Behind the scenes with President Bill Tinsley
As passing motorists look down from Memorial Boulevard into the north end of Bonnet Springs Park, they are met with views of progress this month in both landscape and building construction. Elevation changes allow a quick glimpse of Harrell Family Botanical Gardens and the thousands of native and specially selected plants that fill the former groveland. A closer look at the Event Center reveals the coral stone walls going up that adorn the space. The Wedding Lawn has been planted to begin formalizing the transition from the building to the gardens. A short trip south on the Lakeland Regional Health Circulator, you come to the Givewell Community Foundation Nature Center. The wide boardwalk that leaves the path to take you up to the classroom and exhibit space has been framed with the structural members that define this special building where eventually we will find aquariums, terrariums, and exhibits that interpret the wildlife of the Park. The path continues to the Blanton Family Lagoon and Ann and Ward Edwards Boathouse where the vertical elements of the boathouse are being installed.
Other progress in this area of the Park includes the framing of the Kiwanis Cares for Kids Treehouse, with roof trusses expected in the next few days. The Crenshaw Canopy Walk support towers are in and being painted in anticipation of the framing and build-out over the next few weeks. Brightview, our landscape team, continues to progress with the planting of AgAmerica Heritage Gardens, where the design theme of rail corridors in the six-acre garden has completely changed the look in the south end of, and entry to, the Park.
Seating walls, outdoor lighting, and other amenities around the Hollis Family Welcome Center begin to compliment the unique architecture of the building. Polished floors in the restaurant and gift shop bring the same stripes and patterns of the outdoor gardens into the building. Connections between the many activity centers in the Park are being installed, allowing site lighting and irrigation to lead the final planting teams toward the final design.
The Florida Children’s Museum and the Depot Café are changing colors as the different layers of the building envelope are applied to the now framed-out structures. All mechanical trades are completing rough-ins in anticipation of interior finishes beginning here.
We continue to be grateful to Sasaki and the Rodda Construction Management Team, as well as the many sub-contractors, as they all work so diligently during this ongoing covid situation. We, along with the entire country, are faced with cost escalation, delivery interruptions, and labor shortages. Even still, we continue to keep our eye on the fact that this effort is going to change how Central Florida finds a place to Escape, Engage, and Explore.
Behind the Scenes with CEO Josh Henderson
Bonnet Springs Park is going to be an absolute blessing for Lakeland, Polk county, and the surrounding areas. Since early 2020, our world has been dominated by news of COVID-19 and many other crises. Bonnet Springs Park will offer a great opportunity to safely escape that news cycle and typical day-to-day grind. You will be able to connect with natural Florida and enjoy the beauty of the Park time and time again.
Ecotourism is a growing market segment in the recreation world, and BSP will align very well with those interests. We will have many opportunities for those looking to be outside in nature including boating, biking, jogging, and even educational opportunities about the environment and wildlife. Bonnet Springs Park will absolutely be a benchmark of urban parks.
As construction continues, the Park is growing more beautiful by the day. I am constantly reminded of, and thankful for, the generosity of our donors, volunteers, and all that have made it possible for BSP to exist. It truly is a gift.
Behind the Scenes with Sasaki 🌿
At Sasaki, the behind the scenes sketch is alive and well and has been since its founding in the 1950s. They created the beautiful renderings of the Park, which we are seeing come to life more and more each day.
AFP Greater Polk County Chapter Presentation🌿
BSP Director of Development, Heide Evans, had the pleasure of partnering with MaryJane Ragusa, Brand Manager at Tinsley Creative, to present to the AFP Greater Polk County Chapter. They shared best practices to local nonprofits to help them learn how to use social media strategically to maximize major gifts, turn social media followers into donors, and how to retain those donors.
BSP In the Community🌿
Bonnet Springs Park had several pop-ups in the month of August. We held pop-ups at Palace Pizza Downtown, All Creatures Animal Clinic, and Hillcrest Coffee! We are so thankful for our community supporters!
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.