In this month’s Bonnet Springs Newsletter, readers got an insight into some exciting design progress.
A popular feature of Bonnet Springs Park will be a large tree house in the canopy of the old oak grove. This rustic, traditional styled get-away will be handicap-accessible from the unique elevated walk 18 feet in the air threading for 1600 feet through the canopy of the oak grove. The tree house is being designed by The Lunz Group, and will be constructed by Rodda Construction. It is anticipated to open with Bonnet Springs Park in late 2020.
The Kiwanis Clubs of Lakeland, lead by the Downtown Club, upon learning of the tree house plans, jumped at the opportunity to sponsor the $250,000 estimated cost. Dennis Harrison, long-time member and past president, and tree house chairman, says “This is a perfect opportunity for Kiwanis, whose mission is ‘Young Children—Priority One’, to do something for children in greater Lakeland. We will call it the ‘Kiwanis Cares for Kids Treehouse’ and it will be available for birthday parties, learning experiences and individual visits.” When not reserved for kids’ parties, it will be open to the public. Among other kid-friendly features, it will have telescopes on the large deck for spying wildlife in the trees and on the new lagoon located nearby.
Michael Ehlenbeck, President of the Downtown Club agrees “Kiwanis has been in Lakeland for nearly 100 years. To stay relevant, we have to reinvent ourselves periodically, and do things that support and appeal to children, our future members pool. The Kiwanis Treehouse will be a pleasurable experience for generations of children, who will have a positive image of Kiwanis and want to be a part of it someday.”
There are three Kiwanis Clubs in Lakeland, the Downtown Club the oldest and largest, organized in 1922, The Citrus Center Club, and The North Lakeland Club. The clubs’ central focus is projects supporting schools, children’s programs and needs. The clubs are part of Kiwanis International, involved worldwide in programs in support of children.