Century-old railyard to be reborn as leisure eco-park in Florida

by Andrew Manns | 02 Nov 2018

A long-abandoned railyard in Lakeland, Florida will soon be granted a second life as forested recreational zone and cultural 'oasis'.

Set to be designed by landscape architects Sasaki, the soon-to-be regenerated property, dubbed Bonnet Springs Park (BSP), will see the presently arsenic-contaminated and non-pedestrian site transform into a 180-acre environmentally friendly public attraction.

According to the BSP team, a central purpose of the park’s nature and leisure-focused facilities – which will include walking trails, wetland gardens, two multiroom events halls, a boating station, cafe, and children’s museum – will be to support mental health by creating "opportunities to experience nature in new and unexpected ways".

Visitors will also be able to participate in a number of programmes which will focus both on the natural and social history of the greater Lakeland area.

In a statement, Sasaki said: "The park’s mission is to become an ecological jewel, a cultural magnet, and a connected community asset for this rapidly growing region."

They added: "The range of activities planned for the park will support physical and social equity for all park visitors in an effort to reinforce shared experiences and forge new connections within this growing and changing community."

Construction of the new destination, which will involve extensive remediation and reshaping of the site's undeveloped areas, is expected to be completed in 2020.

Lakeland  Florida  Sasaki  Bonnet Springs Park 
A long-abandoned railyard in Lakeland, Florida will soon be granted a second life as forested recreational zone and cultural 'oasis'. Set to be designed by landscape architects Sasaki, the soon-to-be regenerated property, dubbed Bonnet Springs Park (BSP), will see the presently arsenic-contaminated and non-pedestrian site transform into a 180-acre environmentally friendly public attraction. According to the BSP team, a central purpose of the park’s nature and leisure-focused facilities – which
CLD,PAC,PRO,DES
The Bonnet Springs Park Board selected Sasaki to design the new public realm in 2017. / Courtesy of Sasaki
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