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Sunday, June 25, 2017

The green tableau of Park(ing) Day

I came across this story in our archives, from September 18, 2010. Park(ing) Day in Coconut Grove.





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Hope you got a chance to experience Park(ing) Day yesterday on McFarlane Road, it was another super Grove experience. As you know, this is a world-wide event where parking spaces are turned into mini parks for the day. It showed that McFarlane can be made into a major green entryway into the village as it was so many years ago. In Arva Moore Park's new book on Coconut Grove, it proves that we need to study history to see where we are going in the future.

In the book, there is a picture of an old, interesting rock structure (sort of a shelter) at the end of McFarlane Road, right on the water, which was a memorial to Flora McFarlane, a Grove pioneer, whose family McFarlane Road is named after. It must have been seen from the long expanse of McFarlane Road all the way from Grand Avenue down to the bay, because at that time, it was all a large open, green area. The structure was installed in 1920 and destroyed in the 1926 Hurricane, so it didn't last long, but my point is that McFarlane Road was a major green artery, which worked in conjunction with the bay at the very end of the road.


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But back to yesterday. The day started out early with the volunteers showing up first. At left, artist Nancy Martini got there at the crack of dawn with her art supplies. At right, AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt ties on Nicky Prince's green apron for their special art tableau.

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The day proved to be amazing. It just proves that parking spots can be taken away and greenery can move in and the world goes on. Passersby enjoyed it, on foot and via auto.

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The Architecture for Humanity group were an integral part of the day. They installed milk crate furniture and some futuristic-styled furniture made from recycled plastic, which looked like it was made from spaghetti. Louis Del Borrello is resting on one of the pieces below. The Architecture for Humanity group along with the US Green Building council helped with the sod installation, which the Parks Department generously donated, which was put into the spaces that the Miami Parking Authority generously donated.

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At left: Robert Parente with Lili Dones, the brains behind the Grove event, spent most of the day out in the greenery. At right: Allen Plasencia, Michelle Komornik and Jessica Marquez.

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Nicky Prince, AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt and Katey Penner replicated a famous painting, I think it was Josep Royo's "Tea Time," or The Luncheon on the Grass by Edouard Manet.

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Every patch of park had something cool going on from the Coconut Grove Drum Circle to eating lunch, creating art or just hanging out.

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The tea they served was delicious pink lemonade. They served Commissioner Francis Suarez who stopped by to enjoy the event.

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Commissioner Suarez's Environmental Intern, Jennifer Garcia poses for the tv cameras. There was lots of media covering the event.


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And it all started with Mark Schrieber and Olga Cano from the US. Green Building Council, who got there bright and early and worked all day at accommodating everyone with whatever they needed.

By 2 pm, the City workers moved in and before you knew it, the street was pavement again. We miss the park already.

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