Keep Progress Point Green
Open Letter to Mayor and Commissioners
Guest Columnist Charley Williams / June 22, 2021
Over 360 folks signed our online petition.
‘We, the undersigned residents of Winter Park, envision a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to increase greenspace as the city considers the future of Progress Point. We believe the highest and best use is a 4.4-acre park with shade trees, walking paths and benches where residents can escape their homes and enjoy relief from the concrete urban chaos of today’s world.
Even better, the park would link Mead Botanical Garden and Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, offering greater recreational opportunities for those who want to explore the city without a car. There is a national push for every American to have a park within a 10-minute walk. This greenspace can help us reach that goal.
Surveys across the U.S. show that we want and need more park space. Once paved, these limited assets are lost forever. We ask for your stewardship and protection of this unique city-owned parcel for generations to come.’
Sharing some of the comments we’ve received:
“The re-wilding of this property would put Winter Park on the map internationally for all the right reasons.
“Florida has less park space per population than any other state.”
“Green space is our most important asset.”
“This is a rare opportunity, and there may not be too many more.”
“The neighborhood needs green space. Look kitty-corner across the street (across the railroad tracks and opposite the playground), where there once stood two houses is now a cluster of rental houses. The neighborhood wanted community gardens there. Instead, we got an extension of Rollins. No more development.”
“Winter Park needs more open green space to balance the ratio of people and the spaces they need outside their homes.”
“Green space is essential to life.”
“Winter Park deserves more green spaces.”
“The Charm and Beauty of Winter Park is the beautiful parks and gardens. Please do everything to preserve the natural beauty of Winter Park.”
With continued appreciation, in community.
I’ve been to Yellowstone and Grand Tetons and if it wasn’t for Teddy Roosevelt the natural space and beauty would be filled with homes and the wildlife would probably be gone. Here it is 149 years later and we the people can still see nature. Green space is so valuable and I hope that we will continue to have it for future residents and their children.
It’s a beautiful opportunity to demonstrate a commitment to the essential elements of quality of life for the citizens. Making shady green spaces that connect to other green spaces encourages an appreciation of nature and fosters the well being for a more active healthy society.
More green space, please!
Not to worry, Charlie.
Anderson sees green in Progress Point.
It’s not the kind of green than you are referring to though.
The green Anderson envisions is the stuff that will end up in his pocket during his time as Mayor of Winter Park by facilitating development and disregarding residents’ petitions such as yours.
Oh, you can expect a response.
Some kind of flowery language thanking you for your engagement and for your love for Winter Park, together with various empty promises of “putting residents first” at City Hall.
As in prior years, the Mayor follows the golden rule:
He who has the gold makes the rules.
I disagree. A PUD works best here we have parks all around Azalia,Kraft etc.
We don’t need anymore shopping and restaurants in Winter Park. We have world class shopping 20 minutes away. You can always build more shopping centers but you can’t build more green space. Do the right thing.
haha well, you “can” build more green space, that’s what you’re advocating for, right?
I’d argue that incorporating native landscaping into the PUD design would do wonders for both sides of the issue.
Green space is certainly important, but doesn’t Winter Park already have several major parks and also maintains about 40 smaller “pocket parks, most of which are never used by residents? And what benefit is it to residents to be recognized as “Winter Park on the map internationally for all the right reasons? ”
Winter Park already has a significant amount of green space, much of which sits vacant and not used. Parks are important and is one of the reasons we moved to Winter “Park”, but we already have an abundance of green space. I agree with Bill Bryan.
Who is Charley Williams? Is he affiliated with some company or advocacy organization? Where is the online petition he refers to? It would be nice to have a bit more context in the matter I figure.
Sharing this link which underscores the bold community vision of linking our parks and greenspace together like an “Emerald Necklace” of shade and green connectivity for all to enjoy–whether you are walking, riding your bike or jogging. The truth is, it’s a national trend. Progress Point can be that critical stepping stone between MLK Jr Park, Denning Drive and Mead Gardens. Let’s do this!
Thank you, Mr. Williams, for your visionary concept natural cultural heritage stewardship.
Too much concrete in our city now. When will we stick to the green space ratio as drafted in our Comp plan. Keep the “park” in Winter Park.
I know we need some parking spaces but the rest should be green !
I am holding my breath to see what this commission will do.
Green space helps purify the air we breathe.
Thank you Mr. Williams.
Scientists tell us that green space is a traditional and visionary answer to climate change.
Green space and nature essential to the health and well-being of body, mind, and spirit.
Science Daily: “‘Urban green space affects citizens’ happiness’
Study finds the relationship between green space, the economy, and happiness”
Let’s make Winter Park as beautiful as it was up to the 1990’s again.
Good morning Mayor and City Commissioners,
As we engage in today’s discussion regarding Progress Point, we need to keep in mind one word: Balance.
Consider our large and beautiful park across from the retail on Park Avenue. The Morse Foundation has preserved this for Winter Park in their unwavering commitment to green space. Central Park is what balances our Park Avenue experience. We should continue to model this excellent example in our City.
As we build out around Hannibal Square and Morse Blvd and north, Martin Luther Park King Park with its new library provides this balance in green space in an area becoming dense with retail and residences.
As Orange Avenue becomes another node to the City, we must plan for the necessary green space for this area. Progress Point is the perfect location to balance the coming increase in retail and housing.
As Winter Park continues to grow and density increases, green space diminishes. Let us not forget what we value most in our City. Nature is an essential component.
As co-chair of the Tree Preservation Board and a city planner, I strongly encourage there be a compromise in which Progress Point becomes the natural backdrop to the retail and congestion that will come to this corridor.
Let us imagine for a moment that we are meeting along Orange Avenue.
Does it have to be a coffee shop, retail store or outside a parking garage?
Let’s meet at Progress Point under a tree – on a bench by a fountain! We can decide if we want to have lunch along Orange Avenue. Perhaps, we’ll walk along Denning to the new library — or stroll down Holt to the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins. Maybe we should spend our afternoon in the Legacy Garden at Mead Botanical Garden. Progress Point is an anchor for all directions and an ideal place for us to meet and decide our afternoon.
Progress Point could be the gem in our Emerald necklace that connects Kraft Azalea Garden, Park Ave, MLK Park, Mead Botanical Garden, and eventually, the Howell Branch Preserve.
Thank you for your consideration.
Dream on, John.
Anderson, DeCiccio, and whichever other Commissioner they can persuade to be “sucker of the day,” will see to it that your “strolls” are interrupted with tour busses, your “library” becomes a modern art museum, your “lunch” along Orange becomes a smog filled ordeal. That is if you can by some miracle, find your way through all the traffic they plan in less than an hour, and squeeze into the very last parking space available without denting your car or any others too much. in the new “corkscrew” garage they build with your money,
I understand your concerns, but it is our Chamber of Commerce that has turned our quaint brick streets, boutique shopping and clean parks into an international commercial tourist rat race. This makes us a very unsustainable city. Our Chamber should focus more on supporting local businesses rather than pulling in tourists from the UK. The City needs to work with the Chamber to address congestion, tour buses, overcrowding and littering.
“Those who don’t learn from history are destined to repeat it.”
Remember what they told us the “library” would look like?
And here’s what we got:
Whatever the City Commission tells us about their plans for Progress Point, it will be much, MUCH worse than whatever they tell us it will be.