Lake Wales Envisioned Offers Us Each a Chance to Protect Our Quality of Life

2023 Can Be The Year We Claim Our Own Future


Last updated 2/23/2023 at 11:01am

Courtesy Lake Wales Envisioned

A series of meetings and events will give Lake Waleans a n opportunity to guide future land uses, including residential, recreational, conservation, industrial, and institutional, such as schools and medical facilities. It will address transportation corridors and types, and help shape every aspect of future life in the city and region.

"Growth" is a word that means opportunity for some and strikes fear in the hearts of others. It has been the driver of both the economic health and the environmental destruction that has reshaped Florida for more than a century.

Rising prosperity has too often been accompanied by traffic congestion, water shortages, urban sprawl, and overcrowding, crushing the quality of life in some parts of the state.

While growth has been largely focused on other places, it's now arrived at Lake Wales like a rising tide. How we prepare and adapt to it will determine the livability of our hometown in the future.

Now a team of allies has been assembled to help. Sponsors including Rollins College, Bok Tower Gardens, the University of Miami, and Lake Wales Heritage are joining with the City of Lake Wales and Lake Wales Main Street.

Award-winning city planners, led by Dover Kohl & Partners, will address the challenges through a process called "Lake Wales Envisioned." Over the next few months, it will offer each of us a chance to prepare and direct growth, building upon the design concepts applied to Lake Wales by Frederick Law Olmsted nearly 100 years ago..

Courtesy Lake Wales Envisioned

A series of public symposiums, meetings, and charettes will offer each of us the tools and knowledge to prepare. By learning how other places have guided growth to positive outcomes, we can do the same.

The process will be launched at a "Best Practices Symposium" in the theatre at Bok Tower Gardens on March 20, 2:00 to 5:00 pm. That overview of the guiding principles will be followed by a "Community Kick-off" meeting from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. that evening.

A week-long series of events will follow in mid-April, including an online event for those unable to attend in person.

Your opinions, your suggestions, and your responses to questions will drive a plan that can help leave us a better and stronger community.


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