Colors of Development
Both the North and South mountains have been completed in the remedial phase of the site work. With nearly 38 feet of elevation and sculpting to allow for access, water control, and future programed areas, stabilization and weed control become the next step. Hydroseeding is a planting process that uses a slurry of seed and mulch. It is used as erosion control as an alternative to the traditional process of broadcasting or sowing dry seed. The slurry also has other ingredients including fertilizer, tackifying agents, fiber mulch, and green dye.
High germination rates are being realized for the brown top millet and Bahia blend planted earlier, and more recently the winter rye grass and Bahia blend. Due to the slopes and large areas being treated, this was determined to be the most cost effective method of holding the shapes of the mountains in place as we await final permitting and utility work in the next phase.
As the contractors broadcast the seed, it has binding characteristics to provide some erosion protection until germination and root structure development. The mulch also helps maximize the retention of the moisture required for seed development. The mountains have caused new interest in the project due to their visibility from both Kathleen Rd., George Jenkins Blvd., and Memorial. Primary work activity on site remains the dredging of the lagoon. The rich black soils being recovered for their rich growing properties are also becoming visible on the old rail yard. Truly, this month’s park progress can be presented in the contrasting colors of development.
Bonnet Springs Park Receives Major Gift from Hollis Family
The Hollis Family, one of the most philanthropic families of Lakeland, announced a generous legacy gift to fund the Bonnet Springs Park Welcome Center, set to open in 2021. First impressions are lasting impressions, especially for first-time visitors of Bonnet Springs Park. The two story, 14,670 square-foot building will be the first of many to be built on the former Lakeland rail yard site of 180 acres.“Lakeland has been very important to our family for over one hundred years, and this is another opportunity for our family to be involved in this transformational project for the city of Lakeland, where our community has sought to improve our landscape. We are fortunate to be able to be involved with such a project,” said Lynn Hollis.
The Hollis Family Welcome Center is the flagship building for the park and the first of many beautifully designed spaces that visitors will first encounter upon arrival at Bonnet Springs Park. Hollis Family Welcome Center will feature a full-service restaurant with a chef-driven menu, regionally relevant selections, and contemporary food options that create the opportunity for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner in an elegant and comfortable destination setting with views to the AgAmerica Heritage Gardens. The second floor of the Hollis Family Welcome Center will feature an exhibition space and administrative offices. The exhibit space will highlight Florida’s citrus legacy and the history of the railroad. Prior to its reclamation by Bonnet Springs Park, the rail yard was the economic engine for the growth of Polk County in the late 1800’s, and the largest train repair yard in the state of Florida.
“The Hollis Family name is synonymous with generosity, vision for the community, and bringing beauty and well-being to Lakeland. Their participation in this legacy park continues this storied history,” 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 Hollis Family Welcome Center 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.
Local Teen Nonprofit Raised over $2K towards BSP’s Nature Playground Project
We had the pleasure of partnering with 100 Teens Who Care Lakeland and it was incredible! This is an organization of Lakeland Teens who donate their time and talent while developing their leadership skills in a fun, engaging format. Four students presented the park’s master plan then introduced three different projects that the money raised in this one night could go towards. With the help of generous matching donors, these teens raised $2,946 to go towards the Playground Equipment in the Nature Playground- how remarkable is that?! It is inspiring to see what happens when a community comes together! We cannot thank these teens and their parents enough for their contribution and continued support.
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Give a Founding Friend 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.