18-Acre Donation Sparks Plans for a Northside Rec Area

Wedgewood ParkThe city of Lakeland plans to turn a donation of 18 acres in the Carpenters Home area into a recreation area that will include sports fields, a dog park, playground and walking/jogging paths.

The land donated by Lakeland Senior Living LLC lies between Wedgewood Estates Boulevard and Carpenters Way and is valued at $2.25 million, Recreation Director Bob Donahay and Communications Director Kevin Cook announced this morning via Facebook Live.

The facility is tentatively named Wedgewood Park “unless there’s some company out there that wants to donate a bunch of money, help us build it out,” Donahay said. “And then they can have naming rights,” Cook added.

The city has not yet developed cost estimates or a timetable, according to Pam Page, assistant parks director. Now that the land has been secured, parks staffers can start developing specific plans and applying for grants, she said.

The property just east of U.S. 98 North is near Lake Gibson Village, a senior residence in a 1920s Mediterranean building that was built asa retirement home for members of a carpenters union and later housed Evangel Christian School.

wedgewood park
City of Lakeland

A playground and basketball courts will be built near adjacent residents to form a neighborhood park, Cook said.

Two multipurpose fields, which will replace fields once used by Evangel School, will be used for football and soccer and will allow the Police Athletic League to expand the footprint of its youth football league to more of north Lakeland, Donahay said.

In the Facebook video, Donahay and Cook said another north Lakeland park, Lake Crago, will be getting four multipurpose fields, three baseball fields and a walking path to add to the dog park and boat ramp that are already there.

The city is also looking for land in southwest Lakeland to build a branch library and athletic complex to accommodate planned growth, Donahay said.