Monday, April 4, 2011

April 13, 2011: Miami Starting To Appreciate Overtown's "Roots"

By Sylvia Gurinsky

Miami's Community Redevelopment Agency seems to be starting to get the message: Let Overtown's garden grow.

Last week, CRA members met with retired Florida International University professor Marvin Dunn, who oversees Overtown's successful Roots In the City program, which includes a vegetable garden. There are still disagreements over money and other logistical issues, but some positives have emerged.

The biggest one is that Roots In the City will not be lumped together with a Liberty City garden that was in such bad shape at one point that nearby residents called it "the graveyard," according to the South Florida Times.

That suggestion had been the result of, at the very least, miscommunication by Miami City Commissioner Richard Dunn (no relation to Marvin Dunn) and the CRA. At the very worst, there was the suggestion that Richard Dunn was attempting to do the kind of strong-arming that's gotten most of his District 5 commission predecessors in so much trouble. He says otherwise.

There are still errors to be corrected. For instance, the City of Miami has no mechanism in place yet for supporting permanent farmer's markets, which Roots In the City definitely is.

But the city is finally moving in the right direction.

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