Friends of The Underline a 501(c)(3) non-profit advocating to transform the underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail into a 10-mile linear park, urban trail and canvas for artistic expression are gearing up for a busy year full of fun activities and events to keep the community exciting about the future Underline.
THE UNDERLINE: A 1,000 VOLUNTEER ENGINE
The Underline is the fastest-moving project of its scope in the country. So what has propelled this 10-mile linear park, urban trail and living art destination toward groundbreaking in 2017? Volunteer manpower: We have an army of volunteers working tirelessly to secure funding for design, construction and programming.
Friends of The Underline incorporated as a non-profit less than three years ago. Since that time they have completed three design studios at University of Miami, master plan design with James Corner Field Operations, economic impact study, and raised over $7 Million to begin construction in the Fall 2017. And in the meantime, they have provided lots of fun activities and events that you can attend or volunteer to help.
Friends of The Underline Cycling Club hosts a family-friendly bike ride on the first Sunday of each month to experience our cities by bike not by car. The first ride was March 6th with over 120 riders exploring the future Underline and the many communities it serves. Since then they have ridden to destinations from PAMM to Dadeland, biked to music and biked for food at Perricones and Brickell City Centre’s Farmer’s Market.
The Underline Cycling Club (UCC) volunteers including Laura Eriksen UCC chair and Natalee Collazzo, Pedro Gonzalez, Andrea England, and Patricia Massey make these monthly rides safe, fun, and something to look forward to each month.
The UCC next ride August 7th departing UM station at 10 AM and riding to 8th Street for ice cream at Azucar and a lecture on Calle 8 history at Los Pinarenos Fruteria. Then, on September 4th, they will leave Dadeland Station at 10 AM for a riding tour of the Villages of Coral Gables. Sign up for both rides on Eventbrite.
Friends of The Underline Board of Directors members contribute hundreds of volunteer hours each month to make this standout public/private project a reality. Each month they have committee meetings covering everything from public health and active transportation, to public art, real estate development along The Underline, programming and events, and business development. The Underline heroes include Roberto Rovira, Chair of the Design Advisory, Stu Blumberg and Ralph Rosado who head up Advocacy, Jessi Berrin and Pete Wood leading the Health Advisory, Arden Karson chair of Private Fundraising, Parker Thomson managing Public Fundraising, Debi Wechsler overseeing public art, Treasurer Roger Terrone and GSK Advisors for assisting with Accounting, Josh Merkin managing Marketing and Alfred Lurigados focusing on Transportation. The many in-kind donors include Hogan Hartson, Greenberg Traurig, rbb Communications, TaraInk and SOMI Magazine.
So, when you see The Underline built someday soon, be sure to thank a volunteer!