LAKELAND, Fla. — A 180-acre public park is being developed by private donors, including the Barnett family in Lakeland.
- Park gets $1.3 million donation for greenhouse, botanical garden
- Park being built with private funds, is walking distance to downtown
- $110 million Bonnet Springs Park expected to open in spring 2021
- RELATED: Fundraising Effort Under Way for Bonnet Springs Park in Lakeland
Bonnet Springs Park is being built at the intersection of Kathleen Road and George Jenkins Boulevard and is within walking distance to downtown Lakeland.
Jack and Tina Harrell are the latest Lakeland family to donate to the park. Jack Harrell Jr. is the chief executive officer of Harrell’s, a manufacturer and distributor of professional-grade fertilizers. The couple's $1.3 million donation will sponsor the park’s botanical garden and green house, said Bonnet Springs Park CEO Bill Tinsley.
"My family and I are honored to join the Barnett family in support of this incredible park development that is going to bring such significant change to an entire section of the city," said Harrell Jr. said in a news release.
"To see such a monumental endeavor like this park opening up in downtown Lakeland is incredibly exciting," said Tina Harrell, president of Harrell Family Charities. "The recreational and educational opportunities of this park seem boundless for families and people of all ages. The Harrell family is blessed to be a part of this community and we are thankful for the opportunity to contribute to Bonnet Springs Park."
The donation is part of a capital giving campaign underway to raise the remaining $25 million needed for the park, according to Tinsley.
"This is a different paradigm. This park is a public park that’s being built with private funds and a private 501(c)(3), and it will be maintained that way. For it to be sustainable, this kind of community gifting that Harrell's fertilizer is giving is the answer for us," Tinsley said.
It will feature an event center and lawn, nature center and walks, and house the new Explorations V Children’s Museum, along with numerous interactive nature areas.
In all, it’s estimated the park will cost about $110 million to build and maintain.
Sasaki, the same firm that designed the Chicago Riverwalk, is working on the project. The Harrells are supplying fertilizer to the park for the next 25 years.
"There will be some wonderful restaurant opportunities. There will be nature-balanced areas and so forth. There just is an opportunity for every walk of life to have something to enjoy here," Tinsley said.
The park is expected to open in spring 2021.