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Bonnet Springs Park on LALToday

Picture this: It’s a Saturday morning. You’re kayaking in Lakeland with your friends on the glistening waters of Lake Bonnet, snapping photos of wildlife in a vibrant botanical garden, and thinking of the live oak exploration + orange grove walk you’re planning to take later. Can you envision it? We can. Enter: Bonnet Springs Park – a new public …

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Lakeland’s favorite gator reinvented as giant jungle gym

By Kimberly C. Moore Found on Click here to view. LAKELAND — Blinky the Alligator is returning to Lakeland, but this time at Bonnett Springs Park where he will be reincarnated as a 100-foot-long, interactive jungle gym with lights and sounds and a slide for a tail. “There’s a certain fascination about scale,” said the alligator’s …

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March 2019 Newsletter

Blinky was an unusually friendly one-eyed gator who won the hearts of Lakeland in the 1970s. Occasionally Blinky would take a short stroll in the downtown area, but would return to regally lie on the concrete ramp that reached toward the center of Lake Mirror. Mecha-Blinky, made of mechanical junk, now sits in one of his favorite sunning spots on Lake Mirror, and a traditional Blinky statue sits in the town’s outdoor kiddie splash pad at Barnett Family Park.


February 2019 Newsletter

Over the past several months, the Sasaki team has been developing a wayfinding and signage program for Bonnet Springs Park. Our methodology combines typographic design, branding, and wayfinding into a seamless, integrated system.


January 2019 Newsletter

With a goal of becoming a community asset, Bonnet Springs Park (BSP) will welcome visitors of all ages and backgrounds to a wide variety of opportunities to support physical and social equity. The planning and design of the park’s play areas are one of the many elements key in creating an active social hub.


December 2018 Newsletter

Happy Birthday Bonnet Springs Park! We find ourselves at the third anniversary of ownership of the Bonnet Springs Park property (formerly the historic Lakeland Railyards), purchased in December 2015. The fear of opportunities lost coupled with the belief that a great park is a quality of life necessity for current and future generations was motivation for Carol and Barney Barnett to support the concepts for use of this land.


November 2018 Newsletter

Bonnet Springs Park Located in an Opportunity Zone The recently passed Tax Reform Act includes a potential tax break for investors, resulting in deferral of capital gains taxes on the sale of an asset if located in a qualified Opportunity Zone. The intent is to encourage investments in distressed communities. Qualified Opportunity Zones are low-income communities nominated by the governor. An area in west Lakeland, which includes Bonnet Springs Park, has been nominated by Governor Scott. 


October 2018 Newsletter

Building Sustainably at Bonnet Springs Park At the core of Bonnet Springs Park’s mission is to create a resilient ecological gem for the Lakeland community. Beyond healing the polluted soils and waterways, the new park structures will support efficient and responsible park operations long into the future. The four major buildings in the park will operate as primary income generators and will likewise be the more significant consumers of energy.


Bonnet Springs Park to be a New Central Park for Lakeland, Florida

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.


September 2018 Newsletter

Bonnet Springs Park has its wings and is soaring toward opening in late 2020.  Land clearing and testing are obvious on the 180-acre site, but the beehive of activity is occurring in the labs and workrooms of about 20 consultants and planners.  They are plotting answers to everything from acoustics to zero footprints (that’s A to Z and all between), all intended to ensure that this park for everyone touches all the bases to become the great park envisioned. An important element of its early success is community engagement.