The Ludlam Trail and the disappearing greenways of Miami

If Miamians are being really honest with themselves (so, rarely), they would admit out loud that we take nature for granted down here in a way that would shock everyone above the frost line who waits with anticipation for the first warm spring day every year.

The truth is we are surrounded by nature and yet we take it for granted, packed neatly in our cars driving our arterial roads, ignoring the small desolate public parks and community spaces just because it’s, you know, hot outside.

Curbed Miami has a great article this week on The Ludlam Trail, which those of us that grew up in Miami will instantly recognize as the old railroad line running north south on 72nd Ave from the Metrozoo area north to the Airport. It’s the location of the old Florida East Coast Rail Line track and it’s been unofficially used as a nature trail for the better part of a decade now.

Like much of the remaining greenspace in Miami, the trail’s land is privatly owned and the developer wants to utilize it for  single family housing.

What Miami really needs is the green necklaces that Frederick Law Olmsted championed in his designs. The bike path under the Metrorail is a small start, but without more proactive public land use, Miami will just continue to be overbuilt on every available inch. The Ludlam trail should be dedicated public land purchased with the 1/2 penny tax Miami has. Combining this with maintaining public land use and walkways along the shorelines and Miami River will help create a dedicated public realm in Miami that encourages civic activity and creates the community that Miami is sorely lacking.

The non-profit pushing for this use is the Friends of the Ludlam Trail, and they are helping to shape the discussion on this remaining piece of greenway here in Miami.