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With the aim to create the self-proclaimed “Central Park of Lakeland,” global design firm Sasaki is converting Bonnet Springs Park in Central Florida from a former CSX railyards property to an ecological hub. Initially, a vacant brownfield, the site is currently undergoing environmental remediation to tackle the years of industrial damage, with plans to be open to the public by 2020.  Using creative environmental mechanisms to ready the site for construction, the architects plan to stockpile the arsenic and petroleum hydrocarbons prevalent in over a third of the 180-acre of the land as landscaping elements. The mounds may reach a 90-foot grade, completely altering the existing topological conditions. A significant feature of the site, the constructed wetland gardens are connected to a degraded stream corridor that carries the stormwater to prevent pollutants from entering Lake Bonnet. This allows clean water to be produced from the sand seep spring, a new restored hydrological system that will help stabilize the banks and provide habitat for water-loving fauna. Interested visitors are able to view this process during their journey on the intertwined boardwalk. View more View full description
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