Bonnet Springs Park announces gift for Nature Preserve
Ann and Ward Edwards family of the late Joe K. Blanton, a former president of Publix Super Markets Inc., announced a substantial legacy gift to fund the Blanton Family Lagoon and Ann and Ward Edwards Boathouse, set to open in 2021. The Blanton and Edwards families continue to make an impact through their generosity to many significant community projects throughout the Central Florida Community. “We are excited for all the children and adults who will be able to enjoy this wonderful park in the years to come,” said Ward & Ann Edwards.
The Blanton Family Lagoon, named after Joe and Alberta Blanton was among the first of the Park’s features to be completed in March of 2020. The 6.5-acre lagoon will showcase the Flora and Fauna of Bonnet Springs Park, while the 2,600 square foot boathouse will provide a place to rent paddle boats or grab a quick snack. The Blanton Family Lagoon has already provided a space for wildlife to return to the grounds that were once devastated. Native plantlife will also be reintegrated around the lagoon to even further promote a resurgence of wildlife. At the Ann and Ward Edwards Boathouse, BSP guests will explore the inlet or grab a snack from the café and enjoy the sunset.
“The Blanton Family tradition continues as they generously give back to the Lakeland Community. With this gift, Bonnet Springs Park Nature area will provide both recreational and educational opportunities for families while creating a sustainable, natural environment to be enjoyed by future generations,” said Bill Tinsley, CEO of Bonnet Springs Park.
Bonnet Springs Park aims to enrich the community by combining and promoting the use of nature, culture, recreation, and education in the area. The Blanton Family Preserve will support the community by providing a space to escape, engage, and explore the area all while visitors learn about the extraordinary history of Central Florida’s founding industries.
About Bonnet Springs Park
Bonnet Springs Park is a blended urban/natural 168-acre park centrally located in Lakeland, Florida. Bonnet Springs Park is designed to create spaces to escape, engage, and explore while experiencing and learning about the extraordinary history of Central Florida. The park is slated for completion in 2021. Bonnet Springs Park is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization with a mission to enrich the community through nature, culture, recreation, and education. The Park serves to unify Central Florida’s diverse population, offering public spaces that serve the needs of many by providing engaging and unique opportunities in education and recreation to residents and visitors. The vision of Bonnet Springs Park is to be a place within walking distance to our city’s urban core where art, recreation, fun, and tranquility intersect by design.
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Heide Evans Waldron
Bonnet Springs Park