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Park Soil Sampling Raises Concerns For City Officials

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The City of Miami began digging up the dirty soil in the parking lot at Blanche Park on Monday September 9, 2013 at 3045 Shipping Ave. in Coconut Grove, putting in clean soil and laying down asphalt. Photo Courtesy: PATRICK FARRELL / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The City of Miami began digging up the dirty soil in the parking lot at Blanche Park on Monday September 9, 2013 at 3045 Shipping Ave. in Coconut Grove, putting in clean soil and laying down asphalt. Photo Courtesy: PATRICK FARRELL / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

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Healthwatch

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A popular park in Coral Gables is closed after samples revealed contaminated soil and evidence of solid waste.

Merrie Christmas Park’s soil, south of LeJeune and Barbarrosa Avenue, was tested in two areas—the results have prompted city officials to close the park as a precautionary measure and for further testing.

Just two weeks ago, Blanche Park, a kids’ park and adjoining dog park in Coconut Grove on Shipping and Virginia Street, when the soil was tested, was found to have contaminated soil.

In the wake of the recent findings, the City of Miami and Miami-Dade County’s Department of Environmental Resource Management (DERM) will perform an area wide sampling of the city’s parks.

Several other area parks and schools, according to the City of Miami, have been tested and samples did not reveal similar concerns.

“The City of Miami is working with other agencies to do whatever is needed to guarantee the safety of our residents and park visitors,” Mayor Tomas Regalado said according to a press release.

“What is broken we will fix. Our primary concern now is to swiftly gather the information necessary to make sound decisions for safeguarding the health and safety of our community and visitors to the park,” said Chairman Marc Sarnoff, Commissioner for District 2.

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