The Nature Conservancy’s Wagner Creek Greenspace Restoration Project Awarded $20,000 Grant from The Miami Foundation’s Public Space Challenge
Funding will help reduce flooding, connect people with nature, provide space for recreation, and support wildlife.
Miami, FL | October 21, 2016
The Nature Conservancy’s Wagner Creek Greenspace Project has been awarded $20,000 as one of the winners of The Miami Foundation’s 2016 Public Space Challenge. The funding will support the restoration project, which aims to create beautiful, natural areas along Wagner Creek in the heart of Miami’s Health District, to reduce flooding, connect people with nature, provide space for recreation, and support wildlife.
The Nature Conservancy is focused on improving quality of life in Miami, by using the power of nature and green spaces to mitigate the impacts of natural hazards such as storm surge and flooding, to shade and cool the urban environment, and improve contact with nature and natural systems. The creation of multi-purpose green infrastructure along Wagner Creek will deliver all of these benefits, as well as provide recreational opportunities to increase the well-being of Health District area workforce, visitors, and residents, and improve the creek’s water quality, habitat and biodiversity.
The Wagner Creek Greenspace Project will be conducted in close collaboration with the project’s key partners: the University of Miami, Miami-Dade County, City of Miami, and the Kristi House. It will bring together institutional, civic, public, and private stakeholders to identify needs and provide input for project design. The initial planning phase is expected to begin in coming months and end by September 2017.
“We’re grateful for The Miami Foundation’s generous gift, which will support the restoration of critical areas along Wagner Creek and enable community members to help design a beautiful and functional greenspace that provide benefits for both nature and people,” said Greg Guannel, Urban Conservation Director, The Nature Conservancy in Florida.
The Nature Conservancy’s project was one of several selected by the Public Space Challenge, which received over 400 entries and identified the best ideas for creating, improving, and activating parks, plazas and local gathering places. These public spaces help connect Miamians to the community and each other. Together with Health Foundation of South Florida and the Office of Miami-Dade County Commissioner Juan C. Zapata, The Miami Foundation invests $305,000 to make Miamians’ top ideas a reality. The Wagner Creek Greenspace Project aligns with The Miami Foundation’s goals of ensuring the availability of abundant, well-maintained public space as a critical component of a vibrant urban environment, increasing property values and physical well-being, and promoting environmental sustainability.
In addition to efforts at Wagner Creek, The Nature Conservancy has embarked on other projects to promote urban conservation in southeast Florida, one of the largest and most vulnerable metropolitan regions to climate change threats such as coastal storms and sea level rise. Much of south Florida’s infrastructure, homes, businesses and natural areas are at or near sea level and susceptible to current and future impacts of coastal hazards. The city is additionally prone to flooding hazards during rainstorms and high temperatures exacerbated by the urban heat island process. Nature helps reduce risk and creates resilience to threats. By bringing the power of nature to cities, we can shift practices and policies to create healthier, more resilient communities and strengthen the connection between people and the natural world, resulting in positive ecological, economic and social changes. By restoring areas such as Wagner Creek, The Nature Conservancy continues to provide positive solutions that benefit both nature and people.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.