May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 37

The welcome center is nestled into
the park's topography.
Remediating the Rail Yard
Between 1880 and the early 1950s,
the area around Lake Bonnet, a
268-acre natural freshwater lake,
was home to the Lakeland Railyard,
a maintenance yard that served
more than 25 trains a day at its peak
- and contributed to more than 8
million cubic feet of contaminated
soil on the site. In 1952 the rail yard
closed, leaving the land and Lake
Bonnet all but forgotten.
The Bonnet Springs Park board
selected Sasaki to create a master
plan that would transform this abandoned
rail yard into a healthy, welcoming
park. During a six-month
outreach period, Sasaki took input
from the public and incorporated
ideas into a design that reflected
the community's vision. The plan
coalesced around a central mission:
make the park an ecological jewel,
a cultural magnet and a connected
community asset. In 2017, master
plan implementation began.
New Hills Rise in Lakeland
The site's status as a brownfield was
a primary influence in the design
process. A large portion of the site
required extensive remediation to
eliminate arsenic and petroleum contaminants.
Rather than exporting the
contaminated material or capping
the entire site - two costly options
that would have had negative off-site
impacts - a remediation strategy
became an integral component of
the design. This decision informs
nearly every aspect of the project,
including mobility, noise mitigation,
hydrology and architecture.
The remediation strategy drove the
creation of a hilly topography rarely
found in Florida, which became a
defining feature of this park. Sasaki
worked closely with regulatory agencies
and Geosyntec, an environmental
consultant, to safely sculpt the
contaminated soil into two massive
hills. To make the area safe for visitors
to use, the hills permanently are
capped by two feet of clean soil.
Another area on the site that was
experiencing degradation was the
sand-seep spring corridor. Prior to
park construction, large volumes of
stormwater runoff entered the site
out of a large culvert at the top of
the spring corridor. The high rate
and volume of water caused severe
erosion and tree loss and contributed
to the sedimentation of Lake
Bonnet. The design solution was
inventive yet simple: divert the water
into new wetland ponds that
would clean the water before it was
released into the lake.
A Unified Design
Bringing together civil engineering,
landscape architecture, ecology, architecture
and graphic design, the
team's integrated approach creates
a unified park design. The result
is an organic relationship between
buildings and landscape that encourages
exploration.
All of the elements of the park's
sprawling program - educational
facilities, event space, play areas, nature
connections - fit naturally into
the interconnected landscape design.
A Welcome Center Emerges
From the Hillside
At the park's main entry, the welcome
center establishes the design's
intimate relationship between landscape
and architecture. The building
curves to hug the circulator path and
is partially buried in its surrounding
topography. Visitors can walk from
park paths directly onto the welcome
center's second-floor patio,
where they can look out onto the
AgAmerica Heritage Gardens below,
a landscape feature that draws
inspiration from the park's history
as a rail yard and orange grove.
An Architectural Bridge
Between Two Hills
The Florida Children's Museum and
Depot Cafe also emerge from the
park's hills. Originally referred to as
the " Bridge Building " in honor of its
visual continuity, the building spans
the entire valley between two hills.
The building's fa├žade mimics the
curves in the topography, creating a
seamless connection between the built
and natural environment. The museum
hugs the Allen & Company Family
Lawn, a multipurpose space that
can accommodate large-scale events.
The children's museum relocated
to the park after outgrowing its home
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G | MAY 2 0 2 4 | Parks & Recreation
37
PHOTO BY MATTHEW ARIELLY, COURTESY OF SASAKI

May 2024 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2024 - Parks & Recreation

May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 1
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 2
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 3
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 4
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 5
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 6
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 7
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 8
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 9
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 10
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 11
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 12
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 13
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 14
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 15
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 16
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 17
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 18
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 19
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 20
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 21
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 22
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 23
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 24
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 25
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 26
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 27
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 28
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 29
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 30
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 31
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 32
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 33
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 34
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 35
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 36
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 37
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 38
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 39
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 40
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 41
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 42
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 43
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 44
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 45
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 46
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 47
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 48
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 49
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 50
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 51
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 52
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 53
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 54
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 55
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 56
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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