Behind the scenes with President Bill Tinsley
A major milestone was reached in early October with the temporary opening of Bonnet Springs Boulevard. Complete with a bike path, sidewalk, lights, and landscaping, the road which re-connects the historic Crescent Heights Neighborhood improved access to the park. Additional improvements at the intersection of George Jenkins Boulevard will have further impact when the additional turn lanes and new lights are added upon receipt of the Florida Department of Transportation permit.
As we enter the Park, work continues on AgAmerica Heritage Gardens where the follies, planter boxes, and shade structures begin to shape the final form of the Garden. The Joe L. and Karen Ruthven Train, a wooden steam train play element currently under construction by Kompan, will enrich the story of rail and agriculture featured in the design of the garden. Hollis Family Welcome Center continues to advance with finishes that are starting to exhibit the final qualities of the spaces housed there. Final touches on the history exhibits in Watson Clinic Gallery are being developed and designed by Creative Arts Inc. under the guidance of our culture and history exhibit team, co-chaired by Myrtice Young and David Bunch, and promise to provide many hours of entertainment and education in this unique space.
The very intentional design by the Sasaki team is becoming more evident as the wood and concrete enter the buildings, bringing the outside to the interior. The building envelopes at the Florida Children’s Museum and Depot Café are rapidly enclosing the creative space that will house the world class exhibits. Park side, the seating walls for the Allen & Company Family Lawn begin to bring formality to the space. Heading north to the Nature Playground we find the crews replacing the concrete walking paths that were damaged by rains earlier in the season in preparation for the soon-to-be-installed playground equipment. Nature play that is based on use of more natural elements will be terraced into the slopes, allowing access to all points in the playground with limited barriers. This playground will provide inclusive play in a very unique setting for future generations. The Event Center and Harrell Family Botanical Gardens are going into the fall season with new blooms and finishing touches that are thrilling to watch develop.
Traveling the circulator back to the south, it is exciting to see the roof going on the Givewell Community Foundation Nature Center and the Ann and Ward Edwards Boathouse. The elevated walkway that sits on the north edge of the Blanton Family Lagoon gives you scenic access. The roof also is on the Kiwanis Cares for Kids Treehouse. The support structures are in place for the construction of the Crenshaw Family Tree Canopy walk. This amazing feature will become one of your favorites when you visit the park. We are so grateful to all the contractors and subcontractors that are so dedicated and skilled in their trades as they bring us Bonnet Springs Park.
Behind the scenes with CEO Josh Henderson
Fall is definitely in the air. The recent 55 degree mornings get me excited about the exercise and outdoor dining options we will have at the Park. Cool morning or afternoon walks along the Lakeland Regional Health Circulator or Crenshaw Canopy Walk will be a perfect way to enjoy Florida’s beautiful fall weather. When the summer heat is at its max, looking forward to what the Park will bring us in the fall is almost as refreshing as a good indoor air conditioning system…almost.
Blanton Family Lagoon Clean Up 🌿
Hillcrest Coffee and a wonderful group of volunteers came out to clean up the Blanton Family Lagoon again! They collected 36 bags of trash and a couple of hundred pounds of wood debris – wow! The duckweed in the water will be gone when the Park opens (especially with activity on the water), but for now, they are bringing ducks back to the area!
Mayor Mutz Visit 🌿
We recently received a very special visit from Mayor Bill Mutz and his wife! Their unwavering support of the Park since the beginning is truly appreciated. BSP partnered with the City of Lakeland and Mayor Mutz to support the overall revitalization of the environment by implementing innovative algae harvesting technology to remove algae cells from the lake and mitigate the biological debris. The Park also plans to reduce storm runoff and flooding hazards through various water treatment, enhancement, and storage to protect the environment and community. These efforts will help the natural growth of vegetation and encourage the return of wildlife.
Construction Updates 🌿
Bonnet Springs Park had several important construction updates during the month of October! The Nature Playground, Crenshaw Canopy Walk, and Kiwanis Cares for Kids Treehouse are all starting to take form. Stay tuned as we will be releasing more exciting construction updates the closer we get to our 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 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.
If you are looking to make a charitable annual gift, 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! For more information please contact Heide Evans, Director of Development at email@example.com.