Behind the scenes with President Bill Tinsley
On one of the longest days of the year in June, we took a pause to reflect on the amazing journey of the past six years. When Carol and Barney Barnett, David Bunch, and our families agreed to enable the establishment of a privately-funded public park, it was a commitment that would change all our lives. We were soon joined on this adventure by some of Lakeland’s strongest leaders and people who shared a vision for Lakeland’s progress.
Imagine the opportunities and challenges, both known and unknown, that existed on a brownfield site that had been deemed un-developable for so many years. With a vision that was grounded in public input, expert leadership, and a passion for the community, a legacy park has arisen. The finished product is in the final stages of completion and will provide future generations in Central Florida a place to play. Everyone that has worked to achieve these goals, from the first clearing of debris following Hurricane Irma in 2017 to the building contractors, volunteers, designers, government agencies, and Bonnet Springs Park Board and committees, are now focused on October 22, 2022. It is about time!
Progress on the site has been steady over the past several weeks, even with mother nature’s occasional test on drainage with the extreme elevations in the Park. Buildings are all nearing their final Certificate of Occupancy status that signals substantial completion. Exhibits for the Givewell Community Foundation Nature Center are in production and installation has begun at both the Florida Children’s Museum and the Watson Clinic Gallery, where the Park story as well as the story of the influence of the rail yard and agriculture, the previous uses for the land, are explored. Seating walls and the Allen & Company Family Lawn are being sodded in final stages of this space for so many future family events.
CEO Josh Henderson and his team are planning and working hard on operational plans for the grand opening and the days beyond with great anticipation. We are excited to share the many experiences offered at Bonnet Springs Park with you and your family.
Behind the scenes with CEO Josh Henderson
We are counting the days! Now that we have officially announced our Grand Opening, everyone at BSP is energized to finish the Park and bring a great celebration to Lakeland and the surrounding communities. It’s time to start putting the word out about Bonnet Springs Park. We just launched a new Friends of BSP program that will allow people to select a particular level of support for the Park. Regardless of the level of gift, we appreciate all of our donors and Friends of BSP. I am seeing more and more magnets every day, but there are still many who haven’t heard of us yet. If you’re a social media user, please like and share our posts, it really helps spread the word about this amazing park! The Grand Opening is going to be awesome and we don’t want anyone to miss out!
We will have a new section on our website soon that will start to outline the events of Grand Opening and will have an FAQ page that will let you know all you need to have a great weekend. I wish I could say more but stay tuned…it’s coming!
Explore the Blanton Family Lagoon! 🌿
At BSP, we are so excited for you to experience the nature around you and to provide an immersive nature adventure that’ll make you never want to go back inside! Here’s a sneak peek of the Blanton Family Lagoon – the perfect spot to rent a kayak or pedal boat and explore.
Celebrating the First Day of Summer! 🌿
June 21st marked the first day of Summer! We can’t wait for you to enjoy picnics, sightseeing, canoeing, and more this October, but until then we hope you spend the summer outdoors getting lots of fresh air, sunshine, and exploring nature!
Volunteer With Us! 🌿
Did you know volunteering helps counteract the effects of stress, anger, and anxiety? Here at Bonnet Springs Park, we’re happy to provide a multitude of volunteer experiences for individuals and groups! Register to volunteer with us and give yourself a great way to relax and enjoy nature!
Friends of Bonnet Springs Park Update! 🌿
The new Friends of Bonnet Springs Park membership tiers are here! When you become a Friend of Bonnet Springs Park, you will be a part of ensuring the lasting legacy of the Park for generations to come. Join us and become a friend today!
Each tier has its own perks. Check out our annual membership options. New memberships are available for purchase now, and the perks of your annual membership will start on November 1, following the October 22 Grand Opening!
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. Purchases of bricks purchased after 9/30/21 cannot be guaranteed to be placed by the grand opening. For more information, contact Hannah at firstname.lastname@example.org.