STOCK ISLAND, FL – Monroe County’s Bernstein Park on Stock Island will partially reopen on Monday, July 23, at 7 a.m. The sections that are ready to open are the children’s playground, basketball court, walking path and the athletic fields.
The community rooms in the new 5,500-square-foot community center will open in the coming days when the finishing touches are completed.
To celebrate the $7.9 million redevelopment project, the County will host a formal ribbon cutting at the park (6751 Fifth Street) on Aug. 15, the same day as the Board of County Commissioners meeting in Key West.
The renovation project included elevating six acres of the park (the non-wetlands portion) by up to two feet to address flooding caused by rains and high tides that have hampered use of the fields. The field now has new natural grass that is being watered using rain water collected in cisterns and reclaimed water from Key West Resort Utilities. There also is new field lighting.
The park will be open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
The park closed on Sept. 1, 2016 for the renovation. A year later, the park almost was ready to reopen when Hurricane Irma struck on Sept. 10, 2017, causing significant damage.
The renovation project was funded with the one-cent infrastructure sales surtax.