Knight Foundation Gives $2.5 M for Miami Greenway
Miami, Florida, 6/18/01 — TPL’s efforts to create a greenway along the Miami River Greenway got a tremendous boost this week with the award of a $2.5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. This is the largest grant ever awarded a TPL project in Florida.
Two years ago, TPL was invited by the Miami River Commission to work with the community to develop a greenway action plan for the river. The resulting plan offers a “greenprint” for healthy urban redevelopment – a strategy to realize the potential of the Miami River as a natural resource and public amenity, while spurring neighborhood improvements that will help transform depressed areas into more attractive places to live and work. The Knight Foundation supported development of the plan with a $50,000 grant in September 2000, part of a total $75,000 grant to TPL’s south Florida program.
The plan’s comprehensive approach led to this major support from the Foundation, which for the finale of its 50th anniversary celebration focused its resources on three Miami neighborhoods, two of which will be connected to the river corridor through planned greenways. The grant was part of an unprecedented cluster of funding initiatives for South Florida, highlighted by a set of neighborhood-building partnerships that included TPL’s Miami River Greenway Plan.
“Effective community development is comprehensive, continuous and collaborative, a point the Trust for Public Land understands well,” says Hodding Carter III, president and CEO of the Knight Foundation. “So, even before we looked around for partners to join our community building efforts in Overtown, we knew from prior experience with the Greenway planning process that TPL and Brenda Marshall were natural collaborators.”
Initial development of the greenway will target neighborhoods on both sides of the river that have been underserved by parks – the historic African-American Overtown community on the north and Hispanic East Little Havana neighborhood on the south. The greenway projects will “bridge” the two neighborhoods, creating pedestrian amenities that link them to create greater opportunities for sharing history, culture, and economic development.
Comprised of new streetscape improvements, trees, native landscaping, lighting, seating, comprehensive signage/historic markers, trash receptacles and other features, the new greenway segments will complement the economic revitalization of the neighborhoods, generating new recreational opportunities for residents and serving as alternative transportation routes. Greenway development also will help attract economic reinvestment along the river corridor and in both communities.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities.
Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law to protect land for public use and enjoyment. Operating in Florida since 1975, TPL has partnered with private landowners, communities, and government agencies to protect more than 200 special places throughout state. The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money magazine recently named TPL the nation’s most efficient large conservation charity, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs. TPL is on the web at www.tpl.org.