Biscayne Park Improvement Association: ALL THINGS GREEN



Welcome to the Biscayne Park Improvement Association's expanded mission & environmental web portal. Please visit frequently, as it is "under construction", with links being made active every week.

A Short Environmental & Developmental History of Biscayne Park

Before there was Biscayne Park, there was the land. Much of it was either prairie or glades, shining green or golden in the sun; depending on the annual dry and wet season. With few or no large trees, there was the constant but changing flow of Everglades sheet water as it moved through or around these sandy soils and into sloughs eastward into nearby Biscayne Bay.

For a sense of what it was like, in 1896, a settler wrote of his camping in what was probably a similar spot -- as he made his way toward the Little River -- itself south of the yet to be farmed Biscayne area of land, and north of the Miami River. He wrote:

"A [winter] wind...blew across the prairies bending the stunted bushes and the grass...and...[made] a wailing sound as it rushed around the wagon cover. The flutey voice of the whooping crane floated to us across the distant flat land. We came to an open glade with a clear pond in the center and lush green grass growing so we camped early in the edge of this glade". The food they cooked "had the flavor of the wild." [There] "I had never felt so well in the whole twenty-one years of my life that had been spent two hundred miles back yonder."

Nearby areas were either slightly higher and vast rocky pineland, or smaller more densely forested hammocks with hard-wood trees. The latter made up what was known as the Atlantic or Coastal Ridge. This, the highest land near the Bay, sat on the narrow rise of the ancient coral rock ridge running south toward Miami, Coconut Grove, and beyond. It helped hold back the Everglades waters to the west, and served as a place where some of the first settlers built their houses to stand up to the storied coastal storms and hurricanes.

One such early settler to build on the ridge was nurseryman Arthur Griffing and his family, from Jacksonville, who, by 1904, had built a large home on NE 10th Avenue and 84th Street, with the success of his thriving nursery business begun here in 1901. His work propagating citrus, roses and Australian Pines -- the latter for agricultural wind breaks and new avenue beautifications -- was on land near the Little River.

But Biscayne Park was prairie and wetland, and the former first saw success in winter tomatoes for lucrative northern winter markets in the prairie immediately adjacent in present day Miami Shores. Earlier in 1898, the year Miami was incorporated, The Miami Metropolis had written about this larger "Biscayne Prairie"; and had earlier called it a "...most wonderful prairie." The rich prairie quickly was plowed under and into tomato fields or pineapple farms. Henry Flagler once stopped his train to observe the growing agriculture. The eventual railroad platform that was built to ship the fruit stood at approximately 103rd street and where the Florida East Coast Railway line still runs through the current Miami Shores golf course. It was known as the Biscayne Depot.

Griffing, along with his agricultural interests, began to realize the wealth possible from sub-dividing his land. The acreage near his home was named Biscayne Heights, and sold off around 1910. With the Roaring Twenties, and the investment hype that followed the successes of Carl Fisher's Miami Beach and George Merrick's Coral Gables, Griffing began to plan. His first two developments included Biscayne Park Estates and Edgewater Estates, along the nearby Biscayne slough that had been turned into a canal connecting residential waterfront lots to the Bay.



origin of Biscayne Park dates back to Griffing, landscape architect for Carl Fisher...well before incorporation during the height of the great depression.


History from Visioning Report

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This BPIA Green Portal works to assure a healthy natural environment for children, adults and future generations of Biscayne Parkers. This can be accomplished through a sound system of parks, parkways and yards --by encouraging our Village Government to support environmental best-practices and urban forestry standards. Through good management, we can save money for the future and at the same time assure the health of native and flowering trees, and plants and animals that call Biscayne Park home.

Library additions:

Regarding a pressing need to assure biodiversity here in the Park, please see what the head of the National Arboretum in Washington, DC says what municipal officials should be doing to save our urban trees, which appears especially relevant with the threat of SOD (Sudden Oak Death), which can impact various species, but especially the large number of oak trees planted in Biscayne Park.

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Service Notices

New Links

Environmental Friends

University of Florida Cooperative   Extension Services for homeowners who have plant/tree problems.

  DERM: The Department of Environmental Resources Management: Public Information Office and County Environmental Code
Sudden Oak Death Syndrome

Park & Parkways Board Meetings, Agenda, and Minutes.

Charitable Giving with the Village's new 501c3 status.

Biscayne Park Garden Club website at the Village web site.

* Biscayne Park Boat Owners and Outdoor Enthusiasts.


      Click here to: Email or address to: ( ) with your observations and comments.

Village Log Cabin

Latest news

February 7, 2009

Could Biscayne Park lose all its trees in the future to a disease ravaging California Trees?

read more soon

February 9, 2009

Biscayne Park faces important commission vote on FPL Franchise. Will we be locked into a bad deal for our extensive network of above ground power lines for the next 30 years?

Water and Irrigation are essential to plant life. Have you been wondering what will happen to all the money we've been giving the N. Miami water department since Nov. 2007? (see below video clip).

BP Commission 2-3-08 NM Water Bill - small.wmv



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