As skateboarding prepares to make its debut at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, there is no doubt that it has become an increasingly popular sport, especially with youth in Miami-Dade. In its efforts to provide children with safe and healthy outdoor recreation and sports activities, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, with six public skate locations throughout the county, has teamed up with University of Miami Health System’s KiDZ Neuroscience Center to help educate young skateboarders on the critical need to practice skateboarding safely, with the emphasis on wearing a helmet and protective gear.
Miami-Dade Parks’ collaborative partnership with the KiDZ Neuroscience Center at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami Health System, has literally drawn the lines on the critical need for skateboarding safety education and messaging with a newly completed mural at the Haulover Beach Park Skate Park and Pump Track. The mural, created by local urban artist Rey Jaffet, was commissioned by “SkateSafe,” a program of the KiDZ Neuroscience Center focused on educating skateboarders on the basics of skateboarding and on injury prevention to decrease brain and spinal cord injuries. The artist created a looping design of octopus tentacles and brains embedded with safety tips and reminders to skateboarders to wear a helmet.
On October 19th Miami-Dade County District 4 Commissioner Sally A. Heyman and Miami-Dade Parks Director Maria Nardi joined representatives from the KiDZ Neuroscience Center at the park, located at 10801 Collins Ave., Miami, for the mural unveiling.
The art messaging mural at Haulover Skate Park is a great way to increase safety for all who skateboard here,” said Commissioner Heyman. “This mural will be a positive influence for skateboard enthusiasts to be safe, wear a helmet and have fun skateboarding. I join with the community in thanking our Parks Department, KiDZ Neuroscience Center and Rey Jaffet for their time and talents.”
“This innovative project is the first of its kind to combine art and education all with the goal of keeping children safe from brain injuries,” said Dr. Gillian Hotz, a nationally renowned expert in the area of concussion, director of the UHealth Concussion Program, and director of the KiDZ Neuroscience Center. “The skatepark at Haulover will now have safety messages embedded into its very design that we believe will help decrease injuries to those who utilize this wonderful public resource.”
“Thank you to our partners at the University of Miami Health System KiDZ Neuroscience Center and artist Rey Jaffet, for providing a creative way to communicate vital safety messages to young skateboarders in a clear, concise, fun and interactive manner,” said Miami-Dade County Parks Director Maria I. Nardi. “It’s all part of our vision to safely connect people and parks for life throughout Miami-Dade County.”
Opened in July 2018, the fee-free skate park and pump track at Haulover Beach Park are located adjacent to the park’s dog park parking area. The 7, 500 square-foot site provides a place for people of all ages to enjoy free-wheeling fun on their skateboards or bicycles.
Other Miami Dade Parks skate parks include Kendall Indian Hammocks Park, North Trail Park, Westwind Lakes Park, Country Village Park, and South Dade Park. Each of these signature sites has its own exhilarating ramps and rails in unique and beautiful park settings.