September 2021 Newsletter

Behind the scenes with President Bill Tinsley

As the month of August comes to a close, it is a treat to be able to share the month’s progress with you. The George Jenkins/Bonnet Springs Park Boulevard roadway section has been slow in developing. As drainage and utilities are being installed by Tucker ConstructionLakeland Electric brought new underground electric service to the Crescent Heights Neighborhood. It is believed that we will complete the on-site portion of Bonnet Springs Boulevard within three weeks. Upon final approval from Florida Department of Transportation, a second closing will occur to allow the completion of the project section that is within the right of way of FDOT. The wonderful neighbors in Crescent Heights have been very patient with the impacts of construction, and they are much appreciated.

Progress at the Hollis Family Welcome Center continues with some interior and exterior finishes bringing the final design to life. The 6.5 acre AgAmerica Heritage Garden has its very linear paths in place and the installation of oak trees on the western half in a very soldierly fashion has kicked off the front yard and exterior work around the building. Planting will continue on the southern portion of the project as fruit and flowering trees complete the planting of the garden. The view from Kathleen Road makes it obvious that the framing of Florida Children’s Museum is nearing completion. The Front yard will hold the magnificent Blinky and bring so much joy to kids in this space. The Anne MacGregor Jenkins Rooftop GardenSouthern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Rooftop Bar, and Depot Café are ready for temporary dry-in, allowing continued progress on the build-out. A little further north, the rebuild of the Nature Playground, following the damaging rains earlier in the year, is underway. As the play elements are beginning to be installed on the terraces of the playground, it is easy to visualize the fun and games that will bring them to life.

Bonnet Springs Park Boulevard Construction

Florida Children’s Museum & Depot Café

The northern end of the project is busy as the roof and windows have kicked off the finishing elements of the Event Center. Each day brings new interest as tiling, painting and hard finishes are being installed. On the exterior of the building, the concrete has begun to clean up the work site as the decorative pathways are installed. Installation of landscaping in Harrell Family Botanical Gardens is responding to our annual rains and the nourishment they receive from the Blanton Family Lagoon’s irrigation system. The Harrell Family Greenhouse is nearing final completion, with water and sewer coming on line in the next few days. The Nicholas and Ashley Barnett Peace Pagoda, Kiwanis Cares for Kids Tree House, and paths to the Nature Center and Boathouse are all in progress and will soon be joined in construction by the Butterfly Conservatory (more on that next month).

The look ahead for the next few weeks includes the Crenshaw Canopy Walk and much more. 315,000 square feet of additional Bahia sod has been installed in an effort to control erosion on the site due to the elevations in the Park. Once again, those things that are the greatest challenge are the very things that make this unique and so exciting to be part of. Our team can’t wait to see you here at Bonnet Springs Park.

Nature Playground
Nature Playground
Event Center & Harrell Family Botanical Gardens
Event Center & Harrell Family Botanical Gardens

Behind the scenes with CEO Josh Henderson

August was an exciting month at the Park. Under the leadership of Park President Bill Tinsley, the Park is progressing nicely. Trees are being planted from the north end to the south end of the property. Final exterior wood trim is being installed on the Hollis Family Welcome Center and the Kiwanis Clubs of Lakeland came out to shoot a groundbreaking photo of the Kiwanis Cares for Kids Treehouse. The Event Center is also coming along nicely and is sure to be one of the most beautiful destinations in Lakeland to host a wedding, corporate function, or family BB-Q at the George W Jenkins Outdoor Kitchen. The Nicholas and Ashley Barnett Peace Pagoda was installed and the structure looks amazing even before paint and the surrounding deck.

Nicholas and Ashley Barnett Peace Pagoda
The Nicholas and Ashley Barnett Peace Pagoda

Toby’s Water Warriors sponsored by the City of Lakeland visited in their canoes and helped BSP clean the Blanton Family Lagoon this past weekend. The solid waste run-over containment box is now operational. The days of runoff water trash polluting the lagoon and Lake Bonnet are behind us. What a tremendous difference it made in the look of the lagoon. We are pretty sure our animal friends were appreciative as well! 

Our pop-up events at Yates & HaganCatapultScott OrthodonticsScout & Tag were well received. We appreciate our friends and partners spreading the news about Bonnet Springs Park! Stay tuned as we will have some key staff announcements coming up in the very near future.

North End of the Park
Birds Eye View – North End of the Park
Hillcrest Cleanup
Hillcrest Cleanup

Official Groundbreaking of the Kiwanis Cares for Kids Treehouse 🌿

Lakeland Kiwanis Club

The Lakeland Kiwanis Club stopped by for the official groundbreaking of the Kiwanis Cares for Kids Treehouse. Inclusivity is very important to us here at the Park and our Treehouse will be no exception. Offering a ramp that wraps around the trees, everyone will be able to enjoy the beautiful views from the Treehouse.

National Nonprofit Day 🌿

Kim Elmhorst

In August we celebrated National Nonprofit Day! This day celebrates the goals and positive impacts nonprofits have on our communities around the world. Bonnet Springs Park is eager to serve our community as a 501(c)(3) organization that will unify our city’s diverse population through nature, culture, recreation, and education. We are thankful for the continued support of our community and cannot wait for you to escape, engage and explore with us soon!

BSP In the Community🌿

BSP in the Community

Bonnet Springs Park had several pop-ups in the month of August. We held pop-ups at Catapult Lakeland,Scott OrthodonticsScout & Tag, and Yates & Hagan! We are so thankful for our community supporters!
Our Director of Development, Heide Evans, was also the guest speaker at the Kiwanis Club of Lakeland’s August 20th meeting. She shared the mission of the Park and updates on the Kiwanis Cares for Kids Treehouse!

Allen & Company Announce Generous $1 Million Gift🌿

Allen & Company Family Lawn

Allen & Company announced a generous corporate gift of $1 Million to fund the Allen & Company Family Lawn, set to open in 2022. The Allen & Company Family Lawn will serve as a gathering space for picnics, events, and relaxation. The 2-acre space is nestled between the Franklin Family and Clyne Family Mountains and will have seating available both on the lawn and on the two bordering mountains. With a seating capacity of up to 5,000, the Lawn promises to be a flexible space for fun memories for generations to come. We are so excited to partner with Allen & Company!

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 hannah@bonnetspringspark.com.

10 friends

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 heide@bonnetspringspark.com.

January 2022 Newsletter

January 5, 2022
Behind the scenes with President Bill Tinsley Sitting on the side-by-side all-terrain vehicle near the lagoon, in the cool air of early morning, it is…

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Bonnet Springs Park is a privately developed public park that depends solely on public support. There are several ways that you can help make this dream for Lakeland's future generations become reality.


There are many ways you can help in the enabling of this magnificent regional park, from one-time to reoccurring volunteer opportunities. Bonnet Springs Park is looking for volunteers, sponsors, patrons, and professional services to help in the design and implementation. 


Bonnet Springs Park is a privately developed public park that depends solely on public support. There are several ways that you can help make this dream for Lakeland's future generations become reality.


There are many ways you can help in the enabling of this magnificent regional park, from one-time to reoccurring volunteer opportunities. Bonnet Springs Park is looking for volunteers, sponsors, patrons, and professional services to help in the design and implementation. 

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