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Thursday, January 21, 2016

What's the story with the Grove parks?

Just an observation - Peacock Park is a mess after torrential rains and trucks and trailers mixed together in October for Grovetoberfest and the results are still being seen as the torn up lawn is being replaced (by real grass, not by the rumored AstroTurf, hopefully those days are over).

But there is talk about not having festivals in Peacock Park anymore due to this problem, which to be honest, is not a usual occurrence. There are plenty of events in the park and the lawn is not torn up during them.

I find it interesting that such an uproar was heard over this and now Regatta participants are tearing up the lawn in Regatta Park. There are boats, trailers and trucks driving across the lawn daily.

I am told by Kevin Kirwin, parks director, that it is only one section of the park and that the whole purpose of the park was for this reason - to house boats on trailers. I just find this strange. First we are selling off Peacock Park to St. Stephen's so they can have sports fields and now Regatta Park for the Regatta people. I know it's Regatta Park and Regattas, but last time I looked, the Regattas were a money-making business and we are giving them public land for their events.

UPDATE: Guys, before you start leaving nasty comments - I am NOT against the Regattas or the boaters, I am trying to figure out why City leaders are making such a fuss over Peacock Park when the same thing is going on at Regatta Park. I would hate for them to stop all events in Peacock Park using this aberration from October as the reason for ending events in Peacock Park when they are condoning it at Regatta Park, that's all. I think events in Peacock Park are important for the Grove.

Photos by Santiago Villegas

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Blogger John Donnelly said...

I disagree with you!
1) The competitors in Regatta Park this week and next are young people from all over the world competing in Olympic Class sailboats. Their goal is to represent their countries in the Olympics . The 700+ competitors bring a lot of $s into the Grove.
2) These sailing events are put on by local, national, and international small boat race clubs and are not profit making activities - they break even at best.
3) Your photos show no grass being damaged. I am surprised that a truck was allowed on grass. I do not think that would happen if grass was wet.

I do like and read your blog regularly!

All the best,

John Donnelly

January 21, 2016 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Robert Sullivan said...

Regatta Park was built with what the master plan calls a "lay down area". I saw the construction of this lay down area which includes a grid-like foundation underneath the grass that Peacock Park doesn't have. I suppose that the grid-like foundation is meant to support the weight of boats and possibly even vehicles so that they don't sink so far into the sod and soil when it is saturated with water. Sure, the grass will suffer, aesthetically, but I would think that the long term damage will be minimal by design.

January 21, 2016 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The purpose of the park is not to house boats and trailers.
It's a public park, not a parking lot.

January 21, 2016 7:57 AM  
Anonymous swlip said...

What John Donnelly said. Regatta Park was specifically designed for this. Each boat in the park typically represents a crew of two, plus coaches, family, and support personnel. All those people need places to eat and sleep. The Grove clearly benefits.

Some of the sailors will go on to win Olympic medals and other world-class sailing competitions. We should hope that they carry with them fond memories of competitions on Biscayne Bay.

January 21, 2016 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Jack said...

Why don't they just pave over that area and "put up a parking lot" No pun intended.

January 21, 2016 8:23 AM  
Blogger reid prevatt said...

I was there Wed. Ate lunch on Dockmasters tower. I saw no vehicles on the grass and the sail boats do not need an auto to move them around. Despite a lot of boats the park was half full. (Plenty of room left) What the park needs are bathrooms.

January 21, 2016 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All the Grove festivals should be done on the streets of the Grove not the park.that would bring business to the stores and people would eat and drink at are local stores and restaurants

January 21, 2016 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since we can't afford much, charge the boaters a "parking fee", use the revenue to build bathrooms and put up real park benches.(our abundant taxes are needed in other districts).

January 21, 2016 9:06 AM  
Blogger Katrina Greenwood said...

Why are there no public bathrooms there?

January 21, 2016 9:28 AM  
Blogger James said...

Respectfully disagree, was by there running yesterday and it was great to see the park bustling with people. Saw a bunch of people walking from center Grove towards the parks as well. Like others have said, my only major complaint with the park is their lack of restrooms. It makes spending any extended time at them extremely difficult.

