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This is the official blog of the City of Lakeland, Florida. Check back frequently to stay up to date with all that going on in our beautiful city!




CITY OF LAKELAND RECOGNIZED AS A PLAYFUL CITY USA
 

LAKELAND, FL (June 12, 2017) - The City of Lakeland was recently designated a 2017 Playful City by the national non-profit KaBOOM! Playful City USA honors cities and towns across the country for putting the needs of families first so kids can learn, grow and develop important life skills. These communities are transforming ordinary places into playful spaces and using play as a solution to the challenges facing their residents.

 

Lakeland was one of 258 communities recognized across the United States for making it as easy as possible for kids to play. In total, the winning communities have more than 14,000 safe and engaging play spaces that serve more than 4-million kids.

 

The City of Lakeland’s planning process ensures that play opportunities are dispersed throughout the City. Neighborhoods have balanced access to both play programming and park space. Partnerships with outside agencies and non-profits create great play spaces and demonstrate the commitment that our community has for improving and sustaining recreational spaces throughout the City of Lakeland.

 

Pam Page, Deputy Director of Parks & Recreation said, “Play is a critical component of a child’s well-being and therefore a stepping stone to enabling children to become productive future community leaders. We are dedicated to promoting life-long recreational opportunities to help further the advancement of our children and improve the quality of life for our adult population.”

 

As cities are becoming hotbeds for innovation, communities across the country are creating inventive ways to attract and retain residents. Playful City USA honorees are taking bold action to ensure kids have great places to play – all with the ultimate goal of making play the easy choice for all kids, no matter where they live.

 

“We are thrilled to recognize Lakeland for putting kids first,” said KaBOOM CEO James Siegal. “The health of our communities starts with the well-being of our kids and play is critical for them to thrive. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that all kids get the childhood they deserve and Lakeland is doing great things.”

 

To see the full list of Playful City USA communities and to learn more about making play the easy choice for kids, visit kaboom.org/playfulcityusa. You can also take part in the conversation with leaders across the country using#PLAYceforkids on Twitter and Facebook.

 

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids—particularly those growing up in poverty in America—the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open or improve nearly 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives. To learn why #playmatters and why cities are embracing #playability: visit kaboom.org.

 

-PLAY-


CONTACT:

Kevin Cook, Director of Communications | City of Lakeland | 863/834-6264

 



PRESS CONFERENCE

ANNOUNCING 160+ ACRE REGIONAL PARK

 

WHO: Local philanthropists including Barnett Family, David Bunch and former Parks & Recreation Director Bill Tinsley 

 

WHAT: Event to introduce 160+ Acre privately-funded regional park

 

WHERE: Property includes former CSX railyard bordered by Lake Bonnet, Kathleen Road, Memorial Boulevard and George Jenkins Boulevard. Press Conference attendees will enter park from North Webster Avenue (720 N. Webster Ave). There will way finding signage off George Jenkins Boulevard to assist participants with direction.

 

WHEN: Wednesday, February 8th at 11 a.m.

 

WHY: Two former industrial areas being mitigated to create regional urban park with numerous amenities that include: walking trails, multiple play areas, amphitheater, botanical gardens and public art displays.


LAKELAND, FL (February 6, 2017) - The media is invited to a press conference to introduce the vision and name of a 160+ acre regional park.  This park will be situated within 200 acres of assembled property that includes the former CSX Railyard, the former Florida Tile industrial site and the adjoining historical parcels that once occupied this tract of land.  Local visionaries including the Barnett Family (Barney, Carol, Wesley and Nicholas), longtime Lakeland commercial real estate broker David Bunch along with former City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Director Bill Tinsley have quietly assembled the property to bring the vision of a regional urban park to life.  

 

This property has over one mile of lake front, features oak hammocks with grandfather oaks, a small spring and a natural setting for an amphitheater. A great deal of work has already been done and the media is invited to hear the vision and tour this great fantastic piece of land. “Lakeland needs an incredible green space to improve its residents’ lives by bringing them closer to nature. This park will provide visitors with an educational experience and there will be multiple avenues for family enjoyment and entertainment,” said  Barney Barnett. “The City of Lakeland has built an incredible park system but this new endeavor will be like nothing our residents and visitors have ever seen here, both in scale and possibility.” 

 

The current plan is to restore the two industrial land areas and enable them to return to a productive use. The former Florida Tile site -which is not planned as part of the park - will be cleaned up, revitalized and reintroduced to the market place as a high density, quality mixed-use development comparable with the proposed park to support Lakeland’s downtown needs.  Proceeds from the sale of this development will be put back into the regional park project.  Proposed plans for the regional park include nature trails, an amphitheater, multiple playground areas, historically-themed areas, a miniature train, botanical gardens, bike paths, public art displays and much more. The park is slated to open by 2020. 


LAKELAND, FL (September 28, 2016) | The City of Lakeland Parks Division will be on Lake Morton at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 18th for the 36th 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 the morning of October 19th 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 and 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 interacting with the birds for decades. It is very important to us to make sure our Lakeland flock is doing well so we schedule the Swan Roundup each year with the primary purpose to check on the health of our birds.” He added, “People may not realize but the Parks Department actually has a line item in our budget for swan food and upkeep. It costs about $10,000 per year to feed and care for Lakeland’s domestic swans and we really appreciate Dr. Mattson donating her time to care for our flock.”

 

CONTACT:

Kevin Cook, Director of Communications | 863/834-6264


LAKELAND, FL (September 14, 2016) - The Simpson Park Community Center (1725 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue) will host a FREE Lakeland Health and Wellness Fair on September 24th from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. All ages are invited. There will be health information for men and women including FREE health screenings and FREE food.

Health professionals from Lakeland Regional Health and Keiser University on hand who will lead workshops on healthy living topics that include:

  • Prostate Cancer and knowing your numbers
  • BMI and blood pressure              
  • Zumba
  • CuRobics    

The Lakeland Health and Wellness Fair is sponsored by Lakeland Regional Health, Coca-Cola, Keiser University and the City of Lakeland.  Participants at the health fair can learn more about how to live a healthy lifestyle that includes regular check-ups, health screenings and regular exercise.