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Virtual Reality Bringing Liberty Gardens in North Miami to Life

Residents of North Miami are witnessing considerable signs of change with recent beautification measures at the centrally-located Liberty Gardens Park. The park has got an augmented reality (AR) mural across 125th Street, in a very prominent location of the city.

Residents of North Miami were curious about the ongoing beautification project until its completion in March. Now, they can get a glance of the imposing mural installed within the park, along with a large green wall, Florida-themed installations and seating. The project was financed by a North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency (NMCRA) beautification grant and the Art in Public Places program from the Miami-Dade County.

Philippe Bien-Aime, North Miami Mayor, said that the Liberty Gardens Park is a part of the city’s efforts for renovating and beautifying its bustling downtown area. He remarked that the Liberty Gardens Park is also a part of the city’s drive for cultural improvement, and a place for people to enjoy art, music, entertainment and food, or just take a walk.

The Liberty Gardens Park is situated at 715 NE 125th St. and is close to many important North Miami landmarks such as the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami and City Hall. Visitors to this Park can have an experience that offers a blend of reality and virtual reality. One of its key features is the large mural canvas on its eastern wall. It is a 45 feet impressive structure with a width of 95 feet. Titled as Before It’s Too Late, the mural is a result of a collaboration between a nonprofit art group and NMCRA. The mural focuses on themes related to native plant and tree habitat restorations for enabling birds, bats and other forms of wildlife to prosper.

Liberty Gardens mural in North Miami. Image source: miamiherald

Ernesto Maranje, a Miami artist renowned for environmental paintings has designed the mural which offers an augmented reality (AR) experience which can be accessed by individuals using a mobile application.

Visitors who have enjoyed the Park’s surroundings and its green walls can get a richer and more immersive experience with the “Liberty Gardens AR” app on iPhone and Android devices. Using this app enlivens the elements of the mural to life. Visitors with the application can gain knowledge about the contents of the artwork, and explore a lot more than the park.

Rasha Cameau, the executive director of NMCRA, explained that the park is a meeting space for art and technology. The NMCRA has turned a breezeway into an outdoor garden that North Miami residents can enjoy, as a part of its neighbourhood improvement drive. According to Cameau, beautifying the downtown area can also enhance the quality of life for people.

Carol Keys, North Miami Councilwoman, expressed that putting in the work for bringing the Liberty Gardens Park to life was an honour for her. She explained that the ongoing objective is to enhance the city’s sustainability.

North Miami is waking up from its pandemic-induced slumber. People are gradually getting into outdoor activities. Exploring the AR experience of the Liberty Gardens Park can be an activity to look forward to.

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