Dear Blogging Black Miami Readers:
Please join me in thanking Commission Chair Jean Monestime, his staff, and the entire Board of County Commissioners for approving the resolution naming Twin Lakes Park after my Dad. The property that will soon bear his name, is a story of decades long persistent civic engagement by residents of a small neighborhood. There are a few officials around, such as Commissioner James Burke and Commissioner Barbara Carey-Shuler, who remember the beginnings of our fight, and our efforts to maintain the integrity of our neighborhood. One lesson learned from this journey: Never Give Up.
My classmate, William "DC" Clark and my godparents, Art and Hyacinth Johnson were relentless in making sure my Dad's legacy was properly recognized. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Please stay tuned for details on the dedication of Arthur Woodard Park. Woo-hoo!
MIAMI-DADE, FL – A County lakefront park being developed in Twin Lakes will bear the name of the beloved late educator who long maintained the once-private land for local families to enjoy.
The Miami-Dade County Commission on Oct. 6 approved a resolution sponsored by Chairman Jean Monestime to name the park under construction at Northwest 99th Street and 12th Avenue as “Arthur Woodard Park” – a designation sought by the community that loved him.
“As the community approaches the one-year anniversary of the death of Dr. Arthur Woodard, it is fitting that we preserve his legacy and dream by naming this park after him,” Chairman Monestime said.
A lifelong educator and coach, Dr. Woodard served as principal of Miami-Douglas MacArthur High School North until his 1991 retirement. After Hurricane Andrew, he helped lead efforts to bring the Orange Blossom Classic Festival parade to West Perrine, which played an important role in the area’s recovery.
In 1969, Dr. Woodard decided that the neglected patch of private lakefront land in his Twin Lakes neighborhood could be put to better use, and he began maintaining it at his own expense so that families could play and picnic there. The County’s decision many years later to acquire the land and begin developing it into a County park was the fulfilment of a personal dream.