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By Tom Paulson
City Editor 

Help Sought to Landscape City Streets

Lake Wales Heritage Seeks Volunteers, Potential Directors

 

Last updated 10/9/2022 at 11:09am

Cynthia Matteson

Heritage volunteers coordinated the planting of more than 30 young Magnolia trees on Lakeshore Boulevard earlier this year. Several more plantings are planned during the coming year.

A civic organization working to re-create a historic landscaping plan in Lake Wales is seeking community help.

Lake Wales Heritage is a non-profit group working to re-plant the 1930 landscape plan created by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.

"We need to find some helpies," said Heritage director and volunteer Tish Sheesley, citing the several projects the group is tackling.

Alongside the tree-planting effort, the organization is launching an educational program for middle school students which will be conducted on Saturday afternoons at Lake Wales Public Library. That effort is led by certified teachers, but volunteers act in support at the classes.

"We are planning several more planting efforts in the next 12 months," said Heritage president Robert Connors. "Our young magnolia and bottlebrush trees came through the Hurricane in pretty good shape, only one was broken," he reported, "but we have plans to plant many more trees on various streets around the city. Those will be good opportunities for volunteers to lend some satisfying help."

Robert Connors

Volunteers staffed informational and activity booths at the "Olmsted Day in the Park" event in Lake Wailes Park in late April. Powering the transformative effort is a social and volunteer opportunity for area residents.

Lake Wales Heritage also hosts an annual "Olmsted Day in the Park" coordinated with Arbor Day to showcase the work of the famed landscape architect. Olmsted was retained by Edward Bok to design the city plan soon after completing his work at Bok Tower Gardens. The new effort is part of a city-wide plan to recreate the "City in a Garden" that inspired Olmsted and city founders.

Those who are unable to volunteer but wish to support the effort are encouraged to become members and boosters through their website at LakeWalesHeritage.org.

Among other volunteer opportunities are such projects as hosting informational booths at Pioneer Days and the Lake Wales Arts Festival, planning event details, helping with logistics, and even conducting neighborhood surveys, Connors said.

"We can use volunteers in several areas, and have a couple of vacant seats available on our board of directors, which can be up to 15 members," he added. "Anyone who loves Lake Wales and wants to see it beautified is welcome."

 

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