By Tom Paulson
City Editor 

Lake Wales Heritage to Landscape 4th Street October 9th

Volunteers invited to Participate in Restoring Historic Olmsted Streetscapes


Last updated 10/9/2021 at 5:53pm

Lake Wales Heritage logo

Lemon Bottlebrush trees will line the west side of Fourth Street between Good Shepherd Episcopal and First Baptist Churches. The species is named after its lemony fragrance, not its color.

After more than 90 years, new flowering trees will soon be planted as part of a city-wide landscaping effort. More than two dozen new flowering trees will line several blocks of South 4th Street.

The plantings are initial steps of a program that will ultimately involve well over one thousand trees. The original designs for city streetscapes were created by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. shortly after he completed his design of Bok Tower Gardens. Olmsted is recognized for his projects across the Americas, including the grounds of the White House, Biltmore Estate, and other famous locales.

The plantings are the result of more than three years of planning and fundraising by the board of Lake Wales Heritage, Inc., a not-for-profit group established to champion the historic streetscapes. Their long-term plans include completing many street plantings that were never in the initial work due to the effects of the Great Depression.

magnolia trees along lakeshore boulevard

Forty Magnolia trees once lined Lakeshore Boulevard. Today only a dozen remain. Lake Wales Heritage plans to replant the trees next year.

"We're looking forward to seeing these trees in the ground and growing," said Heritage Director Preston Troutman, a long-time advocate for trees. The first two portions of the plan involve Lemon Bottlebrush, a small, citrus-scented ted-flowering tree which will line 4th Street and new colorful crepe myrtles planned for Bullard Avenue. Future plantings will include the signature Washingtonia Palms along Tillman Avenue, as well as Southern Live Oaks, Magnolias, and other species.

Volunteers are welcome to take part in the Saturday morning planting on October 9th, and may register on the Heritage website, which also hosts a great deal of other information about the program.

"We are really pleased to be able to take this important step. It's rather a dream come true for lots of local residents to see the trees put back in place," said Heritage Secretary Robert Connors. "It's been talked about for decades, but actually seeing them standing will be a historic moment."

palm trees on Tillman avenue90-year old Camphor trees along Second Street.Lake Wales Heritage logomagnolia trees along lakeshore boulevard


Reader Comments(1)

gator63 writes:

I am excited. Thank you for your efforts


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