County Closes Circle B, Parks, Government Buildings

The popular Circle B Bar nature reserve is among Polk County parks and environmental lands that have been closed as part of the effort to contain spread of the coronavirus. The city of Lakeland’s outdoor parks remain open for now, with the exception of Se7en Wetlands, which is accessed through county lands.

Polk County announced Saturday that its parks and natural resource facilities would close at sunset until further notice. 

This includes “parks with playgrounds and recreational leagues, environmental lands and trails such as Fort Frasier, campgrounds, dog parks, the shooting range, History Center, Circle B Bar Reserve, Bone Valley ATV Park, Homeland Heritage Park and our resource centers.”

County administrative buildings will be closed to the public starting Monday, but officials remind that much business can be conducted online through the county website.

Visitors driving up this morning to the Circle B gates on Winter Lake Road just east of Lakeland were greeted with signs saying, “temporarily closed until further notice,” News Channel 8 reported.

For county residents, trash pick-up will continue normal schedules. Polk’s landfill remains open, but officials warn of delays because of social distancing.

The city of Lakeland says its outdoor parks and playgrounds are open for now except for Se7en Wetlands, which is accessed through two county facilities: Loyce Harpe Park and Lakeland Highlands Scrub.

“Even though our staff is diligently disinfecting and cleaning surfaces, we ask that you use these spaces understanding the suggested safety considerations associated with the COVID-19 challenge,” city parks officials said in social media posts.

The Lakeland City Commission will likely consider closing some of the city’s outdoor parks and limiting access to City Hall when it holds a special meeting at 3 p.m. Monday, City Manager Tony Delgado told The Ledger.

That meeting can be watched live online or on cable: Spectrum Channel 643 / FiOS Channel 43.