Plans for future park gain support within community
The sun rises over a stretch of land running through the heart of the city. Birds chirp within the adjacent trees. A local jogs by, making his way through the trail. It’s not a park — yet. But the future looks bright for this 6.2 mile piece of land that has come to be known as the Ludlam Trail.
“The Ludlam Trail is an initiative to create a bike and pedestrian greenway, or walkway, on an old Florida East Coast Railway track that’s been abandoned,” explained Christine Rupp, director of the Coral Gables Museum.
The museum’s new exhibit on the Ludlam Trail has attracted multitudes of locals, informing them of the trail that many knew existed, yet knew nothing about.
“I’ve lived next to the trail for my entire life,” said CCHS student Arsenio Viera. “The trail has always been there, and nobody’s really been putting it to any use. So I guess that a park being built there would be a good idea.”
Viera is just one of many locals who wish to see the abandoned railroad track converted into a park. Plenty of Miami residents attend town hall meetings to discuss the trail’s future.
“When I first became involved with the Ludlam Trail,” recalled Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, “the neighbors and owners of the land couldn’t agree on what to do out there.”
The owners of the land-the Florida East Coast Railway Company-originally saw an opportunity to develop the land running from Dadeland Mall to Miami International Airport. But residents living alongside the trail, not too eager to have buildings constructed in their backyards, strived to preserve the land’s natural beauty. Through numerous community meetings, Commissioner Sosa created a dialogue between the owners and the neighbors. “Now we’re much closer to a happy medium that is amenable to all,” Sosa rejoiced.
The trail’s future is still anything but certain, but that is exactly what keeps locals excited. The possibilities remain endless — possibilities for a park, possibilities for new housing, possibilities for a community melting pot. Regardless of its fate, the Ludlam Trail has captivated and united the community