Orange County officials cut the ribbon to mark the spring opening of Lakeside Village Park.
Lakeside Village residents now have a park to call their own.
County officials hosted a ribbon-cutting event at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 24, at the 8.93-acre Lakeside Village Park located at 10820 Village Lake Road, Windermere. The event was held to ceremoniously mark the opening of the park’s first phase.
Phase one includes an open field, pavilion with three picnic tables, a water fountain with bottle filler, five benches, trash and recycle receptacles, trail connections between Lakeside Village Road and Iron Mountain Trail and a shaded playground area for children ages 2 to 12, said Orange County Parks and Recreation Manager Matt Suedmeyer.
“Phase two will be (adding) connection to the lake with a fishing pier, a sidewalk to the fishing pier and additional tot lot on the other side of the play area for the younger-age (children).” Suedmeyer said. “Then (we’re adding) outdoor fitness exercise equipment for the adults, and they’ll be located here by the playground. … While the children are playing on the playground, the adults can exercise on the fitness equipment.”
Suedmeyer said construction for phase one cost $800,000, and phase two could cost about $850,000. He also said funding for phase two will be available sometime in the fall.
Orange County District 1 Commissioner Betsy VanderLey said the groundbreaking for phase two could take place sometime in October, however, a specific date has not yet been determined. She commented on how quickly phase one of the park was completed. Construction for the park began in October 2017 and was completed in March.
“I feel like I was just here yesterday (for the groundbreaking),” VanderLey said. “It happened very, very quickly, and I’m excited about that.”
VanderyLey said she supports parks and green spaces because of the positive impact they can have on mental health.
“I am a big parks advocate,” VanderLey said. “A lot of that is because a lot of studies have shown that in order to have really wonderful mental health, you need green spaces to recreate — places to run around, places to exercise and all of that. I’m really excited about all of the parks we’re seeing (being built).”
Lakeside Village Park joins a list of other parks in the Horizon West area. Other parks include Summerport Neighborhood Park, Independence Neighborhood Park, phase one of the Horizon West Regional Park and the recently opened Deputy Scott Pine Community Park. The area will see more parks in the future, Suedmeyer said.
“There are a lot of future parks — neighborhood parks like this — as part of the planned development (of Horizon West),” Suedmeyer said.