Circle B Bar Reserve

Some people think Circle B Bar Reserve is one of Lakeland’s greatest assets, even if it’s two whole miles from city limits. Now is the time to show Circle B some love because it’s one of four finalists in the Great Places in Florida Contest sponsored by the American Planning Association.

Voting, which takes about five seconds, closes Friday at

“Great Places stand out with their exceptional character and lasting value,” the APA says on its website. “They are memorable, perhaps even famous, but each deeply cared for and valued. Citizens, planners, business leaders and elected officials work hard to create, sustain and improve the places that we love and enjoy in our cities.”

As a nature preserve, Circle B distinguishes itself from its competitors, which are downtown districts in Lake Worth, Fernandina Beach and Tallahassee.

For the record, voters in last year’s contest — the first time it was held — preferred cute downtowns. The award went to downtown Mount Dora.

A former cattle ranch, Circle B Bar Reserve and Discovery Center is part of Polk County’s Natural Lands Program and has become a tourism destination for bird watchers and nature lovers.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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