David T. Kennedy Park is in the Miami neighborhood of Coconut Grove, the city's oldest neighborhood and certainly one of its most vibrant. The park sits on the eastern edge of the city, just before Miami gives way to the water. Public access to waterfront land is a big thing that is missing from Miami, but as long as places like Kennedy Park exist we should take full advantage of them. Though at times the water might be hidden behind trees entirely, you can never truly forget it is there. In a way it is comforting, knowing that at some point the land must stop, Miami's rapid development must stop, we can all stop to sit and look out at the ocean.
When I first came to Kennedy Park, it was to play soccer, and we picked one of the many open space areas to set up matches. At times there were even nets to play with, although they were absent on this visit. There is also a sandpit and nets set up for beach volleyball.
Other features of the park include a playground for young kids, a bike path that surrounds the whole park, and a dock that leads you to the other side of the park, bordered by the water and mangroves. Mangroves surround the park, and the area is dotted with a mixture of different kinds of trees, from pines to palms. The most interesting trees to me were those seen below, all bending at the same way towards the water.
Once you cross the small dock to the other side of the park, there are two separate, fenced off areas exclusively for dogs. Although there were many dogs on leashes in the other parts of the park, this would seem to be the area where dogs can truly stretch their legs, roam free, and just act like dogs. There is even a water fountain fit for man and beast!
On a hot day like today, you might be tempted to jump right into the water that borders the park. Luckily there is A.C.'s Icees, a Miami institution! Quench your thirst with a frozen lemonade or delicious fresh squeezed juice.
Kennedy Park would be a cool place even away from the water, but sitting on the edge of Coconut Grove along Biscayne Bay really sets it apart. What Miami needs is public access to waterfront land, and more of it! More waterfront parks, more public beaches, more places where we can go and enjoy the coastal region we all live in. Thank you to Michelle for taking the photos, there are more after the jump.
|houses along the water|
|ibis in the mangroves|
|Sittin' On the Dock of the Bay|
|marina next to the park|
|man's best friend|