Miami-Dade County Commissioner Katy Sorenson, District 8, and Miami-Dade Parks, Deering Estate at Cutler, hosted a dedication ceremony to celebrate the reopening of Deering Point on Thursday, June 24, 2010.
17350 Old Cutler Road
Miami, FL 33157
Deering Point is located adjacent to the C-100 Canal at the southern point of the Deering Estate property - approximately six blocks from the main Deering Estate building.
The site known as “Deering Point” is a small (3 ½ acres) portion of the Deering South Addition. The 34-acre South Addition was purchased by the State of Florida and Miami Dade County in 1985 through cost sharing by the Florida Conservation and Recreation Lands Program (CARL) and the Miami Dade County Environmentally Endangered Lands Program (EEL). The State retains title to the property and has entered into a lease agreement with the County for the Miami Dade Park and Recreation Department (MDPR) to manage the property. The Deering Estate is the only site within 13 miles that offers free public access to the Bay; providing recreational opportunities for residents and visitors from the southern portion of the County. Historic lack of public access has contributed to the inability of many County residents to make use of the Bay, mostly accessible only by motorized boats, because of the lack of sites from which to launch canoes and kayaks. Development of Deering Point was planned to provide the public with additional opportunities to enjoy the recreational and educational experiences offered by Biscayne Bay.
The Deering Point site was infested with Australian pine, Burma reed and Brazilian pepper prior to being cleared in 1994. What was left after clearing was a barren rocky area bordered on the north by environmentally sensitive land and on the south by the C-100 Canal. Funding from the Florida Coastal Management Program and the Safe Neighborhood Parks (SNP) bond program allowed MDPR to build a small canoe/kayak ramp and to provide primitive access and parking areas in the site early in the decade. Park planners and biologists began working with organizations and individuals from the community in the 1990’s to formulate a plan that would provide low-impact recreational activities, public access and environmental restoration at the edges of the adjacent EEL property. Several of the agencies that provided input include the Miami-Dade County Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM), the Tropical Audubon Society, the City of Palmetto Bay, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Trust for Public Land and the Biscayne Aquatic Preserve as well as input from interested residents from the surrounding community.
Additional funding was allocated to the site courtesy of later SNP bond sales as well as monies from the Building Better Communities (GOB). Recently completed improvements consist of: installation of utilities to support future shelters and a small restroom building, drainage improvements, paving and landscaping. Total costs for these improvements were $800,000.