City News Blog


The latest happenings in your city government.

LAKELAND, FL (September 14, 2015) -- The City of Lakeland Parks Division will be on Lake Morton at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 6th for the 35th Annual Swan Roundup.  Parks & Recreation employees will be carefully gathering the swans to get them ready for their annual veterinary check-up. The swans will be confined in large holding pens on the south side of the lake for their annual wellness examinations that will start Wednesday morning, October 7th at 7:30 a.m. with Patricia Mattson, DVM. The Annual Swan Round-Up allows the City’s Parks and Recreation Department to closely monitor the health and vitality of Lakeland’s swan population.
The original swans on Lake Morton were donated by Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom in 1957.  As Lakeland’s swan flock grew, it became paramount to give the regal birds an annual health check so the Swan Roundup began in 1980 and has continued every year since then. The swans were first cared for by veterinarian (emeritus) and original "Swanvet" W.G. Gardner. His dedication to the flock carries on with Dr. Mattson.
Dr. Mattson has 20 years of experience in veterinary medicine.  She the owner of Companion Animal Hospital a full service facility that provides general medical care, preventive medical care, vaccinations, health certificates, caesarean section, diagnostic services, on-site kennel, on-site laboratory testing, flea control, dietary counseling, spay/neuter, declawing, radiology, general surgery, dentistry, emergency services, microchipping, pharmacy services and boarding.
Dr. Patricia Mattson who donates her time as Lakeland’s official swan veterinarian recently shared her report on Lake Morton’s swans after their last annual physical.  Mattson said, “The swans are consuming too much white bread and the heavy gluten diet with very little nutritional value is taking a toll on Lakeland’s swan population.”  She added, “Many of the swans have a calcium deficiency because they feast on bleached white bread.”   This is just one of the items that will be reviewed during the swans annual health checkup.
Bob Donahay, Director of Parks & Recreation said, “The Lake Morton swans are a community icon and families have been feeding them left-over bread for decades.”  He added, “We recently added swan feeders around the lake and we hope families will use the swan feed because it is specially formulated to include much needed nutrients that will help the swans stay healthy.”  The Lake Morton swan feeders are coin operated and the proceeds from the feeders is used to offset the annual cost for swan food, healthcare and upkeep. It costs about $10,000 a year to feed Lakeland’s domestic swans. 






LAKELAND, FL (April 2, 2014) – Summer is right around the corner – get your child’s spot secured!  The City of Lakeland is offering Camp Blast, an eight-week summer recreation program located at City recreation facilities and various schools throughout Lakeland. Camp Blast offers elementary students, who have completed kindergarten through the 5th grade, endless opportunities for enrichment including weekly trips, on-site games and activities, service opportunities and several special events. 


Don’t miss out on Camp BLAST!  Registration for this opportunity begins April 12th, 8am at Kelly Recreation Complex (KRC) for City Residents and April 19th , 8am at KRC for Non-City Residents.  Spots will fill quickly – mark your calendar to attend!  A copy of the child’s report card is needed and registration fees are $200 per child paid by cash or check.  Camp begins Monday, June 16th  – Friday through August 8th.  Camp hours are from 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday – Friday.


For full details on camp dates, camp locations and pricing options check out, or call the Kelly Recreation Complex, 863/834-3284 with any questions. 





LAKELAND, FL (November 4, 2013) -  The City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Department is proud to host the 33rd Annual Snowfest at Lake Mirror on Saturday December 7, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

This year's event will feature the traditional Snow Mountain and a Snow Slide!  A visit from Santa Claus, children's entertainment, inflatables, arts & crafts vendors and food vendors will complete the day.

Price for admission to the Snow Mountain and Snow Slide will be a donated canned food item or a $1.00 donation. All canned food items will be donated to Polk County Senior Orphans charity. Admission to the inflatables will be $1.00.


Arts and crafts vendors are being sought to participate in the event.  For more information, please call Julie Adams at (863) 834-8228, or





LAKELAND, FL (April 10, 2013) - The City of Lakeland Parks and Recreation Department will begin registration for Camp BLAST, the summer recreation program for elementary students who have completed kindergarten through the 5th grade, at Kelly Recreation Complex on Saturday, April 13, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  Parents must bring two matching proofs of City residence and a copy of each child's most recent report card.

Those living outside the city limits will be able to register beginning Saturday, April 20, 2013 starting at 8:00 a.m.  Camp dates are Monday, June 17th – Friday, August 9th, 2013.  Full Registration for the 8-week program is either $350 for Camp Explore Program (in town trips) or $500 for Camp Adventure (in and out-of-town trips). Due at the time of registration is $200 per child. Fees are payable by cash or check only. Enrollment is limited and camp participants will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.  

For more information, please call the Kelly Recreation Complex at (863) 834-3284.