Behind the scenes with President Bill Tinsley
Memorial Day arrived to officially bring the summer season to Bonnet Springs Park. The long dry periods of April and May have allowed significant land sculpting and drainage improvements to be accomplished in advance of the anticipated summer rains.
Grading, building sub-grades, and rocking the balance of the Lakeland Regional Health Circulator and remaining parking lots in the next two weeks will allow the other site trades to crank up the AgAmerica Heritage Gardens and other key park elements with sidewalks, lighting, and plantings. Over the first couple of weeks of June, we will see several hundred trees and bushes planted on the eastern edges of the Park between the property line and the bike path. With water drawn from the Blanton Family Lagoon, the establishment of this material will start to be very visible from Kathleen Road.
The Hollis Family Welcome Center has changed colors several times as the building envelope layers are being applied. The beautiful shapes and forms of the building outline are taking their final form. Southern Glass is installing windows, and framers are installing walls as both the interior and exterior of the building are looking more like the renderings every day. The Welcome Center is primarily in our schedule to allow CEO Josh Henderson and his team to occupy this building first.
The next stop to the north is the Nature Playground. The actual forms of the pathways, mounds, water play areas, and climbing zones are becoming more apparent. The planners’ design intent is to utilize the natural slopes of the terrain to make this unique playground come to life. Just to the north, in the center of the Harrell Family Botanical Gardens, the 28,000 plugs planted in May will now be in a position to draw nutrients from the filtered water coming from off-site before it reaches the lagoon. Drying in this building is also a top priority for Rodda Construction as we slip closer to afternoon showers.
In the center of the Park, the Cafe has the second-floor structural slab in place and will see the polished concrete of the first floor poured this week. Framing is starting in the Explorations V Children’s Museum. Mechanical trades are ready to move in immediately to rough in the utilities. The construction of this 40,000 square foot interior space will be in full swing for the next several weeks in a race to keep the two buildings dry.
The GiveWell Community Foundation Nature Center’s structural slab is in place, as is the lower floor and boat storage at the Ann and Ward Edwards Boathouse. A special shout out to the hundreds of employees and terrific subcontractors working on this legacy Park for Lakeland and continue to bring the Park to life.
GiveWell Community Foundation Nature Center
Ann and Edwards Boathouse
A Message From the CEO 🌿
Check out this brief video of our CEO Josh Henderson describing the progress of the Hollis Family Welcome Center. We are thrilled to see the Park’s progress evolve every day as we get closer and closer to completing construction. We can’t wait to explore with you at Bonnet Springs Park!
BSP In the News 🌿
Our friends at LKLD Haven got to speak with the Park’s CEO Josh Henderson and construction director Bill Tinsley about the idea, development, and purpose of Bonnet Springs Park. In the article, you will get a peek into the Park’s history and plans for the future from sustainable water practices to educational opportunities. Follow our Facebook for weekly updates!
Friends of Bonnet Springs President Wins Volunteer of the Year 🌿
Our Friends of Bonnet Springs Park president, Kim Elmhorst, recently won the George Jenkins Volunteer of the Year award! We are so proud to have Kim working so tirelessly to bring the Park to fruition. She is an asset to our community, and we are thrilled to see her and her family spotlighted.
Park Visitors 🌿
Sasaki’s Associate Landscape Architect, Ashley Pelletier, has been visiting the Park to oversee all the landscaping progress. We are grateful for her professional insight and design expertise in helping us plant hundreds of plants, shrubs, trees, and more! Keep an eye on the Bonnet Springs Park Facebook for additional project updates.
In the Public 🌿
Recently the Park held two pop-up events at FITNiche and Mitchell’s Coffee House. These events allowed us to spread information about the Park’s plans and gain additional support. We had a great time partnering with local businesses and can’t wait for more chances to teach people about the vision of Bonnet Springs Park!
Have you Seen Our #PathSeries? 🌿
With 19 planned trails in the Park, we wanted to share updates on each and every one. On Bonnet Springs Park’s Facebook, we have already covered the progress on 9 paths. Check out some of the lovely Paths below!
Great Lawn Trail
South Spring Trail
Mountain Path North
South Garden Trail
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. We’re taking orders until September 30th. For a gift certificate, 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.
If you are looking to make a charitable annual gift to start off the new year, consider the variety of giving opportunities available at Bonnet Springs Park! Since we are a registered not-for-profit 501(c)(3), all gifts made to the Park are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Your support will enable us to enrich our community through nature, culture, recreation, and education while offering public spaces that serve the needs of many. Thank you for being a part of this journey!