January 21, 2016 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tried to ride My Bic through the Regatta park the other could not even get through ( Boats Sails Trucks

January 21, 2016 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, looking at the horrific concrete "benches" with no back support, and the lack of bathrooms one can only conclude:

a/ The City wants us to purchase a boat so we can use the 3 Million Mc Mansion bathrooms
b/ They want us to run by in a hurry, and then consume products at Center Grove businesses.
c/ They want us to get in better physical shape, and run the extra mile to use the Kennedy Park Trailer-Trash roller Toilets.
d/(Personal choice) Run some more, get closer to Nature, find those remote bushes..
e/ Run to Starbucks: their bathrooms are nice, coffee is expensive enough.
f/ Scotty's opens after 11am. Suspect toilets.

January 21, 2016 11:22 AM  
Anonymous swlip said...

If folks want to protest the lack of public restrooms, I recommend going next door to City Hall. The Commission will undoubtedly hear about it.

January 21, 2016 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like this blog is just a forum for everyone to bitch about what they don't like about the Grove instead of talking about the positive things that are happening. Isn't it great that the City built us this wonderful park on a piece of land that was rendered useless to us for years. Isn't it great that people are coming back to the Grove to live, eat, shop, etc after years going to other places. Isn't it great that you can walk around the neighborhood and see different events and different functions happening almost on a weekly basis. Stop complaining about the benches and enjoy the park. Stop complaining about the new development and enjoy the new restaurants and shops that are openings as a result. Stop complaining about how the Grove has changed and enjoy the changes because they definitely have been for the better.

January 21, 2016 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

swlip, I considered your logical, astute idea. But you're running, or with a bike, sweaty, you'd have to go through City Hall screen-door security.., tell a lie and say you're just saying hi to our Commissioners, or bidding on a City Contract on their computer there, salute the great Todd Hannon, and only then use their bathroom.. Thus, my choice for the mangroves or bushes..

January 21, 2016 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SWLIP is right on the money this time. If everyone near that park who has to use the restroom goes to city hall and demands use of that restroom (which should not legally be denied) I think the issue would be addressed in days not weeks. I want to see a line of people trying to take a leak in city hall next weekend.

And if they won't let you in, just go around the side to the little grassy area and go there. Civil disobedience.

January 21, 2016 12:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that there is a Condo model for Park Grove in the newly built Dock Master. If this is true, how can they do that on City property?

January 21, 2016 3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well said 11:37. Nowadays I just read these comments for entertainment given how much the old Grovites complain..

January 21, 2016 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree re park benches, the keyword there being park. The other day I actually had some free time and thought, where can I go and sit and read a book and enjoy the fabulous weather and watch the people go by? I thought Regatta PARK would be nice, but then I remembered those awful, ugly, concrete benches without the backs. Really, its a park, what were the planners thinking? That's a good way to get people not to spend time in the park unless you are rolling a boat, kicking a ball, or under the age of 15.

And I like all the comments, pro or con, in the blog. It's a great Grove medium for news and sharing our thoughts and views.

January 21, 2016 5:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have beautiful, free waterfront parks here in the Grove. Be Thankful!

January 21, 2016 8:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a family member of sailors and I love coming to the Grove for regattas. We appreciate all the hospitality and enjoy staying in your hotels, shopping and eating in your restaurants. Usually there are vehicles near the boats when they are setting up, because gear and tools need to be accessed. Then the cars/trucks return at the end of the regatta to haul out. The park can ask sailors to keep their vehicles out of the park except at loading and packing up. This is done in many other sailing venues.

January 21, 2016 10:17 PM  
Anonymous swlip said...

Anon at 3:18PM

I have been to the new dockmaster's office a number of times, and have seen no such "model". I can't even imagine where such a thing would be displayed.

But feel free to check for yourself. The office is on the second floor. It's open to the public.

January 22, 2016 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boats will not be stored permanently on the Regatta Park.
only during Regattas as lay down use. Being an Olympic Year, its great that coconut grove is supporting this effort.

January 23, 2016 12:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The city charges for boat storage. And for vehicle parking. And a permit fee.

January 24, 2016 3:25 PM  

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