From Brown to Green: Transforming Urban Infrastructure in Lakeland, Florida
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From a Baygall swamp to a bustling railyard that served as the largest employer in Central Florida, Lake Bonnet and its surrounding land has played a myriad of roles throughout history.

This 180-acre piece of land adjacent to downtown Lakeland, Florida, was a working piece of infrastructure up until the 1950s. Fast-forward 60 years to today and see the next role this derelict brownfield site serves: a public park. Bonnet Springs Park's visionary mission and technical challenge is to reverse the impacts of former Lakeland Rail Yard operations and create a site where wetlands work to manage and clean an urban watershed, to use artful landforms to conceal decades of contamination, and to harness imaginative horticulture to encourage a connection to nature for future generations. This session will explore how innovative designs for brownfield sites, partnerships and funding are remediating the land and transforming it into a new Central Park for Florida.

Publication Summary

  • Geosyntec Authors: Todd Kafka
  • All Authors: Todd Kafka, Geosyntec; Anna Cawrse, Sasaki and Bill Tinsley; Bonnet Springs Park
  • Title: 2020 National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Annual Conference: A Virtual Experience (NRPA Virtual)
  • Event or Publication: Event
  • Practice Areas: Low Impact Development, Green Infrastructure, Sustainable Practices
  • Citation: Todd Kafka, P.G., (Florida) will present “From Brown to Green: Transforming Urban Infrastructure in Lakeland, Florida” at 2020 National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Annual Conference: A Virtual Experience (NRPA Virtual) at 1:30 PM EDT on October 29, 2020.
  • Date: October 29, 2020
  • Location: Virtual
  • Publication Type: Platform Presentation