Florida Citrus Sports and the City of Orlando will partner on a full renovation of historic Lake Lorna Doone Park in the West Lakes neighborhoods of Orlando’s District 5. The redevelopment will begin with a groundbreaking event on Tuesday, June 4, 2019.
The Lake Lorna Doone Park renovations were unanimously approved by the Orlando City Council in September. The $8 million project was made possible through several community partners, anchored by a $3 million fundraising commitment by Florida Citrus Sports in partnership with the city.
“Lake Lorna Doone Park has a rich history and has served the west downtown neighborhoods for decades,” Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan said. “As we listened to residents it became clear that the community truly wanted the park to become a regional asset to be proud of and inspire the residents of West Lakes to gather, be active, and pursue a healthy lifestyle for generations to come. As business leaders, and in partnership with LIFT Orlando, it has been an honor to help see that vision realized.”
The 12-acre park in the shadow of Camping World Stadium is one of the community’s oldest and most historic parks and recreation sites. The park has served as a longtime meeting spot in the West Lakes communities, as residents utilize the space for everything from cookouts to exercise. In 1955, the park was the site of the first integrated Little League Baseball game played in the south. Residents of the West Lakes neighborhoods collaborated with City and Florida Citrus Sports officials on the design of the new park.
“As a city, we are committed to investing in our neighborhoods because our residents deserve more amenities and enhanced infrastructure, like the renovations here at Lake Lorna Doone Park in our West Lakes community,” Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said. “This project is a great example of how, together with our residents and partners, we are able to further enhance the quality of life for our residents.”
The park is slated for a number of changes, including the closure of a piece of South Rio Grande Avenue. It will feature several new amenities, including Orlando’s first splash pad in a park, a paved exercise trail with a series of fitness stations set up along the path, a fountain the center of the lake, basketball courts, a new ADA accessible, barrier free playground, a pavilion, an ecology walk and a community garden.
“The park that emerges here will be a creation of the neighborhood’s vision,” District 5 Commissioner Regina I. Hill said. “Their memories and the history of this park fueled the plans to create a place where the families, friends and the community gather.”