New Eagle Lake Park Opens In Pinellas County

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.

The 163-acre 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 open."

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
Source: Paul Cozzie, Pinellas County Culture and Leisure
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