WP Land Trust on Progress Point
Recommendations to the WP City Commission
by Guest Columnist Bob Bendick / July 18, 2021
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.