The Underline in South Miami just got greener, more biking and walking friendly, and even more fun! Thanks to State of Florida legislators Senator Ileana Garcia (District 37) and Representative Vance Aloupis (District 115) and the entire Dade Delegation, in this year’s legislative session, a $3 million appropriation was dedicated to The Underline from Red Road to Dadeland South to be used for park and trail amenities.
“Miami-Dade and its municipalities provide diverse destinations of wonderful areas to visit and explore. Almost all of them have one thing in common: The Underline runs through or connects them on foot, bike and mass transit. $3,000,000 will go a long way to continue the push to beautify sections that have not secured funding making the entire length of The Underline safer and more accessible for everyone. I love where I live and it is because of projects and efforts like The Underline that keep Miami attractive for our residents and visitors.” Says Senator Ileana Garcia.
Representative Aloupis says, “with each passing day, the vision of The Underline becomes even more a reality. This linear park — connecting ten miles of Miami-Dade County — will be a powerful example of how cities across America can create community through public spaces. I’ve been honored to be a part of the major investments that our state has made in making this dream come true.”
This year the State of Florida legislature faced incredible funding challenges, in particular, how to deal with the massive costs related to COVID-19. Further, revenue was projected to be much lower in 2020/21 because of reduced sales tax revenue since so many businesses were forced to close for such a long period.
Even so, the Dade Delegation tackled many issues in addition to COVID. And one of them was programs around climate change and resiliency. At The Underline’s Cafecito and Conversation with our Dade Delegation last Spring, there was a shared commitment and conviction to support the environment, in particular our water. With a conversation facilitated by Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez, the attending legislators talked about their successes bringing state dollars to their individual district, but also how they mobilized as a group to influence legislation to protect our precious resources like Biscayne Bay.
Another big win for the Dade Delegation was a $3 million appropriation (allocation) for The Underline in South Miami. These funds will be used for lighting, wayfinding and signage, benches and the project’s many other trail amenities and features.
The Friends of The Underline’s Meg Daly said, “This was a hard fought year by our state legislators. We were very thankful, and surprised, that there was a $500,000 allocation for the project. But our team in Tallahassee led by appropriation sponsors Garcia and Aloupis and district Representative Duran, found every opportunity to bring the total up to $3 million, both the requested and needed amount!” This was a huge win for our elected officials, and more importantly, the community.