Behind the scenes with President Bill Tinsley
From Spring Training with the Tigers to Sun ‘N Fun to spring break, this might be the best time of the year in Lakeland.
It is that wonderful time of the month again to catch up on what’s going on at Bonnet Springs Park. The Jack and Tina Harrell Family Botanical Gardens continue with plantings of 28,000 wetland plugs in the 3 drainage basins. Trees, grasses, and shrubs are starting to take the form of the deliberate design of five botanical gardens. Brightview, our landscape contractor, is busy scheduling the remaining plantings that will occur over the next 11 months with daily shipments of plant material arriving in trailers that are full of hand-selected and pre-contract grown materials.
At the top of the Harrell Family Botanical Gardens on the north end of the Park, the Event Center is receiving the laminated beam roof system that gives the building its character. Grade-work continues under the Tucker Paving team, as the Lakeland Regional Health Circulator is being prepared for rock and asphalt in the next few weeks, and asphalt for the Hollis Family Welcome Center parking lot is just days away. Ferguson Waterworks continues to close the three-mile loop of the mainline in anticipation of beginning tree planting on the Clyne Family North and Franklin Family South Mountains in early April.
The structural steel is flying at The Café, and Dixie Southern has completed framing at Explorations V Children’s MuseumMechanical trades are beginning the installation of under-slab work and penetrations in the 40,000 square foot space. Perhaps most visible along the George Jenkins Boulevard bridge is the bright yellow sheeting (Densglass) that is the first layer of the building envelope of the Hollis Family Welcome Center. Rodda Construction and their host of sub-contractors are working tirelessly to bring this building online.
Overall, site conditions remained dry for the month of March, allowing an aggressive planting plan for the build out of the Park to begin. Most construction requires that the landscaping follow the building construction, but the enormous amounts of vegetation going into the Park requires us to start now at the north end and end at AgAmerica Heritage Gardens.
In the look ahead to April, roofing for Explorations V Children’s Museum and The Café, playground restrooms, and the Event Center are all anticipated in our race against the summer showers. As foundations are added for the Ann and Ward Edwards Boathouse and GiveWell Community Foundation Nature Center, framing will soon follow.There are no average days at the Bonnet Springs Park construction site. We are so grateful for the myriad of folks from Sasaki (design), Rodda Construction (Construction Manager), building inspectors, Lakeland Electric and Water, vendors, and all the special contractors that are contributing to our success. The hundreds of volunteers, friends, and a very special Board of Directors of Bonnet Springs Park are the formula for how to build a community asset. Thank you to each and every one of our supporters.
A Special Guest Appearance
The landscape of the Bonnet Springs Park site is turning a new leaf, literally! It’s been a thrill to watch the movement of dirt, installation of steel, and pouring of concrete, but we are so excited to see some color coming to the Park. In the last week, the first 500 trees were planted along trails and around ponds, and the momentum will continue through this month. Sasaki’s Landscape Architect, Ashley Pelletier, is currently onsite overseeing the planting of hundreds of shrubs, trees, and flowering plants. Stay tuned as we follow along with her throughout March!
2020 Annual Report
Interested to learn more about the behind-the-scenes work in 2020? We have compiled all of our construction updates, information about the Bonnet Springs Park team, community engagement, and much more from the last year! Take a look at our 2020 Annual Report to see what we’ve been up to.
Leave Your Mark on the Park!
Looking to leave a lasting legacy at Bonnet Springs Park? We’ve got you covered! Visit our site to learn more about sponsoring engraved bricks and benches. We’re taking orders until September 30th. For a gift certificate, contact Hannah at email@example.com.
Give a Gift of Friendship!
As a Founding Friend, help us grow our membership! A Founding Friends annual household membership is ONLY $30.00. It also makes a great gift!
Give a Founding Friends membership as a birthday, graduation or wedding gift! Be an advocate for the park and be sure to tell people everywhere that you go about the great work that is being done to bring this amazing resource to the community. There are still so many people who haven’t yet heard about Bonnet Springs. Be sure to tell your friends, acquaintances, co-workers and fellow members at the organizations where you belong, such as PTA, sports teams, church groups, social and civic clubs to go to www.bonnetspringspark.com and become a Founding Friend!
Founding Friends is a unique group of individuals and families who have demonstrated their support of Bonnet Springs Park prior to the Grand Opening.