They don't like the changes at Lincoln Park
"Over the past couple of years, Lincoln Park has been transformed from a lush, much-loved gem of nature nestled within a tight-knit community, to a plastic, fenced in compound. This transformation has disturbed many long-time residents of the neighborhood such as myself, and has materially affected the aesthetic of what was once a quaint sanctuary within our city," says a resident. You can see the difference in these two photos, the bottom photo is the park before the city made the changes.
The grass is now artificial turf and a five foot high fence was erected.
People don't like artificial turf and with over-development encroaching, we are losing all that is real and natural in Coconut Grove.
I asked the Commissioner's office about this. Ron Nelson, his chief of staff responded. He told me that Lincoln Park was turned into a family park in reaction to the families who complained about Blanche Park being closed due to the toxic problem.
I can see how changing one park to accommodate another park is a problem. Also, apparently neighbors were not notified of the artificial turf and other changes, which bothers neighbors who enjoyed the naturalness on the small street. Also, Peacock Park is due to have play equipment, but in the meantime, the kids have the play equipment at Lincoln Park. The ubiquitous artificial turf which is a cure all for everything these days is said to work better than regular grass because the trees caused too much shade and the grass that was there did not grow well, according to Ron.
"Lincoln Park had tested free of contamination and was close by, so it became the safe place for families. Play equipment and artificial turf were added, and when you have children you need a fence," says Ron.
Ron says that, "Returning the park to its original condition will need to be discussed with the residents, the new Parks Director, and the Police Commander."
I can see how neighbors might feel, if I lived across the street from the park, and I almost lived right across from this park at one time, I would hate to see a quiet pocket park turned into a playground with fake grass and a fence. It's almost like waking up one day and having a school yard just magically appear across the street from you. It's a dramatic change. That neighbor who lives right next to the park went from living next to a quiet oasis, to a playground. But I think the complaints are more about the fake grass and gate that encloses the park than it is about the children.
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