Homestead’s iconic Losner Park is now open to the public after an incredible transformation. We spoke to Mayor Steve Losner and landscape architect Travis Mazerall about the expansion.
The much-anticipated expansion of Losner Park has been completed at last, and the city is proud to welcome visitors back to this important piece of the community’s infrastructure in Downtown Homestead.
First opened in 1998, the park was first envisioned as a way of rebuilding in the wake of Hurricane Andrew and drawing people into the Homestead community. At that time the city’s population was around 20,000 people – only a quarter of the current population. According to Mayor Steve Losner, “the vision has always been to go bigger, to go better. And that’s where we are today.”
With the growing population came a need for more space and more amenities. Homestead has become far more than just a town and it requires more than just a basic ‘town square’-style park, which is why the city has made it a point to gain more funding and a larger footprint for the park, allowing it to bloom into the stunning community space it now is.
The newly expanded Losner Park is a beautiful and welcoming space that now features a state-of-the-art playground for children of all ages, a Veteran’s memorial, and a sleek new event stage and lawn. Additionally, the park celebrates the area’s ecosystem with nearly 150 native plant species found throughout the park, as well as a ‘Pokemon Go!’-style augmented reality app, Homestead Everglades Safari, through which visitors can learn about the native flora and fauna.
Explaining the app, Mayor Losner said, “Every little kid with with an iPhone can read that QR code and learn about even a piece of art in the future, the plant, the tree, the animal that’s depicted and get a reference to go over to our Cybrarium and learn more.” He also went on to state that there are similar components in the Cybrarium that will lead visitors to the park to see real life examples. “We are using cutting edge technology to pique the interest of our young learners in the elements of the park.”
Keeping the park in line with the fauna and flora of the area was very important to the city. “The design of the park was really inspired around the local ecology and the region, obviously being so close to the Everglades and Biscayne National Park, those forms and geometries factored into the design,” said Travis Mazerall, a landscape architect with Sasaki and Associates, the firm responsible for reimagining the park. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because they were also behind the design and architecture of the Beijing Olympic Games.
The expansion of Losner Park can only bring the Homestead community closer together, and we look forward to many fantastic events to come in this space.
For more information, visit www.cityofhomestead.com/losnerpark
Haz clic para leer en Español: Losner Park florece en una nueva era