Picture this: It’s a Saturday morning. You’re kayaking in Lakeland with your friends on the glistening waters of Lake Bonnet, snapping photos of wildlife in a vibrant botanical garden, and thinking of the live oak exploration + orange grove walk you’re planning to take later. Can you envision it? We can. Enter: Bonnet Springs Park – a new public …
By Kimberly C. Moore Found on TheLedger.com. Click here to view. LAKELAND — Blinky the Alligator is returning to Lakeland, but this time at Bonnett Springs Park where he will be reincarnated as a 100-foot-long, interactive jungle gym with lights and sounds and a slide for a tail. “There’s a certain fascination about scale,” said the alligator’s …
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.
Bonnet Springs Park organizers selected Lakeland’s Explorations V Children’s Museum to be the central cultural and scientific partner for the planned, 180-acre park project.
Being located within that park land will benefit the museum and its mission, the museum’s executive director, Kerry Falwell said.
At Explorations V Children’s Museum’s annual event, Night at the Museum, Board President, Joe Lauk, announced the Children’s Museum has been named the anchor institution at Bonnet Springs Park.
Bonnet Springs Park is a new development on 180 acres of land purchased from CSX by the nonprofit organization, Windsong Park, Inc. The Park is spearheaded by retired director of City of Lakeland Parks and Recreation, Bill Tinsley, long-time real estate developer, David Bunch, and Board President, Barney Barnett.
The planners have spent the last couple of months soliciting feedback on what it should look like. David Bunch is one of the people behind the development of Bonnet Springs Park. It’s going to be a 180-acre park with a lake, part of it a former rail yard and the rest a heavily wooded area that’s been largely left untouched.
The team designing a massive urban park west of downtown Lakeland unveiled three concepts today and asked community members to let them know which features they prefer.
People attending two sessions today about Bonnet Springs Park were asked to give feedback via a scorecard, and those who weren’t able to get there will be able to review the plans (below) and fill out an online survey, expected to be available later this week via the park website and Facebook page.
The Bonnet Springs Park planners have selected Sasaki, a Massachusetts-based landscape architecture firm with an international reach, to design the proposed 180-acre privately funded park.
“The team we’ve selected has done major waterfront-type parks — urban waterfront parks have been their niche and specialty,” said Bill Tinsley, a former Lakeland Parks and Recreation director who is volunteering his time to the park-building effort.