Behind the scenes with President Bill Tinsley
Rolling into a new year with frost in the mornings and sunshine in the afternoons has energized the construction workers and Bonnet Springs Park team. The anticipation of seeing the multiple venues and special places that make up the park filled with the future users drives us and makes us impatient for completion. There has been a substantial amount of progress as we rolled into 2022. The final few of the hundreds of light poles that cover the campus are being installed, awaiting the delivery of components to bring them on-line. Tucker Paving is back on-site prepping for installation of the final paths and roadways.
This month, the Rodda Construction Management team added FloraLawn, a very talented local landscape contractor on board to take over the maintenance of the thousands of plants, shrubs, and trees. Almost immediate positive results are apparent as these new plants are getting tender loving care during their establishment phase. Nature Bridges continues to bring their talented team to the park, installing guard rails on walkways of the Kiwanis Cares for Kids Treehouse, completing the decks and piers at the Blanton Family Lagoon, and have started the Crenshaw Canopy Walk.With a temporary certificate of occupancy at the Hollis Family Welcome Center, we are able to install the first components of the Watson Clinic Gallery. This gallery will tell the history of The Lakeland Train Yard. This location was the largest repair train yard in Florida during the 1930’s and 40’s.
Also under construction and design are the exciting new exhibits planned for the Givewell Community Foundation Nature Center. Pollinators, water, animals, birds, and reptiles of the park and its myriad of wildlife will make up the exhibits that will make this gallery a real-life learning lab. In partnership with Polk County Public Schools, a county-wide video contest is underway to create engaging environmental and ecological videos that enhance, enrich, and educate the community about the vast environmental story of Bonnet Springs Park. The video contest winners from all over the county will be incorporated into the fantastic displays and designs of Creative Arts, our Exhibit designer for this space.
The 40,000 square foot Florida Children’s Museum is dried in with the storefront glass finishing off the building envelope. The first truck load of exhibits, planned for May 1, will begin. Beautiful colors and large spaces will bring to life the new opportunities for Florida’ s youth. Final designs are complete, and manufacture has begun. We wait anxiously to see this building transformed into Florida’s newest and best Children’s Museum in Florida.
Each days challenges on a construction site this large bring opportunities. Our community is so blessed to have the outstanding board and volunteers that are working tirelessly through the development of what will be Central Florida’s place to play. Please visit our updated website to find ways to get connected and support us.
Behind the scenes with CEO Josh Henderson
January was an exciting month around the park. The release of our new logo was a lot of work and a lot of fun. The team diligently worked with our marketing agency, Tinsley Creative, and launched the next evolution of our brand and this Park. It’s hard to believe that Bonnet Springs Park has been around for about 5 years in concept and construction. Our world has changed dramatically in that time and our organization has as well. The Park has grown, our Board of Directors has grown, our staff has grown, but the mission and vision for the Park remains the same. As we near the grand opening in 2022, we wanted to look at where we started, what we are becoming and it led to the idea of “New Year, New Look, New Park.”
Navigating this COVID ladened world we live in hasn’t been easy but delays aside we know the wait will be worth it. We will have more announcements coming soon! Stay tuned. Thanks for following along. This great park wouldn’t be possible without all the public support. Do you like the new logo? Support our mission and vision, join the Friends of Bonnet Springs Park and we’ll make sure you get a newly branded magnet with your membership.
New Year, New Look, New Park 🌿
In January, we announced our renewed brand identity as a part of an ongoing evolution to our marketing efforts as grand opening approaches in 2022! Our newly designed logo focuses on bringing a unique and modern look to the Park. We hope you enjoy our new look just as much as we do! Be sure to check out our refreshed website to learn all about what our exquisite Park is going to offer!
Staghorn Fern Story 🌿
You don’t want to miss this heart-warming story of how a Lakeland couple, a Staghorn fern and the Park have intertwined. The fern was gifted to a Lakeland couple in 1981 and hung in their front yard until they recently moved to a 55+ community. After a tour of the Park this past summer and meeting Bill Tinsley, it was determined that Bonnet Springs Park would be the perfect home for the fern. The beautiful Staghorn witnessed the couple raise their family and survived several hurricanes, including Irma in 2017. We are honored to now house it and hope you all feel the same!
The Legacy of Carol Jenkins Barnett 🌿
The legacy of Carol Jenkins Barnett lives on through many different nonprofit organizations. Success By 6 is a community-wide children’s initiative, founded in 1995 by Carol Jenkins Barnett at United Way of Central Florida. She also founded Family Fundamentals, A Success By 6 parent resource center, in 2001. Success By 6 is a collaboration of organizations committed to strengthening families and our community by increasing access to resources and services. Spearheaded by United Way of Central Florida, Family Fundamentals is a warm, welcoming place where parents, guardians and other family members come to access information, support services and tools they need to be the best parents they can be.
We look forward to having Family Fundamentals move to Bonnet Springs Park along with the Florida Children’s Museum!
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. Purchases of bricks and benches purchased after 9/30 cannot be guaranteed to be placed by the grand opening. For more information, contact Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.