As if South Beach weren't animated enough, South Pointe Park at the very southern tip of the barrier island is a giant playground for kids and adults alike. The city revitalized the 22 acre park to make better use of the area, create a cool destination, improve recreational space, and foster the local ecology. Designed and master-planned by Hargreaves Associates, the park contains serpentine walkways, lawns for playing or relaxing, an oceanfront walk, and tons of native landscaping. Plus the new park has been totally engineered to stand the test of hurricanes and the effects of the ocean.
South Pointe Park is an urban green space and has a number of assets as its disposal, particularly the park’s expansive views out onto the Atlantic and across Government Cut. It sits next to a lively neighborhood and has access to both the bay and the ocean and is right next to the cruise ship passage – all big attractions for residents living in the area to come and enjoy. Hargreaves Associates’ design for the park revitalized the area making it a fun, attractive and desirable destination. Two major paths bisect the park: the Serpentine Walk and the Cut Walk, providing views and encouraging activity. The paths are built with durable and low maintenance Dominican Keystone, a stone of fossilized coral, which creates a physical connection with the adjacent sea. The park also includes a centrally located restaurant and lounge area along with an outdoor amphitheater and specially designed lighting along the Cut Walk.
The landscaping of the park was thoughtfully designed for both aesthetics and the ecology of the park and the surrounding ocean. Materials, like marine-grade stainless steel and sustainably harvest ipe wood, were chosen for their durability and low maintenance to withstand the effects of the ocean. Beach dunes at the tip were restored with coquina shell paths that lead through masses of native/xeric coastal vegetation including Sea Oats, Railroad Vine, Gaillardia, Necklace Pod and Yucca species. The lawns were planted with drought and salt tolerant grasses and native palms and vegetation were planted throughout the rest of the park.
The park itself is designed to soak up all of the rain and stormwater collected on site. Site grading directs water from small rain events into large areas of native plantings, which allows for infiltration and minimizes reliance on traditional drainage structures. During 25-year or greater storm events, lawn areas serve as temporary retention basins that replenish deep aquifers (through injection wells), preventing the stormwater from entering the ocean. All buildings and structures were designed to safely accommodate coastal storms and hurricane forces. Finally, during the six month turtle nesting season, the custom pylon lights change color to an amber long wavelength light, which does not interfere with hatchlings and their return to the ocean.
Images courtesy of Hargreaves Associates