Islamorada Founders Park, located at 87000 Overseas Highway, will reopen Sunday, Dec. 3, after a nearly three-month closure. The Village is happy to welcome back residents who have been eager to take their dogs to the dog park for a leash-free run and families that have been waiting to return for a relaxing day at the beach.
Facilities that will remain closed are the Ron Levy Aquatic Center, the golf driving range and the soccer/multi-use field.
All other Founders Park recreational areas will be open to the public. Everyone is encouraged to come back to Founders Park and enjoy the beach, volleyball court, picnic areas, playgrounds, fitness/walking trails, tennis courts, basketball court, dog park, outdoor fitness park and the pickleball court.
Monroe County’s new hurricane debris contractor, DRC Emergency Services, has about 33 trucks working on county roads in the hardest-hit area of the Keys from mile marker 16 to 40. About 8,000 cubic yards of debris is being collected each day in this area.
Hurricane debris contractors cannot pick up on private roads due to FEMA regulations. If you live on a private road, you can bring your debris to the closest county right of way. Monroe County public works employees are collecting debris on these private roads and bringing it to the closest right of way.
Collection will continue in this area for the next few weeks. No deadline has been set for a final pass.
In Key Largo and Tavernier, the final pass on county roads is almost complete. The deadline to put debris on county roads or U.S. Highway 1 in this area has passed.
The final pass on Conch Key, Duck Key and Layton will begin as soon as a debris management site can be leased by DRC. Progress is being made and the hope is that final passes in those areas will be able to begin soon.
The Florida Department of Transportation has the jurisdiction to collect debris along U.S. 1 in the Keys. FDOT has told the county and Keys municipalities it has completed picking up debris along U.S. 1. The county and municipalities cannot pick up debris along U.S. 1 until jurisdiction is worked out with FDOT in order to get reimbursed by FEMA.
The Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service has reopened all state parks in the Florida Keys for day use following the impacts of Hurricane Irma. With the opening of Bahia Honda State Park today, all 11 state parks and trails in the Keys are open.
Visitor safety remains paramount as recovery efforts continue. Florida State Parks staff continue to work as expediently as possible to finish remaining cleanup and repairs. Amenities and access to certain areas of the parks may be limited until this work is completed.
Key Largo Community Park opened today, with a few limitations. The beach volleyball courts are not ready and part of the parking lot is still a temporary debris collection site.
The park was damaged by Hurricane Irma, which struck on Sept. 10. Since a week after the storm, Monroe County public works crews have been working at the county park seven days a week — with the exception of Columbus Day Weekend — to make repairs and get the park in shape to reopen to the public.
The work included trimming trees, removing debris, repairing asphalt, checking electrical circuits, repairing the walls to the basketball courts and more.
“The list goes on and on,” Monroe County’s Robert Glassmer said. “We’ve been working steady, including many weekends to get it opened.”
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service today announced that three additional state parks in the Keys have reopened. Amenities and access to certain areas of the parks may be limited as park staff continue cleanup efforts.
The Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service announced that two additional state parks in Monroe County have reopened following the impacts of Hurricane Irma, joining three other state parks and trails in the Keys that are currently open for visitors.
Amenities and access to certain areas of the parks may be limited as park staff continue cleanup efforts.
The following parks have reopened for day use:
• Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
• Lignumvitae Key Botanical State Park
The following state parks and trails in the Keys are also open for visitors to enjoy:
• The Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail — due to conditions and construction, sections of the trail may be closed.
• San Pedro Underwater Archaeological Preserve State Park
• Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
Most of Monroe County’s parks, boat ramps and museums from Key Largo to Key West sustained damage as a result of Hurricane Irma. While most remain closed to the public, below is additional information regarding the status of various facilities:
Higgs Beach: Will reopen Saturday, Oct. 7. The restrooms will close at sunset until further notice. Higgs Beach’s Reynolds Street Pier will remain closed to the public as parts of the pier need to be rebuilt. While the storm caused mounds of sand to be pushed onto the tennis courts and streets, the sand that was salvageable was returned to the beach. Unfortunately, some of that sand was swept into the water by recent king tides.
Handrails along the seawalls were destroyed and will take time to be replaced. Beachgoers are asked to not use the seawall steps and to be mindful of the rocks that are no longer covered by sand.
Two pavilions in the dog park and one pavilion on the beach were not salvageable and have been removed.
West Martello Tower: The museum and garden that is owned by Monroe County and operated by the Key West Garden Club will remain closed until further notice. The museum, which is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, suffered significant damage to large trees, landscaping and the structure.
East Martello Museum: May open as early as Sunday and we will post additional updates as they become available.
Key West Pine Park: Closed.
Key West Lighthouse & Keeper’s Quarters: Opened Friday, Oct. 6, with limited hours until further notice.