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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Parks for Recreation #Miami-Dade and why they are important to you!

Matheson Hammock Park, Miami, FL
Why Miami-Dade County parks are important to you

From childhood, Dan Levine has treated Miami-Dade County’s parks like extensions of his backyard. Growing up within walking distance of Miller Drive Park, Dan didn’t think twice about running down to the park every chance he got. Especially in the summer, Dan learned sports skills from coaches and caring locals who wanted to pass their knowledge to the next generation. It was also where Dan made some lifelong friends.

“Back when I was a kid, Miller Park was the place we would go to learn sports skills or just hang out,” Dan recalls. “Now, there is a sports league around every corner, but you couldn’t get that kind of training anywhere else back then. My friends and I were fortunate to have had access to such a great park and the people who worked there.”

Moving Up

Once he entered Southwest Miami Senior High School, Dan frequented Tropical Park for high school football games, running the cross-country course or playing 3-on-3 basketball. Dan painfully recalls climbing and descending the infamous “Hill”—a part of Tropical Park’s cross country track that is climbed by practically every local student athlete at one time or another.

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After high school, Dan earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Florida and his Master’s at Florida International University. He is now a certified public accountant (CPA) and President of High Road Management, LLC—a business in which Dan says “accounting and consulting meet real estate and construction.”

Reliving the Dream 

Whenever possible, Dan can be found enjoying the outdoors—often at a local park. To give his kids the same opportunities he had to enjoy parks, Dan and his wife often take the kids to the park. And yes, their home is so close they get to visit whenever they want.

“We live in a place where in the middle of the winter, it’s in the 70s. So the parks are something we get to enjoy year-round,” Dan says. “It’s great to get the kids on their bikes and scooters, ride to the park, and spend an afternoon playing. Some parks allow dogs, too.”

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At other times, Dan gathers the scouts in his Cub Scout pack at various parks for meetings and learning opportunities. No matter why he’s visiting a local park, Dan insists they enhance residents’ quality of life.

“Miami-Dade County’s parks are the reason to get off your computer, turn off the cell phone, and put down the XBOX controller,” Dan says. “Whether you want to relax and chill out or be active, all you have to do is get outside and head to a park. It’s all there for you!”

Your Turn

Have a story similar to Dan’s? You’re not alone. Celebrate your love of Miami-Dade County’s parks or become familiar with the parks for the first time during Come Out For Play, a FUNdraiser for the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade County. Scheduled for Saturday, February 26, from 7:30 to 10 p.m., Come Out For Play will include live music by The Fire Brigade, dancing, raffle prizes, food and drink, and more fun than you’ll ever have sitting in your living room. It all takes place at Ocean Grille at Black Point, and you don’t want to miss it! Click here to go to the invite on Facebook.

The Parks Foundation supports the Miami-Dade County Park and Recreation Department, which offers sports leagues for children and adults, disability services, arts and culture programs, golf courses, marinas, pristine beaches, natural areas, the renowned Zoo Miami and the Deering Estate at Cutler, and countless other parks and services. And now you can ensure our local parks remain for future generations through your support of the Parks Foundation of Miami-Dade County.

A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Parks Foundation is reaching out to individuals who value the preservation and promotion of parks in Miami-Dade County to become members of the Parks Foundation. Membership opportunities range from $99 for individual memberships to Donor Circle memberships priced at $249 for Bronze, $499 for Silver, and $749 for Gold memberships. Click here to join today, and if you become a member your ticket to the event at Black Point on Feb. 26th is included!

Click here to find and "like" the Parks Foundation page on Facebook.

This article was written by Daniel Brantley exclusively for The Club, please follow along on Twitter and Facebook. Daniel Brantley is a freelance writer who is a firm believer in all things park related. Email Daniel or find him online at or go to to follow his park-loving life.

Dan Levine can be reached via email by clicking here.

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