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.
Local philanthropists are developing a new 160+ acre, privately-funded urban park between West Memorial Boulevard and George Jenkins Boulevard on the east side of Lake Bonnet for the residents and visitors of Lakeland. The planned project – called Bonnet Springs Park – will reside on the former CSX railyards and adjoining historic parcels that once occupied this tract.
It will take a community effort to realize Bonnet Spring Park, the name chosen for the 160-acre, privately funded park intended to be a centerpiece amid Lakeland’s inevitable west side growth, organizers said Wednesday.In the future, residents and visitors will be able to take a swan boat ride across Lake Bonnet, walk the park’s trails, play on its playgrounds and enjoy a meal by the shore, Wesley Barnett said, speaking for his family alongside his brother, Nick Barnett.