Sasaki expands and transforms a downtown park at the center of Homestead, Florida
Funded entirely through impact fees and grants, the $6M redesign of Losner Park creates a significantly expanded green space at the heart of downtown Homestead. The new design grows the existing park from .68 acres to 3 acres, extending westward from Krome Avenue, the city’s main commercial avenue, to the newly constructed police station. To the south, the park is adjacent to the recently renovated historic Seminole Theater. With the City of Homestead geographically functioning as a gateway to the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks, the park offers a new destination for residents and visitors, attracting and introducing them to the region while supporting local economy and downtown businesses.
Enhancing a community asset
Formerly a .68 acre park adjacent to a large parking lot, the re-designed Losner Park is now the symbolic center of the community with abundant South Florida native planting, spaces for event programming, and a large children’s play area attracting families across the region. The entrance to the park from Krome Avenue has paths through planting mounds, inspired by the hammocks rising from the Florida Everglades, as well as a series of benches shaded by the tree canopy leading to several small event lawns. At the broadened center of the park to the north, is the adventure-style play area embedded in native vegetation featuring designed climbing structures, slides, swings, and sculptural pieces.
To the south of the play area, a covered stage fronting an event lawn with sabal palms at the edges accommodates over 1500 people. At the west end of the park, adjacent to the police station, Sasaki designed a new Veterans’ Memorial. The monument is a table-height granite structure respectfully honoring those who served from Homestead, replacing what was once paving bricks with names in the former park.
A design based on Homestead’s unique position between the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks
The playground in tropical vegetation is an exciting and accessible space for children of all ages to explore the park by offering distinct zones catered to children across all age groups. The planting and colors used in the paving and play structures are derived from the tropical landscape of the region. Topographical features such as slides and picnic tables on mounds contrast with Florida’s flat landscape, while hues of bright blues and greens relate to Florida’s unique coastal geography.
Sasaki collaborated with Florida landscape architect Raymond Jungles on the planting design, which offers an abundance of native and regionally beneficial plants from local nurseries. In total, more than 150 unique plant species were installed throughout the park with a design that responds to Homestead’s culture, community, and the South Florida region.
A catalyst for Homestead’s downtown revitalization
The design team worked closely with the City to assure that the park’s design is durable, resilient, universally accessible, and meets the functional needs of the park operators and a variety of users. These efforts are expected to aid the revitalization of downtown and spur new economic investment in the Homestead. The grand opening of the park in November 2022 welcomed over 3,000 visitors celebrating the new space with presentations by public officials on the history of the park, live music, food trucks and fireworks.
For more information contact Alan Ward.