Photo: Jose A. Iglesias,

“A 35-foot tall ficus tree thought to be among the oldest in Maurice A. Ferré Park was chopped down by the city of Miami without any advance notice or a removal permit. What will take the beloved tree’s place? The city claims an oak tree will go there. But downtown residents who use the park daily dread the planting of an invasive species — a 300-square-foot electronic billboard blinging ads…

Photo: TJ Sabo, Courtesy of TJ Sabo

Billboards are coming to the park Billboards will indeed be the newest objects in the park, Carollo acknowledged last Friday — one on the north end and one on the south end, both facing Biscayne Boulevard, on the east side of the sidewalk. While it’s unclear if one of the LED signs will be placed on the exact spot where the tree stood, it will be close by, and unobstructed by the tree’s 40-foot-wide canopy as some 100,000 motorists pass by each day…

Although a proposal to put 45 digital billboards in Miami’s core was recently defeated by commissioners because of a public backlash, the placement of LED billboards in Ferré Park, Bayfront Park, Virginia Key Beach Park and at Miami Off-Street Parking facilities was approved Feb. 9 by a 3-1 vote, with Manolo Reyes opposed — warning, ‘we don’t want to look like Vegas.’

The two in Ferré Park — on monument bases and up to 400 square feet in size — will generate $800,000 in annual revenue from outdoor advertising companies…”

— Linda Robertson, Miami Herald

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