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Bonnet Springs Park to be a New Central Park for Lakeland, Florida

Ecological “jewel” The site certainly was far from “community ready” when the project began. For years the park site remained a vacant brownfield from prior industrial use as one of Central Florida’s major railroad centers, the Lakeland Railyard. Sasaki now faces tough remediation and ecological conditions with 84 acres of land that contain arsenic and petroleum hydrocarbons. The team is using creative, complex remediation strategies and design tactics to convert this damaged land into the “Central Park of Lakeland.” In a bold early move, they will utilize a variety of remediation strategies including creatively stockpiling the most contaminated material into large hills that act as landscape elements completely transforming the park’s future typography. From lowest to highest point, the future park could traverse up to a 90 foot grade change! In addition, a degraded stream corridor carrying comingled storm water runoff and clean water from a sand seep spring will be rehabilitated by diverting storm water into to a series of constructed wetlands to remove pollutants. Designing four new buildings In terms of the park’s architecture, a series of new buildings will be built within the park, in harmony with the surrounding environment. These added buildings are all intentionally immersed into the landscape contexts—some even partially buried into the landscape’s new hills. The buildings will create seamless exterior and interior experiences for park visitors—key among them the “Bridge Building,” future home of the park’s anchor institution, Explorations V Children’s Museum. This building is conceived to bridge between two constructed hills on the site, providing stunning rooftop views of the park. Park economic model While the park is privately funded, the park’s programmatic elements are intentionally being designed to generate income. The park will be made economically sustainable with robust implementation strategies for operations, maintenance, and revenue-generating events and facilities. For example the Explorations V Children’s Museum, will charge an admission fee. The surrounding area will host outdoor concerts, events and festivals, while other facilities, like the Nature Center, Events Center, and Welcome Center, will boast a cafe, multipurpose rooms for event rental, and a 350-seat banquet hall for weddings, corporate events, and other large gatherings. A perpetual care fund has been established to supplement future park maintenance and capital needs. Within the next 20 years, Polk County’s population is expected to grow to near one million. Sasaki, in partnership with a visionary and innovative client team, looks forward to capitalizing upon the economic, ecological, and community potential for a transformative park in this incredible downtown site.]]>

September 2019 Newsletter

October 1, 2019
September Park Update Every single day is filled with excitement and learning at the park as the master plan document comes to life. Clearing activity in…

August 2019 Newsletter

September 10, 2019

July 2019 Newsletter

August 2, 2019

Bonnet Springs PGTV

July 24, 2019

Donate

Bonnet Springs Park is a privately developed public park that depends solely on public support. There are several ways that you can help make this dream for Lakeland’s future generations become reality.

Volunteer

There are many ways you can help in the enabling of this magnificent regional park, from one-time to reoccurring volunteer opportunities. Bonnet Springs Park is looking for volunteers, sponsors, patrons, and professional services to help in the design and implementation. 

Donate

Bonnet Springs Park is a privately developed public park that depends solely on public support. There are several ways that you can help make this dream for Lakeland’s future generations become reality.

Volunteer

There are many ways you can help in the enabling of this magnificent regional park, from one-time to reoccurring volunteer opportunities. Bonnet Springs Park is looking for volunteers, sponsors, patrons, and professional services to help in the design and implementation. 

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