Communication Builds Our Community

(110) stories found containing 'lake wales heritage'


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  • Former Mayor, Community Leader Pat Cain Dead at 76

    News Staff|Updated May 26, 2024

    Life-long resident and supporter of numerous area charitable causes, Dale Patrick Cain of Lake Wales passed away Monday, May 20. Pat, as he was known to his many friends, was a third generation Lake Wales resident who served as a Lake Wales City Commissioner from 1988 until 1992, serving as mayor in 1991-1992. A 1965 graduate of Lake Wales High School, he played both offense and defense on the Highlander football squads in two undefeated seasons in 1963 and 1964, as more...

  • McLaughlin Campus "Forest" Dedicated to Memory of Alex Wheeler

    News Staff Reports|Updated May 10, 2024

    A celebration of life for a beloved community leader was combined with a celebration of new life recently as the staff of McLaughlin Middle/High School joined volunteers from Lake Wales Heritage to mark the dedication of 40 trees planted on the Lake Wales school campus. The trees were a gift from Lake Wales Heritage and its supporters in honor of the late Lee A. (Alex) Wheeler, who served as treasurer for the non-profit organization. Wheeler, who died in 2020, was also a...

  • Baking Temperatures Expected This Week Before Relief Arrives

    Robert Connors|Updated May 6, 2024

    Scorching temperatures are expected to bake the Ridge area this week before increasing clouds bring growing rain chances to the area early next week. Floridians acclimated to warmth may still be shocked to encounter temperatures rising into the 90s to near 100° this week under sunny skies. Long-range models are showing that relief could come with more cloud cover beginning as soon as Sunday. The baking temperatures are adding to the stress of gardens, lawns, and even trees....

  • Olmsted Day Festival Offers Fun For the Family in Lake Wailes Park March 23

    News Staff Reports|Updated Mar 18, 2024

    A day of free fun for the entire family is offered in Lake Wailes Park on Saturday, March 23 as the annual Olmsted Day event takes place. The event is the Lake Wales observance of Arbor Day and takes place in the shade of the historic Olmsted Oaks in the park. Entertainment, exhibits, games, musical performances, and food trucks form part of the attraction, along with vendors offering live plants and trees and a wide range of other products. Special exhibits will be offered...

  • Heritage Volunteers Landscape McLaughlin Campus in Driving Rain

    News Staff Reports|Updated Jan 3, 2024

    Lake Wales got a good bit greener last Saturday, not only because of welcome rains, but due to the efforts of a team of volunteers from Lake Wales Heritage who braved the damp to landscape the campus of McLaughlin Middle/High School. In a six-hour effort the group planted more than 40 trees on school grounds. "It was a day of bonding for the volunteers, a really rainy day" for the thoroughly saturated group of volunteers, said Heritage Vice President Ron Poller. "It was an...

  • Lake Wales Opportunities Highlighted in Documentary Film Premier

    Rachel Negrete, News Staff Writer|Updated Nov 6, 2023

    More than 80 community leaders and interested citizens were present Thursday night for the premier showing of the documentary film "Lake Wales Envisioned," which lays out the case for changes to development codes that may redefine future development in the rapidly-growing community. The film is among the final work products of the city-funded project known as Lake Wales Envisioned, an effort to guide the city through a future fraught with both opportunities and perils. The...

  • City Fills Vacant Horticulturist Position As Downtown Tree Planting Approaches

    News Staff Reports|Updated Oct 23, 2023

    As the City of Lake Wales prepares to begin a major tree-planting effort as part of the Lake Wales Connected effort, a long-vacant horticulturist spot has been filled by a long-time Lakeland gardening expert. Kevin Polk, a certified horticulturist who spent several years supervising the landscape at the City of Lakeland's Hollis Gardens, will take the reins overseeing plans to revive the landscapes in the city's historic core. After spending years reviving the 1928 landscape...

  • Plant and Garden Festival Happens Saturday

    Special to the News|Updated Oct 20, 2023

    A green display of orchids, succulents, flowering plants and garden art offered by 26 vendors from across Florida will give area residents a great opportunity to up their gardening game during the free Plant and Garden Festival. Fifty-five different vendor spaces will be filled with fruit trees, house plants, bamboo, and native species to entice visitors. In addition to the 55 outdoor vendor spaces, seven different expert speakers will take the indoor stage to share...

