“Green space” is defined as “an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation set apart for recreational or aesthetic purposes in an otherwise urban environment.” In South Florida, there is no question that green space is disappearing through development, road widening, and overall population growth. According to the SunSentinel, in June of 2014, “city parks — including school parks and parts of county parks, only account for 2.5 acres of green space for every 1,000 people.” in Boynton Beach.
The Boynton Beach CRA is working on changing this statistic with the final phase of the Boynton Harbor Marina Redevelopment Project. The Boynton Harbor Marina is a monumental draw for tourism in Boynton Beach. The Marina features restaurants, diving, boat rentals, and many other services that bring people to the area and support the local economy. Boynton Beach also boasts one of only four marine inlets in Palm Beach County connecting the Intracoastal Waterway to the Atlantic Ocean, leading directly to the Gulf Stream.
The new green space will feature area for recreation, and beautification. There will be public seating areas for people to watch marine vessels, birds and the water in a shaded and peaceful setting. Science is now researching the benefit of green space in urban environments. “In 2015 an international team overlaid health questionnaire responses from more than 31,000 Toronto residents onto a map of the city, block by block. Those living on blocks with more trees showed a boost in heart and metabolic health equivalent to what one would experience from a $20,000 gain in income. Lower mortality and fewer stress hormones circulating in the blood have also been connected to living close to green space,” cited National Geographic Magazine, which is good news for Boynton Beach residents, particularly those living in Marina Village.
Vivian Brooks (the Boynton Beach CRA Executive Director) stated that the goal of the project is to “create a place where people can enjoy access to the water, and experience one of the two working public marinas in Palm Beach County.” This green space will be the culmination of the Boynton Harbor Marina Redevelopment Project, and will set the Marina District as the Eastern gemstone of the developing Downtown Boynton Beach. The completion of the green space project will begin this Summer (2016), with the majority of the work being completed in the slow tourist season as to reduce the impact to local businesses. If you would like more information, please visit catchboynton.com.