Fruit and Spice Park

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Coordinates: 25°32′08″N 80°29′39″W / 25.5356°N 80.4942°W / 25.5356; -80.4942

Fruit and Spice Park
Fruitandspicepark.jpg
Fruit and Spice Park
TypeMunicipal
LocationRedland, Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States
Area37 acres (15 ha)
Created1945 (1945)[1]
Operated byMiami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Department
WebsiteFruit and Spice Park

The Fruit and Spice Park is a 37-acre park located in the heart of the Redland and is the only botanical garden of its kind in the United States. This park is operated by Miami-Dade County Parks and Open Spaces Department. The park in itself attracts more than 50,000 visitors a year because of its unique agricultural environment. The garden features more than 500 different types of international exotic fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. Visitors are allowed to sample fallen fruits, enjoy lunch at the Mango Cafe, or schedule a tour of the park.

History[edit]

The Redland area, part of southern Miami-Dade County, has always been known for its many farms, unique ability to grow fresh fruit, and its reddish soil. Mary Calkins Heinlein was the daughter of pioneer sub-tropical farmers and had always had a passion for fruits and gardens in South Florida. She had a goal to showcase the Redland and its rich agricultural environment. In 1935, she got in contact with county commissioners and pioneer Parks Director to begin multiple transactions to purchase 18 acres in the Redland.[2] County commissioner Preston B. Bird finalized the deal in 1943 and received ownership for the land with Heinlein. South Date County's Park Development Department signed a contract with William Lyman Philips to develop the vision that Heinlein had for the garden.[3] In 1944, construction began and Heinlein was named Superintendent. The garden featured many different fruits and agricultural developments that Heinlein had hoped for. It even showcased two historical structures: the original Redland Schoolhouse and a coral rock building. After inspiring the creation of the garden and naming it the Redland Fruit and Spice Park, Heinlein's 10-year reign ended in 1959 when she retired as Superintendent. She continued to stay an active garden club member and develop insights on the different fruits that should be planted until she passed away in 1979. In memory of her and Preston B. Bird, South Date County renamed the Redland Fruit and Spice Park to the Preston B. Bird & Mary Heinlein Fruit and Spice Park in 1980.[4]

Exhibits[edit]

The park contains more than 500 varieties of fruits, nuts, and spice trees. It also includes more than 80 banana trees, 160 varieties of mango trees, more than 40 varieties of grape trees, and 70 varieties of bamboo trees. It also features guava, jackfruit, canistel, sapodilla, longan, lychee, mamey and black sapote, miracle fruit, jaboticaba, and coffee beans. Visitors are allowed to sample these fruits once they have fallen on the ground, but they are not allowed to pick them up off the ground. The park also features guided tours that will take you around the park and show you all that it has to offer. The tours are available every day at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3 p.m. Private tours are also available for school or club field trips.

Facilities[edit]

Entrance requires an admission fee $8 per adult $2 per child, but the entrance has a store open to the public where many fruits from the park can be sampled for free.[5] A tram is available with a guide for free once inside the park. It leaves from nearby the spice garden. The park includes a cafe. The entrance hall has a large library of gardening books, spices, honey, jams, jellies, and souvenirs for sale.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fleda Hughes (5 August 1945). "Park Guide Found Helpful: Work in Redland Area Described". Miami Daily News. Retrieved 4 May 2011.
  2. ^ "History – Fruit & Spice Park". redlandfruitandspice.com. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  3. ^ "History – Fruit & Spice Park". redlandfruitandspice.com. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  4. ^ "History – Fruit & Spice Park". redlandfruitandspice.com. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  5. ^ "What To Expect – Fruit & Spice Park". redlandfruitandspice.com. Retrieved 2018-11-01.

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