The Boca Raton City Council has approved a plan to transform a former garbage landfill to a park within five years, starting with selection of an architect.
The park project, called Hillsboro El Rio Park, would replace a former landfill at Dixie Highway and Southwest 18 Street, near a city-0wned baseball diamond and soccer field that opened in 2002
Hillsboro El Rio Park would span 10 acres and would feature a fitness trail and playground, picnic pavilions and restrooms, and a boat-launching location on the El Rio Canal. Other features that may be added include a pier for fishing and basketball, volleyball and tennis courts.
The park will cost $6.5 million to develop and is scheduled to open in the summer of 2019.
Efforts to put a park on the former garbage dump in southeast Boca Raton dates back to 1988. The project hit multiple obstacles in the last 27 years, including economic recession and altered city priorities.
The 10-acre site is now littered with plastic bottles, an old tire and other junk. “No Trespassing” signs are posted, and a chain-link fence deters public use of the land.
With approval from the city council, city staff began seeking an architect for the park project. The city council will hold another public hearing on the project. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth