WP Land Trust on Progress Point
Recommendations to the WP City Commission
by Guest Columnist Bob Bendick / July 18, 2021
Land Trust Mission
The Winter Park Land Trust is a non-profit organization managed by a volunteer citizen board of trustees. The mission of the land trust is to plan, help finance, and manage the acquisition of land and interests in land to be used for the creation, expansion, improvement, and connecting of parkland and green space within and adjacent to the City of Winter Park.
Land Trust Vision
Our vision is that the Land Trust will help to ensure that Winter Park and surrounding communities will be an area with sufficient parks and open space, where the footprint of existing parks will be increased, and wherever possible, parks and green spaces will be connected in order to balance and reduce the adverse impacts of increasing development and population density. Attractive green space will then always be an important asset and characteristic of the Winter Park area.
The Winter Park Land Trust Board has followed the discussions concerning the design and configuration of a park at the Progress Point property. The Land Trust Board met on July 12, 2021, and adopted recommendations concerning Progress Point.
On July 12, 2021, the Land Trust board of trustees wrote to the City Commission:
The Winter Park Land Trust recommends that the City of Winter Park maximize the amount of land devoted to greenspace in the Progress Point parcel and that it connects that greenspace through walkways and bikeways with other city parks and open spaces. Toward that end, we recommend that the city should:
- Begin immediately to design and build a 1.5 to 2.0-acre park at Progress Point and the greenway connecting that site to Mead Garden and designate that land as a park in the city’s comprehensive plan.
- Design the park to be part of the larger greenways system described below.
- Restrooms are an appropriate use of park land.
- Seek funding to enhance the greenway connection between the Progress Point site and Martin Luther King Park and to create a new Greenway link between M.L. King Park along Morse Avenue to Central Park. A short connection between M.L. King and the Winter Park Community Center would also be desirable as is the connection between Progress Point and the Winter Park Tennis Center.
- Reserve decisions on the use of the balance of the Progress Point land until the Orange Avenue Overlay plan is completed and there is a sense of likely additional private development in the area with the objective of maximizing the creation of greenspace including through tree planting, usable open space and pedestrian-friendly walkways.
- Complete the design of the Progress Point Park such that it:
- Includes ample use of large shade trees;
- Emphasizes pedestrian and bicycle access;
- Is safe for users including children, considering the adjacent street and railroad tracks;
- Uses materials consistent with those historically used in Winter Park;
- Is durable and practical to maintain.
- Proceed with updating the City’s Parks Plan as a guide to future park development.
Bob Bendick is a founding member of the Winter Park Land Trust Board of Trustees.
It sounds like a positive plan. Especially use of shade trees. A central walk/bikeway through Winter Park would be awesome. Like having trail right through downtown Winter Garden.
This sounds like a perfect plan for this situation and integrates flexibility into the process so planning can occur as we observe other changes. Very thoughtful and well stated.
Sounds like the Chamber plan!
WPLT has really left the barn door open on this one for all kinds of development mischief.
Way too vague.
Exactly how does WPLT define “park,” “green space,” etc.
And why is WPLT wanting to pave over most if not all of the planned 5.1 acres of potential pristine green space?
When was the last time we added a new urban park to our city’s inventory? (And when will be the next one?)
If you go to the WPLT homepage (www.winterparklandtrust.org)—you’ll see their header: “Keeping the “Park” in Winter Park”.
But when presented with the opportunity to seize the day for a 5.1 acre park, they capitulate at 1.5 acres. Does that mean I should plan to cut any future WPLT donations by 2/3? Hashtag -#FundraisingOpportunityLost
Really Bob Bendick and the Winter Park Land Trust? Sounds like a sellout to me. As new resident to northwest Wyoming, you should look up what the Jackson Hole Land Trust has accomplished. Much more than the developer friendly WPLT will ever accomplish.
I don’t understand the point of this opinion.
The debate today is whether Progress Point will be a true park or a half-baked tidy green stamp surrounded by development and parking?
None of this commentary addresses the issue at hand.
One position on this property led by Steve Godman, the Chair of WPLT, supports a tidy, Disney designed mini park with development and parking for surrounding merchants.
The other folks seem to be pushing for an authentic park, much larger in scale and more extensive minus all of the city-sponsored development paid for by us.
The Carlisle architect and Chamber back Goldman’s plan.
We have only one opportunity to make this a simple park today and for generations to come. Let’s no repeat history and pave over green space like MLK park.
Commissioners have a chance to designate raw land for park space. For god’s sakes, what’s so hard about that?
This WPLT opinion seemed an attempt to court the uninformed. Bah Humbug.
Do the RIGHT thing, make Progress Point a P-A-R-K, NOT a parking lot!
It’s very important that a visual will give a true picture. And, please City of WP, do not sell the present Library site.
Call me ignorant. Fine.
But, I just don’t get it.
Isn’t Winter Park Land Trust supposed to be BUYING property in Winter Park to preserve FOREVER as 100% land parcels without ANY buildings on them whatsoever?
Or did I miss the whole point?
Because, based on your article, what it looks like to us folks here in the peanut gallery is that Winter Park Land Trust is a casserole of varying opinions on development in Winter Park, and the ones who are currently in power seek to use Winter Park Land Trust as a way to keep the residents quiet about radical development coming to Winter Park.
Suggestion: If you guys want the residents to donate to Winter Park Land Trust, you better have a good answer to why they should if you think its just fine to develop 70% or more of the property or money they donate to your organization. Because I’m assuming that if you won’t ask the City not to build on Progress Point (5.1 acres), you will apply the same standard to property donated to your organization.
I think you’d get more donations if you would publish something like, “Develop Progress Point? Not On My Watch! Not In My Town!” But if you’re just going to be some kind of wiggly, wishy-washy chameleons trying to please the politicians , the developers, the Chamber, and the residents all at the same time, don’t hold your breath waiting for our checks, because they didn’t get lost in the mail.
A fountain needs to be placed in the middle. Many Winter Park Residents would donate.
I hope the Winter Park Mayor and City Commissioners are reading the Winter Park Voice and all these comments. My vote is for Progress Point land to be devoted to becoming a real PARK, NO DEVELOPMENT, NO PARKING LOT.