With Memorial Day this weekend, there are a lot of events going on in the county

Kristen Livengood, Public Information Officer for Monroe County, joined KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM yesterday morning to talk about what’s been going on in the county.

With Memorial Day this weekend, it’s looking pretty good for boating and fishing, among other celebrations.

Livengood said, “I’ll definitely be out on the boat this weekend for sure. Our offices will be closed on Monday for Memorial Day. Our Veterans Affairs department will actually be participating in a wreath ceremony at 10am on Monday at the Key West Veterans Memorial Garden at Bayview Park. And then Veterans Affairs also co host with the VFW Post 10211 at the Murray Nelson Government Center at 11am in Key Largo. So our Veterans Affairs Department actually splits their time between Key Largo and Key West that morning to participate in those ceremonies. There’s also several other ceremonies that are going on that morning. The Key West cemetery does something at their Winslow plot and that’s on Big Coppitt and that’s at 9am. The Southern Keys ceremony, Big Coppitt has something going on at 11am. The Islamorada Hurricane monument at mile marker at 81.5, they have something going on at 9am. A lot of people you know are out on the boat and enjoying their day, celebrating Memorial Day. But Memorial Day and Veterans Day are two different holidays that celebrate our veterans and Memorial Day is where we’re actually celebrating those who lost their lives and not necessarily the veterans that we have walking around here every day. So it’s just an important day that while you’re out there grilling your hamburgers and hotdogs and things like that, that you stop and be thankful for our freedoms and the things that people have lost and the families that have lost people or those who have sacrificed their lives so that we have the freedoms that we do today.”

Memorial Day also kicks off the summer.

Livengood said, “Our parks and beaches, that was a new department that we created about two years ago and our director has really gone above and beyond to try and make sure that there’s programming available for children during summer and spring break and Christmas break and all these breaks that we have when parents obviously still have to be working but kids are home. So starting in June, our Monroe County parks and beaches are going to be hosting several summer camps for children ages six through 12 throughout the Florida Keys. The registration is open now until 10 days before the camps start. So the children must be fully registered. So if it’s something that you are looking into, you do want to reach out to our parks and beaches department to get your kids registered. It’s very affordable. It’s $20 per day, $10 for extra children. So if you’ve got three kids, you’re looking at 40 bucks a day, which is actually not bad, as someone who has children and used to pay for childcare, that’s amazing. You can do weekly, or you can do daily as well, like say, you’ve got events going on Tuesday and Wednesday or the kids are at grandma’s on Tuesdays and Wednesdays or something you can only have them go on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays or whatnot. So that’s a great something that’s available for parents as well. They do a lot of field trips, they do a lot of fun activities, arts and crafts, interactive games, a lot of times they’re having water balloon fights, or doing whatever they can to stay cool during the summer. It’s just a really fun time. It goes every day from nine to five and they have them in the Lower Keys at Big Pine Park and on Stock Island at Bernstein Park and then in the Upper Keys at the Plantation Key community center.

The Harry Harris Park playground is also open.

Livengood said, “It’s very fun. There’s also at Jacobs Aquatic Center in Key Largo, they also have a summer camp going on. That’s $175 per week, and they even have scholarships available. So that’s something that’s for ages five to 12 and Monroe County is the owner of Jacobs Aquatic Center in Key Largo. So, a great opportunity again for kids and the Upper Keys as well.”

Beat the Heat events are also coming up.

Livengood said, “Beat the Heat is something that Monroe County Fire Rescue puts together every summer. Mary Moeller, she’s such a good event planner and she really goes out of her way to make sure that Monroe County Fire Rescue is doing fun things. They do the Santa caravans and all those things every year. One of her favorite things I believe, is Beat the Heat. The fire department and firefighters, they come out, they bring their hoses out, they do a light stream of water out of their hoses and all the kids get to run through it and they just have the best time. They’re laughing and giggling. They bring out there their snow cone machine. So the kids are cool and stay cooled off and those start taking place in June. So June 8, in Tavernier at Harry Harris Park, June 15 at Layton Community Baptist Church; June 22 at Big Pine Key Community Park; June 29, at Sugarloaf School, and July 6, at Bernstein Park on Stock Island. Children are encouraged to bring or wear their bathing suits and water shoes and then bring a bottle of water and a towel. They take place on the Saturdays from 10 to 11am. If we have a torrential downpour like we did the other day, the events could be canceled.”

ROGOs also continue to be a topic of conversation and there’s a survey where the county wants to hear from residents.

Livengood said, “Monroe County Board of County Commissioners, they’re facing this very important decision that’s coming up in December. It’s concerning, basically all the future growth of Monroe County and the Florida Keys. So the commissioners and Kimberly Matthews and I have been working very hard, making sure that we do have this robust public process in place. Kimberly and I worked on a survey where we were able to, we just really want to make sure that we’re reaching your listeners and, and people who read newspapers and those who are on social media and things like that. We want to make sure that we know where people are getting their information from because this robust public process that we’re in is going to be going out for a few months now. So we want to make sure that we’re really getting as much information out of our community members as possible. So this is a nine question survey, it literally takes three minutes to take. The questions are simply you know, where you get your information from? Do you even know what ROGO is? Do you know why ROGO is important? Those kinds of things. The survey link is available on our social media, it’s also available on our website. Go to that website, and it actually will give you a background of our ROGO process, why it’s important, our why we’re a state of critical state concern here in the Florida Keys, why we have to limit building and things like that, and especially things with traffic involved and everything along those lines. So it is important that we just have our community members take the survey, and then we’ll have another survey coming out in a couple weeks or months. Once we start getting the word out, and she does this tour basically of the Keys where she’s going to be going to all the Chambers and Rotaries and homeowners associations and things like that, after that after we really talk to people and talk about the importance of ROGO and the liability of takings cases, then get the opinions of the people who live here and work here on what they think is that sweet spot for how many building allocations should become available for people who have lots that should have be buildable or not buildable.”

For more information click here:  https://www.monroecounty-fl.gov/