Client: Orange County Government
Location: Apopka, FL
Borrelli + Partners was responsible for creating a proposed site plan for park additions promoting Eco-Tourism at Magnolia Park, which is located on the south-eastern shoreline of Lake Apopka. B+P was subsequently hired as the Architect of Record for the design and construction of the project. Recently opened in August 2022, Magnolia Park now has a state-of-the-art Eco-Education Center with a park office, reception area, and an interactive display room that includes audio-visual learning centers and eco-related displays. The Eco-Education Center grounds also have new eco-friendly pollinator gardens.
“In addition to FOLA’s display on the lake’s history, we will offer programs on Florida plants, wildlife and conservation,” explained Matt Suedmeyer, manager of Orange County Parks and Recreation. “We’re excited about what the Eco Education Center adds to the overall experience and are ready to serve our visitors with all of the new amenities.”
Local schools are expected to take trips to the Eco-Education Center to experience living science lessons about Lake Apopka. The park now includes a new secured playground with state-of-the-art age-appropriate play equipment, fall protection, shade sail shade structure, and benches to optimize the experience.
Orange County District 2 Commissioner Christine Moore expressed her pride in the new Eco Education Center. “Environmental education is a vital part of our parks’ landscape,” said Moore. “The Eco Education Center will allow us to enhance and add educational opportunities.”
The project includes new paved walkways, new pavilions, a new boardwalk, fishing pier, and floating docks for use by all on Lake Apopka. For the convenience of the park attendees and cyclists, along the newly expanded bicycle trailhead is a new men’s and women’s restroom facility. There is additional parking throughout the park, including improved access and parking at the boat launch ramp to Lake Apopka and new EV Charging Stations. The renovation not only enhances the existing amenities in the park but added several new ones to make the park a real destination for learning, sport, and entertainment for the entire community. The site was designed so there would be as minimal disruption to the existing park’s natural systems as possible.
To hear more about what city officials and residents have to say, please take a look at the grand opening video.
National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials Facility Award (NACPRO) Winner, 2023
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