For generations, the property thrived as a family grove,
where oranges grew and cattle grazed. And now it will be a place where
dogs roam and children play. Eagle Lake Park, at 1800 Keene Road, is now
open to the public.
park hosts a dog dark park, six picnic shelters, a recreation trail
with shell paths and a playground with a "grove flair." Its 2,000 feet
of boardwalk snake through wetlands where fox squirrels, birds and
gopher tortoises live.
The land originally belonged to
the Taylor family, who date back to the days when Largo was a pioneer
settlement. The family lived there for almost 150 years before they sold
the land to the county for $15 million in 1998.The county then raised
an additional $8.4 million to build the park through the Penny
for Pinellas tax and grants through Florida
Recreation Development Assistance and the Southwest Florida
Water Management District.
"One of the things we did in the design of the park was
to try to preserve that early pioneer feel that reflects the history of
the property as a cattle and citrus farm," explains Paul Cozzie,
spokesperson for Pinellas County Culture and Leisure. "The greatest
indicator of how important this park is for this part of the county is
that we had more than 3,000 cars pass through the gates on opening day.
The response has been outstanding and we're very glad to have the park
Anyone interested in volunteering as an auxiliary
ranger, or helping with resource management or maintenance can contact
the county at 727-582-2100.
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Paul Cozzie, Pinellas County Culture and Leisure