May 2024 - Parks & Recreation - 38

BONNET SPRINGS
in downtown Lakeland. The design is
based on neurodivergence research,
and the museum invites children and
families into its exhibits via colorful
" portals " that are balanced by calmer
open spaces where children can regroup
and take a break from the more
stimulating parts of the museum.
A Marriage of Indoors
and Outdoors
From the Florida Children's Museum,
guests can visit the nature play
area, which draws visitors toward
the event center, a new multipurpose
building. Set within the swirling
paths of the botanical garden,
the facility offers a complementary
experience to the variations of the
surrounding
landscape through
its symmetry, linearity and delicate
materiality. The event center's
wrap-around glass fa├žade and
north-facing
skylights
allow diffused
light into the building without
glare or heat from direct sun.
Along this quarter-mile-long walkway, a
grove of live oak trees shades sections
of the path.
The structural design incorporates
sustainable mass timber technology
and is one of the first buildings
of its size to do so in the region.
The wood structure adds warmth
to the linearity of the building,
echoing its natural setting.
Immersed in Local Ecology
Over at the Blanton Family Lagoon,
the GiveWell Community Foundation
Nature Center's two timber
structures come right to the water's
edge and are framed by live oak trees
preserved during the construction
process. Inside, an exhibition center
and classroom space offer more opportunities
to learn about the flora
and fauna of the park. Visitors also
can rent boats from the nature center
to venture further into the lagoon.
The nature center is connected to
a series of boardwalks, including the
canopy walk, which soars more than
25 feet above the woodland floor in
some places. It was imperative that
the walkway design be completely
accessible so that people of all abilities
could traverse the tree canopy.
A Community Asset for All
After five years of design and construction,
the design intent of Bonnet
Springs Park was put to the test when
the it opened to more than 40,000
visitors (tinyurl.com/2b9cj7t6).
The grand opening weekend
featured a string of musical performances
taking place on the central
event lawn, train rides ferrying children
through the park's heritage
gardens, educational plant and animal
shows unfolding on the nature
pathway, and more.
" We truly activated every surface
area we [could] - from mascots in
the Kiwanis Treehouse, to face painting
and a petting zoo on the Nature
Pathway in the Harrell Family Botanical
Gardens, " says Kellie Phillips, the
park's director of development.
During the opening, one visitor remarked
on the park's hills: " They're
fun and whimsical, and something
you don't normally see in Florida. "
A Park for Every Day
During the park's first year, it welcomed
1,410,000 visitors from all 50
states and 19 different countries.
The range of activities in the park
aims to support visitors of all ages
and abilities. In its first year, the park
has helped Lakeland forge new connections
with its natural environment
- and with its growing community.
" Bonnet Springs Park has certainly
exceeded all of our expectations, "
says Phillips. " Seeing the way it has
connected every aspect of our community
is inspiring, to say the least.
Thanks to the generosity of many
families and businesses in Central
Florida, we are able to offer a worldclass
[p]ark that is free and welcoming
for all visitors to enjoy. "
Emma Flowers is Communications
Coordinator at Sasaki (media@sasaki.
com).
38 Parks & Recreation | MAY 2 0 2 4 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
PHOTO BY JEREMY BITTERMAN, COURTESY OF SASAKI
http://tinyurl.com/2b9cj7t6

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
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com