Currently viewing the tag: "Everglades National Park"

Amid all the talk about the County Commission’s massive transit failure, comes a little bit of happy news. Last week the Commission approved the purchase of approximately 100 acres of land beyond the UDB to be placed under the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program. While 100 acres is not a lot, every little bit contributes to a green belt around the County that will perpetually hold development and buffer the Everglades from existing developed areas.

To date, the County in partnership with the South Florida Water Management District, the State of Florida, & other funding partners have aquired approximately 18,190 Acres of land throughout Dade County since the inception of the Environmentally Endangered Lands Program.

Photo courtesy of the Miami Herald

Good news for bicycle advocates: the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway is getting closer to becoming a reality. The proposed 42-mile trail would be the first and only bike trail in the U.S. to connect two national parks (Biscayne National Park & Everglades National Park).

The landmark proposal is still “largely conceptual, with designs nearing completion”, according to park planner at Everglades National Park, Fred Herling. As it currently stands, however, the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway is to be composed of two routes. The first route would originate at Biscayne National Park and travel westbound through Homestead and then to the Ernest P. Coe Visitor Center just past the entrance of Everglades National Park. The second route would then originate at EPC Visitor Center, then travel back eastbound to Biscayne National Park via Florida City this time.

According to the Herald, the Greenway would be replete with trail amenities including benches, rest stops, scenic mile markers, vegetation markers, and even occasional outlets for kayaking and canoeing.

How much is this going to cost, and who’s going to pay you ask? Current estimates are approximately $30 million. Homestead has applied for federal funding, which officials feel confident they will receive. Miami-Dade County has agreed to pick up a portion of the tab so far, but only for a small eastern segment.

I must say, though, while it is very encouraging to see this level of support for such a large bicycle project, it still appears that cycling is considered a “recreational pursuit” and not so much a legitimate form of transportation within this county. We need to continue to pressure for a Bicycle Master Plan – one that includes a vast network of urban bike lanes and greenways as well as recreational trails. Hopefully the Biscayne-Everglades Greenway will be the first step in a new direction for bicycle transportation policy in Miami-Dade County.

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