical to our community. It is important that you make your support known for the Miami- Dade Parks Department and its program for our recreational facilities. Tell the Mayor how you feel about our parks and open spaces by calling or emailing him today at <http://www.miamidade.gov/mayor/contact.asp>. Tell him that you support a vote that will show this community’s commitment to improving the parks system and the quality of life for this generation, and the next. It’s important to the future of our community.