Windermere to pursue park renovations

With a goal of getting more people to use its parks, the town of Windermere has initiated plans to design more aesthetically pleasing parks via additional amenities and enhanced landscaping.

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  • | 12:28 p.m. January 19, 2017
  • Southwest Orange
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Windermere town leaders and staff are pursuing plans to improve their parks with the assistance of grants and town funds over a three- to five-year time span. The decision came about after some discussions on how to increase use of their parks.

The solution they came up with was to renovate several parks, sparking the town to focus its efforts on adding amenities and improving the walkways and landscaping. They’ve hired a professional company, Innovation Design Group Inc., to create the landscaping and architectural renderings for each of the parks.

“We have about six parks that we’re really focusing on, and the Tree Board and the Parks and Recreation committee were both looking at how to enhance them aesthetically and see how they can get them utilized more and just different ways to attract people to the parks,” said Windermere Town Manager Robert Smith.

Once the town’s staff has agreed on the designs and enhancements for each park, they’ll go ahead and create a capital improvement plan to decide how they’ll obtain funding for each park’s renovations for the following fiscal years. 

“So it won’t be a one-year process, and it’ll probably be three to five years before we can finish up each park, but at least it gives us that vision and the framework to go ahead and accomplish that,” Smith said.

The parks being considered for targeted improvements are the Windermere Recreation Center, Lake Bessie Park, Central Park, Lake Down Park, Fernwood Park and Palmer Park. However, the first park to see improvements will be the Windermere Recreation Center.

Renovations for the recreation center, which will be partially funded via a Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program grant that was awarded back in June, will begin in March or April, Smith said. The recreation center will be getting a volleyball court, improvements to the pavilion on the island, beach access, a fishing pier and kayak access. Construction for the other parks won’t begin until next fiscal year.


Contact Gabby Baquero at [email protected].