Dozens of Miami Beach middle schoolers rushed onto a newly renovated baseball field with fresh, bright orange clay during a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Thursday for Polo Park, adjacent to Nautilus Middle School.
The park was the first of 57 project improvements planned under the city’s general obligation bond program. Last November, City of Miami Beach residents approved $439 million in funding that will go towards projects like park enhancement, public safety and infrastructure improvements. According to city officials, $169 million of the bond program funds will be reserved for park improvement projects.
Miami Beach Parks and Recreation Director John Rebar said improvements on Polo Park alone cost about $500,000.
“There’s new dugouts, new drinking fountains, clay, irrigation, bases,” he said.
“You’ll also see a lot of landscaping throughout the park, and we’ve added a perimeter walkway for people to enjoy around the park.”
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber stepped onto the pitcher’s mound and threw the first ball. He said he grew up playing baseball here, but back then it was just a few muddy fields.
“I’ve been playing here since I was a child, and we’ve never had anything like this,” he said.
The other general obligation bond funding will go towards neighborhoods and infrastructure projects totaling $198 million, and towards police, fire, and public safety projects totaling $72 million.