May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49

requisite public health precautions.
Phase I also included guidelines for
each unique type of park condition.
Marina access depended on capacity
limitations for boats, limited hours
of operations, and strict protocols for
ramps and fish cleaning stations. We
drew on the recommendations of the
nation's largest golfing associations to
establish the rules for our golf facilities, staff and play. Enforcement of
safety rules remained a concern due
to lack of staffing resources to enforce
compliance. The beaches presented a
greater challenge for enforcement due
to the large scale of the beach operation and large number of expected visitors; and therefore, access to
beaches was delayed.

Forging Partnerships
Recognizing that even with safety protocols in place, much of the
population remained inside, MDC
Parks launched " The Playground "
video series, partnering with the
NFL's Miami Dolphins, NBA's
Miami Heat, MLB's Miami Marlins and the U.S. Soccer Federation
to provide online camps for children and families to enjoy from
home. We added EcoAdventures,
and the world-renowned Zoo Miami partnered with T-Mobile to
keep the Zoocademy open, connecting students with wildlife and
conservation online.
Through weekly SFPC meetings,
our agency coordinated communication and an ongoing exchange of
ideas and best practices. Parks took
on a new look with signage and
made adjustments to meet the standards of safety regulations. Parks
staff and 400 new park ambassadors joined park rangers and county employees from other agencies
to enforce safety protocols.
On April 29, 2020, MDC Parks
	

PHOTO COURTESY OF MARIA NARDI/MIAMI-DADE PARKS

Beachgoers at a Miami beach hang out
on the sand while properly physically
distancing.

and its municipalities were one of
the first park systems in the United
States to successfully reopen.
After six weeks of living a life
mostly confined inside, our parks
provided a welcome diversion. After
the successful reopening of parks,
marinas and golf courses, beaches
followed in June with " beach ambassadors " ensuring masks were
worn, six feet of distance was maintained and canopies and tents were
prohibited. In August, as the public
schools reopened virtually, we hosted study halls in our recreation centers, providing a safe place for the
children of frontline and essential
workers to attend school online, under the supervision of parks' staff.
As
unemployment
numbers
rose due to COVID-19, so did the
number of food-insecure families
in our community. Consequently,
MDC Parks were tasked with mass
food distribution for the county.
Coordinating with the county's
Emergency Operations Center, the
Miami-Dade Police Department and
state and federal food banks, we held
more than 250 food service events
serving more than 190,000 families.
Parks also became COVID-19
testing centers, with thousands of
patients served at drive-thru testing
sites. Recently, we have designated
selected parks as vaccination sites.

The Work Continues
As most of these protocols remain
in place, we have paused to assess

strategies that should extend beyond this pandemic. The design of
parks will need to incorporate the
lessons learned, from managing the
implementation of protocols to the
delineation of large open spaces to
accommodate safe gathering. Organizationally, online meetings enable
more frequent communication. Our
SFPC meetings continue on a biweekly basis, reinforcing our interconnections over the abstraction of
district and municipality boundaries.
Similarly, we have the " proof-ofconcept " on how parks serve as an essential service and a convening body.
Now that our transportation, public
works, health and human services departments have engaged MDC Parks
as key partners in meeting community needs, we need to formalize these
relationships. We also need to bring
our elected officials this evidence of
how the county benefits when MDC
Parks participates in critical infrastructure planning.
For MDC Parks, the quality of life
of our residents is always the priority.
Now, everyone is clear that our shared
product is the health and well-being
of our community, underscoring the
need for more parks and public spaces, with equitable access and funding.
And once we have experienced that
clarity, it is incumbent upon us to lead
a new path forward.
Maria Nardi is Director of Miami-Dade County
Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, and a member of Parks &
Recreation's Editorial Advisory Board.

PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N .O R G | M AY 2 02 1 |

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May 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2021 - Parks & Recreation

May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 12
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 13
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 14
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 15
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 19
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 23
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 25
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 27
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 29
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 30
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 31
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 32
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 33
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 34
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 35
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 36
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 37
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 38
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 39
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 40
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 41
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 43
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 44
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 45
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 46
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 47
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 48
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 51
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 52
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 53
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 54
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
May 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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