City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.


Photo Opp: COL Commission Kicking Soccer Balls

LAKELAND, FL (May 15, 2012) - On Friday, May 18 at 11 a.m. the City of Lakeland will celebrate the grand opening of Cypress Youth Sports Complex located at 2125 S. Edgewood Drive.  This new $1.2 million sports complex located on 33 acres includes football and soccer fields for recreational leagues.  Currently there are restroom facilities and four fields that are in use with two additional fields expected to be ready in July.   

City Manager Doug Thomas said, “The land for the park was donated by Ed Holloway in 2007 and we have been working on getting this park completed since then.  There is a real need for athletic fields to offset the demand set by our recreational leagues.”  He added, “The fields at Cypress Youth Sports Complex will alleviate some of the demand but we know that even more fields are needed as the City continues to grow.” The complex is being built in phases and once completed, there will be a playground, an exercise path and additional sports fields by 2019.

 In addition to the recreation league sports that are currently using the fields, South McKeel Academy Middle School also uses the complex during physical education classes.  South McKeel Principal Judith Morris said, “This additional recreation space has been a wonderful addition for us.  We had very little green space for the students and our partnership with the City really assists in the development of our students.”

The festivities will start at 11 a.m. with the South McKeel Middle School 5th, 6th and 7th grade chorus singing the National Anthem followed by a Patriotic Medley.   The students at South McKeel will then present and read their own proclamation honoring the park with Mayor Fields accepting the proclamation.  As a highlight and to christen the park, the Lakeland City Commission will shoot soccer balls with assistance from McKeel students with a special guest on goal. 

Mayor Fields said, “I am really excited about the festivities and I understand that the City has acquired goalie attire for me to use during the soccer shootout.”  He added, “The City is very grateful for the donation of the land from Mr. Holloway.  We know there is a crucial need for youth athletic fields and the Cypress Youth Sports Complex is a great addition to our park inventory.”



Supervisor of Aquatics | City of Lakeland
404 Imperial Blvd  Lakeland, FL 33803
863/834-3157 (PH) |
Twitter @lakelandgov



  LAKELAND, FL (May 14, 2012) -- The nation's top water safety and training organizations are joining forces to present The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL) Thursday, June 14, 2012 to build awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim to help prevent drowning. On June 14th water parks, pools and other aquatic facilities around the globe will host local WLSL lessons simultaneously at 11 a.m. in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record. City of Lakeland’s Aquatics staff will assist in the world record attempt during a swim lesson at Gandy Pool located at 404 Imperial Blvd. 

Swimming is a life-saving skill for children and a vital tool to prevent drowning, the second leading cause of unintended injury-related death for children ages 1-14. Research shows if a child doesn't learn to swim by the third grade, they likely never will. The World's Largest Swimming Lesson™ was created to serve as a platform to help local community aquatic facilities and different national, regional and state wide water safety and drowning prevention organizations work together to tell this important story on a local and national level.

Individuals interested in participating in the lesson have until 10:30 a.m. June 14th to register by contacting Aquatics at 863-834-3157. For more information on The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson or to find out how to get involved, please contact David Woodard at 863-834-3157.



Director of Communications | City of Lakeland
 228 S. Massachusetts Ave.  Lakeland, FL 33801
 863/834-6264 (PH) |
 Twitter @lakelandgov

LAKELAND, FL ( May 14, 2012) -- Beginning Tuesday, May 29, 2012 the City of Lakeland Public Works Department will be closing a portion of Lake Hollingsworth Drive to replace a failed storm pipe at the intersection of Fairhaven Drive. Lake Hollingsworth Drive will be closed from Cleveland Heights Boulevard to Crystal Lake Drive for two days. Residents will have access to their property at all times and detours will be clearly marked. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes when possible. 

City personnel will be on-site to assist with any concerns.  Please call Matt Glenn at 863-834-3300 with questions or call 863-834-3300 for recorded updates. 

World-renowned leaders to speak to Lakeland Electric and City of Lakeland employees


On Friday, May 4, 2012, Lakeland Electric and City of Lakeland employees will gain access to the knowledge and experience of world-renowned leaders by attending Chick-fil-A Leadercast.

Chick-fil-A Leadercast is a one-day leader development event broadcast LIVE from Atlanta, Ga. to hundreds of sites throughout the nation, including Lakeland.  Speakers for this year’s event include:

  • Soledad O’Brien, Anchor and special correspondent for CNN
  • Tim Tebow, NFL quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner and best-selling author
  • Patrick Lencioni, Best-selling author and president of The Table Group
  • John Maxwell, Leadership expert & best-selling author of “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”
  • Angela Ahrendts, CEO, Burberry
  • Roland Fryer, Professor of economics at Harvard University and CEO of the Education Innovation Laboratory 
  • Urban Meyer, ESPN analyst and former head football coach for the University of Florida
  • Andy Stanley, Best-selling leadership author and communicator
  • Sheena Iyengar, Author of “The Art of Choosing“ and world-renowned expert of choice 

Thirty employees from various City departments will gather to participate in this interactive leadership development event. The selected employees are among the emerging leaders of the City of Lakeland and Lakeland Electric who may not have had opportunities for leadership training in the past.

“The Chick-Fil-A Leadercast supports our vision to become a values-driven high performing organization,” said Betsy Levingston, director of Training and Workforce Development for Lakeland Electric. “Our employees will gain a better understanding of how their choices impact others.”

We look forward to continuing the collaboration around the Chick-Fil-A materials to develop strong leaders.