The team planning a 180-acre private park west of downtown Lakeland today unveiled their design for the site combining recreation, trails, nature appreciation and culture (including an amphitheater seating 7,500) as they embark on efforts to attract donors. Keep scrolling to see a slideshow about the master plan and a video of this morning’s “reveal” meeting. A second public meeting is being held at 4 p.m. today at First United Methodist Church.
Bonnet Springs Park is tentatively scheduled for construction in mid-2019 with a grand opening expected around the end of 2020. It will span a now-vacant area west of Kathleen Road between Memorial Boulevard and George Jenkins Boulevard.
Realtor David Bunch and former Lakeland Parks Director Bill Tinsley assembled the land with the financial backing of Carol and Barney Barnett and their sons, Wesley and Nick. They worked with Sasaki Associates, a Boston-based planning firm experienced with large-scale urban parks, on the design.
Funding sources being sought for park construction will include private donations, grants, sponsorships, proceeds from “disposition” of the adjacent Florida Tile site, a capital campaign and revenue from park amenities.
Bunch this morning announced the first major sponsor: The Lakeland Kiwanis Club plans to raise $250,000 in 2019 and 2020 to build a large treehouse at the park.
Here is video from this morning’s presentation posted to the Bonnet Springs Park Facebook page. The presentation begins at about 10:20.