jean-monestime-web.jpgNearly 100 volunteers and employees from various Miami-Dade County agencies and community groups conducted a large-scale community cleanup in District 2 on Saturday, Dec. 1. Houses were rehabilitated, vacant lots cleared, more than 130 trees planted, Arcola Park was beautified and an unsafe structure was demolished during the first ever “Clean-Up, Green-Up."

The event targeted the areas from Northwest Seventh Avenue to Northwest 17 Avenue and Northwest 79 Street to Northwest 103 Street. District 2 Commissioner Jean Monestime, above right, and state Rep. Cynthia Stafford helped to improve Arcola Park, at 1680 N.W. 87 St., during the event.

Monestime, below center, and state Sen. Dwight Bullard addressed a crew of workers before the unsafe-structure demolition. Joining in the effort were NFL player Khalil Jones, representatives from New Birth Baptist Church, Citizens for a Better South Florida, volunteers from Family Impressions Foundation Inc. and the Greater Miami Service Corps. Volunteers planted flowers around Arcola Park and spread new sand on the park’s tot lot.

County workers installed new backboards to the basketball goals on the park, rehabilitated the baseball diamond and put a fresh coat of paint on the park’s recreation center. Other volunteers picked up litter in the community and helped plant trees in the neighborhood. Monestime, who brought county resources together to improve the District 2 neighborhood, said he hopes to duplicate the effort in other areas of the district. “We can never underestimate the value of a clean, green community,” the commissioner said.