  • 1000 Friends of Florida Endorses the Lake Wales Envisioned Plan

    Paul Owens, President, 1000 Friends of Florida|Updated Oct 12, 2023

    Editor's Note: This guest Commentary is the second of a series of guest editorials that will address the effort known as Lake Wales Envisioned. Since our founding in 1986, 1000 Friends of Florida has advocated citizen-driven planning to protect our state's environment and quality of life amid its rapid growth. That explains why we enthusiastically endorsed the Lake Wales Envisioned process from its launch last winter. And it's why we're now calling on city leaders to approve...

  • A "World Premiere" Screening of "Lake Wales Envisioned" Documentary Will Happen Thursday Night

    News Staff Reports|Updated Oct 7, 2023

    Community civic leaders and interested citizens are expected to gather Thursday evening to view the premiere screening of what is expected to be an influential documentary film introducing the work product of the Lake Wales Envisioned process. The event will begin at 7:00 at the Lake Wales Woman's Club Auditorium. The Envisioned planning effort grew from a desire by city leaders to better shape and guide the impact of dozens of development proposals that will include some 14,0...

  • Embrace Lake Wales Envisioned: A Model for the Nation

    Anne Neal Petri and Lucy Lawliss|Updated Oct 6, 2023

    Editor's Note: This guest Commentary, offered by two distinguished scholars of the works of the father and son who shared the honored name of Frederick Law Olmsted, is the first of a series of guest editorials that will address the effort known as Lake Wales Envisioned. A century ago, Lake Wales was in the news: The most famous landscape architect in America, Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., was transforming one of Florida's highest points into Bok Tower Gardens, today a National...

  • Lake Wales Cited for Community Health Possibilities

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 22, 2023

    Lake Wales will become a healthier city if traditional neighborhood design standards are applied to future development proposals here, according to studies shared by Dr. Joanna Lombard of the University of Miami. Lombard, who has dual appointments to the university's medical school and the school of architecture, was the lead panelist on a webinar hosted this week by 1000 Friends of Florida to discuss the health and wellness impacts of where we live. The significant increases...

  • Heavy Rains Possible in Coming Week, But Hurricane Threat Remains Low

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 15, 2023

    As the 2023 hurricane season peaks this week, storm threats to Florida appear to be at low ebb. Conditions in the tropical Atlantic basin are continuing to deflect storms northward. As once powerful Hurricane Lee makes landfall on the coasts of Maine and Nove Scotia, Floridians breathed a sigh of relief. At is peak the storm reached the much-feared Category Five intensity, but Florida received nothing more than dangerously high surf and beach erosion. This week the first of a...

  • Temporary Traffic Pattern Change Coming to Downtown Lake Wales Starting Monday

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Sep 6, 2023

    The changing face of downtown Lake Wales is moving forward as contractors begin the second phase of a multi-part project to reconstruct Park Avenue between Wetmore Street and Scenic Highway. A closure of a block of First Street will begin Monday morning, August 28, and is expected to last until November. At that time the street will reopen along with the completed western block of Park Avenue between First and Wetmore, which will then be open to two-way traffic for the first...

  • Lake Wales Main Street Wins Recognition for New Design Standards

    Special to the News|Updated Aug 8, 2023

    Lake Wales Main Street was among winners of 2023 Florida Main Street Awards, which were announced during the Preservation on Main Street Conference in Ocala last week. Florida Main Street is a program administered by the Division of Historical Resources under the Florida Department of State, which currently oversees 57 communities throughout the state. By implementing the National Main Street Center's Four-Point Approach, Florida Main Street encourages economic development...

  • Beauty Not Forgotten in McLaughlin Expansion

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Aug 5, 2023

    An aggressive facilities expansion to add a high school to the campus of McLaughlin School of Excellence has been devastating to the landscape at the school, but help is coming from unexpected directions, according to McLaughlin Principal Dr. Debra Wright-Hudson. A local non-profit, private citizens, and the project contractor are seeing to the green side of things by assisting school leaders in providing new gardens around two sides of the school. Wright-Hudson lauded the...

  • New Streetscapes Planted in Druid Hills to Expand "Garden City" Effort

    News Staff Reports|Updated Jul 3, 2023

    Fourteen new Southern Live Oaks and ten Florida Holly trees were planted last week as the latest landscaping contribution toward recreating the "City in a Garden" ideal of Lake Wales founders. Lake Wales Heritage, an Olmsted Conservancy, undertook the plantings as part of their city-wide efforts. The trees in the Druid Hills neighborhood are the latest step by the Heritage organization toward completing the landscape design of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., who planned both the...

