MIAMI — The Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, Miami-Dade County District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime and the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation announce the completion of new development at the NFL Y.E.T. at Gwen Cherry Park, located at 7090 NW 22 Avenue, Miami. This activity was made possible by the Our Miami Public Space Challenge, a project of The Miami Foundation and the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation, Inc.
The public is invited to see the new park amenities during two dedication ceremonies on Thursday, July 24:
New Shade Structure – Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
Time/Location: 10:00 a.m., Fitness Court
New Field Lights – Lighting Ceremony
Time/Location: 7:00 p.m., Baseball Field
“I am very happy to see this partnership between the Parks Department and the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation continue to increase the use of Gwen Cherry Park for the recreational enjoyment of the community and our children who participate in after-school and summer camp programs at this park,” said Mayor Gimenez.
“Gwen Cherry Park is a jewel of the Liberty City community. These improvements represent an investment in this beautiful park and neighboring residents and their children,” said Commissioner Monestime.
“The Gwen Cherry Park Foundation is pleased to see the new improvements at Gwen Cherry Park and is glad that the shade canopy at the park has received the support of The Miami Foundation, Miami-Dade County Parks, Commissioner Monestime and the community,” said H.T. Smith, Chairman of the Board of the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation.
“I would like to thank HT Smith and the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation for their continued efforts on behalf of Gwen Cherry Park. This great park and these new amenities would not be possible without their generous time and support,” said Miami-Dade County Parks Director Jack Kardys.
The park’s existing fitness court received a new 50-foot-long by 50-foot-high Mega Span shade structure, manufactured by Shade Systems. Providing shade canopy over the outdoor fitness area was inspired by a winning idea from the community that was submitted to The Miami Foundation’s 2013 Our Miami Public Space Challenge. More than 250 ideas were submitted in the Challenge, of which 15 winning ideas were selected to share $130,000 in grant funding to make them a reality. The total cost for this project was $60,000. Funding for the shade canopy was provided by: The Miami Foundation, as a Public Space Challenge grant to the Gwen Cherry Park Foundation; “Building Better Communities” General Obligation Bonds; and Park Impact Fees.
An existing baseball/softball field received a new Musco sports lighting system, which included the installation of eleven (11) new concrete light poles, eighty (80) new 1500-watt lighting fixtures and a new electrical control panel. The new sports lighting will allow the field to be used for additional sports activities, such as football and soccer. The total cost for this project was $741,000 and made possible with funds provided by a Community Development Block Grant, Impact Fees and Capital Outlay Reserve Funds.
The 38.5-acre Gwen Cherry Park contains three lighted multi-purpose athletic fields; two lighted basketball courts; a lighted 400-meter track; lighted baseball and softball fields; a swimming pool; an outdoor fitness gym; a fitness court; an amphitheater; a picnic area; a tot-lot; and the NFL Y.E.T. Center—also known as the National Football League (NFL) Youth Educational Town (Y.E.T.) Center—where children engage in recreational and sports programs, and after-school activities in its air-conditioned library, computer and arts-and-crafts rooms, game room, and 9,000-square-foot gymnasium for cultural, recreational and special events. The new enhancements of a shade structure for the fitness court and new field lighting add to its list of quality amenities for the community to benefit from.
One of 260 parks within the Miami-Dade County parks system, Gwen Cherry Park is named after the first African-American woman elected to the Florida Legislature, the late Mrs. Gwendolyn Cherry. It has been a popular gathering space for the Liberty City community, since it first opened as the park’s recreation center in 1970 and its opening as NFL Y.E.T in 1996.