Media Contact: Eunicia Baker, MPA - Senior Public Information Officer
City of North Miami
305-893.6511 Ext. 12160
ebaker@northmiamifl.gov

NORTH MIAMI AMONG FIRST 10 CITIES TO CONVERT OUTDOOR FIELDS AND PARKS TO ORGANIC MANAGEMENT

North Miami, FL – 12/7/2018

NORTH MIAMI AMONG FIRST 10 CITIES TO CONVERT OUTDOOR FIELDS AND PARKS TO ORGANIC MANAGEMENT THROUGH #PLAYFREE INITIATIVE


The City of North Miami has been selected among 10 US cities to receive expert consultation and $5,000 in grant funding to begin converting its parks and fields to organic management. This selection was made possible through support by Stonyfield Organic, the country’s leading organic yogurt maker and proponents of environmentalism.  Monday, Dec. 10, beginning at 10 a.m., representatives from Stonyfield Organic and Non-Toxic Neighborhoods are set to arrive in North Miami to begin step one of the conversion process at Benjamin Franklin Park, located at 13400 NW 12th Avenue, North Miami.    

This opportunity is a part of the Stonyfield’s #PlayFree initiative. Aerial photos and soil samples collected Monday at Benjamin Franklin Park will be analyzed. The analysis will serves as a roadmap for the City of North Miami’s Parks and Recreation Department to initiate use of non-toxic replacement products, that continue to build soil biology and healthy plant ecosystems, reduce the growth of weeds, and control the presence of insects. In three years, with support from Stonyfield’s #PlayFree initiative, the organic management transition at North Miami’s Benjamin Franklin Park is expected to be completed.  The Parks and Recreation Department will use information gained from Benjamin Franklin Park’s successful organic management conversion as the transition process framework at additional parks and fields throughout the City.    

With a primary emphasis on the well-being of children, this initiative helps cities eliminate public field and park maintenance practices that use toxic ingredients, such as glyphosate and other harmful chemicals often found in herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and pesticides. It is a continuation of the City of North Miami’s promise to cease use of pesticides on City property, as voted upon by the City Council in 2017. The resolution was sponsored by District 3 Councilman, Philippe Bien-Aime, with support and advocacy by North Miami resident and environmental activist, Laura Hill. Hill also collaborated with District 1 Councilman, Scott Galvin, in advocating for North Miami as a Stonyfield grant recipient.   

“I am so excited that North Miami is leading the way to healthier parks and fields for our children to play in,” said Hill.  “I think that every parent wants their kids to thrive in sports and recreation; but we want to also make sure that the fields they play in don’t harm them…It is a relief that we have discontinued our harmful practices and are leading the way to a healthier way of field management.”   

Bien-Aime added, “I was so delighted to ban the use of toxic chemicals at our parks and on our medians. It is the local government’s responsibility to strive to achieve attainable goals, such as these, so that our children --for generations to come, can live in a cleaner environment.”   

For information about specific community conversions, visit stonyfield.com/playfree. For more details about organic management in North Miami, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 305-895-9840.    
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