Residents of the City of Lakeland enjoys an extraordinary climate, a stunning natural context of lakes, and an exceptionally high-quality of life. It lacks, however, a large, central park. Poised for its next great legacy project, Wyndsong Foundation – a non-profit foundation sponsored by Lakeland’s park-loving philanthropic community – invested in a master plan for a new central park on a 280 acre site on the edge of downtown.
The master plan, led by Gina Ford while she was a principal at Sasaki, creates a framework for the development of a diverse and activated park that is tightly interwoven with the ecological restoration of the site’s natural features. The forest becomes a setting for a continuous circulation system called the Circuit. The restored lake is a setting for human-powered craft. The topography is enhanced to allow for views and brownfield remediation. A series of new cultural facilities – including a history and welcome center, an environmental education center and a children’s museum – offer cultural engagement.