  • Retail Business Recruitment is Focus of Downtown Lake Wales Effort

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Jun 12, 2023

    A downtown business improvement effort "focused on asset development and retail recruitment" was outlined to a large group of downtown property owners at a Wednesday luncheon. Elliott Cook of Retail Strategies told those in attendance that his purpose was to gather information from them that would be used in their efforts. Cook promised that his firm would provide owners with the tools for success. Retail Strategies was hired by city government to help recruit new business...

  • Greenways, Blueways, New Street and Neighborhood Designs Among Ideas Offered by Citizens at Hands-on Workshop

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Apr 26, 2023

    A creative group of Lake Wales area citizens joined with urban design and traffic planners Saturday morning at the James Austin Center to begin the process of designing an alternative future for the City of Lake Wales. Future neighborhood development types, street designs, greenways, preferred placement of residential developments, and even a "blueway" trail connecting to Winter Haven were among suggestions that emerged from teams working around maps and charts. The process,...

  • Saturday "Family Fun" Day to Include Kids' Games, Bands, Beer Garden

    News Staff Reports|Updated Apr 26, 2023

    A chance to relax in the shade, enjoy food from your favorite food truck, listen to four different bands, and let the kids burn off steam as they learn and play is expected to draw crowds to Lake Wailes Park Saturday. The 10:00 am to 8:00 pm event will include a kite festival, a family-feud style trivia game, nature walks, a giant inflatable obstacle course, nature walks, a "fishing pond," and a wide variety of games and prizes for adults and kids. A silent auction and gift...

  • Lake Wailes Park Festival Grows Family Fun, Music, Food, and Games

    News Staff Reports|Updated Apr 20, 2023

    Lake Wailes Park will again host a day of family fun on Saturday, April 29 as the city celebrates the annual Olmsted Day in the Park. This years' event promises to be bigger and better than ever as plenty of new features and attractions are being added. Food trucks, lots of games for both kids and adults, live bands, and the added feature of "Beers With Pioneers," a beer-tasting event, will make the day fun for every member of the family. For kids, an inflatable obstacle...

  • Parks Master Plans to be Developed for Seven City Parks

    News Staff Reports|Updated Mar 27, 2023

    A major effort to develop a master plan to govern the future development of seven parks in the city of Lake Wales is the goal of a new contract Catalyst Design Group. The project was recently approved by the city commission. The planning effort will cover Lake Wailes Park, Kiwanis Park and Crystal Lake Park, which form the core of the city's park system. It will also include the city's soccer complex on Hunt Brothers Road, the Northwest Complex/Frasier Field park, the Little...

  • Monday "Envisioned" Events to Shape Future of Lake Wales

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Mar 21, 2023

    A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to shape the future livability of Lake Wales begins Monday at Bok Tower Gardens as a high-powered team of planners bring their national reputations. talents, and insights to bear on the city. The project, designated "Lake Wales Envisioned," will consider the future of a large area around the city and include topics ranging from parks, recreation, and conservation to future sites for commercial, residential, and industrial uses. Transportation...

  • March 20 "Envisioned" Events to Shape Future of Lake Wales in Face of Explosive Growth

    Robert Connors, Managing Editor|Updated Mar 15, 2023

    A host of proposed housing developments that could more than double the population of Lake Wales have created worries that the once-quiet community will be overrun by sprawling growth. In response, citizens are being encouraged to join in a process to help prevent bad outcomes. A March 20 afternoon "symposium" at Bok Tower Gardens will be a key part of a months-long project called "Lake Wales Envisioned." "Olmsted's City 10, 25, and 50 years" is a tagline for the process, and...

  • Olmsted Day Vendors, Sponsors Needed to Support Tree Planting

    News Staff Reorts|Updated Mar 3, 2023

    The historic beauty of Lake Wales and efforts to re-create it are the focus of a special event planned for Lake Wailes Park. Area businesses, artists, and crafters are being invited to participate in Olmsted Day in the Park, an annual event celebrating Lake Wales' parks and streetscapes. Sponsors and vendors are welcome to join in the community-wide effort. The April 29 event, hosted by Lake Wales Heritage with the participation of the City of Lake Wales, features music, food...

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