Plus, nine Lakeland memberships to consider.
 
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Today’s Forecast

84º | 80% chance of precipitation
Sunrise 6:37 a.m. | Sunset 8:10 p.m.

 
🌳 A new day is on the way for Munn Park
A conceptual rendering of Munn Park's revitalization is shown, including a large lawn, pavilion, and interactive play structures.
Here’s what’s next for Munn Park in downtown Lakeland. | Image provided by City of Lakeland
Munn Park is getting a makeover. During yesterday’s meeting of the City of Lakeland’s 2024 strategic planning retreat, city commissioners approved a new design concept for Munn Park in downtown Lakeland.

Lakelanders were first asked for their thoughts on the project concept in January 2023. Over a year after city officials went back to the drawing board based on public feedback, engineering consulting firm Pennoni Associates presented two new concepts for the park. Note: The following images and descriptions are entirely conceptual and nothing has been finalized at this time.

Concept One

A design plan showing concepts for Munn Park, shown from above. Text to the sides of the design details features of the plan.

The first proposed concept for Munn Park could include features like a family play area, a large center lawn, a sizable shade pavilion, and more.

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Screenshot via City of Lakeland

This concept would be anchored by a sizable shade pavilion on the north side of the park with a building for public restrooms underneath.

Other key features could include a swan-themed interactive water feature, a dog park on the northwest side side of the park, entry gardens, a family play area, space available for community programming, and a large community lawn.

Concept Two

A concept for Munn Park's revitalization is shown with arrows and text boxes pointing to different features.

The second concept for Munn Park would feature a multi-story building at the north end, housing public restrooms along with potential concession options.

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Screenshot via City of Lakeland

Rather than a pavilion, this concept would be anchored by a multistory building that would house public restrooms, as well as potential dining options.

Entry gardens + a dog park were also key features of this concept, as well as a shade structure that could double as an event stage and a smaller interactive water feature. The lawn in this concept would be around 15% smaller than in the first to accommodate the size of the building.

Both concepts use the park’s existing footprint and would condense the amount of parking available in the lot north of the park to primarily ADA and load/unload only spaces.

After a discussion and question period, city commissioners took an informal vote to move forward with the first concept. A timeline is TBA, but an official design will be finalized next, along with estimated project costs. Check out the discussion in this recap. Pro tip: Skip to 37 minutes in.
 
Asked
 
What are your feelings about the new concept for Munn Park?
A. I love it — no notes.
B. I like it, but I have some thoughts.
C. I had a different idea in mind.
 
 
Events
 
Wednesday, May 15
  • Women’s Self-Defense Class | Wednesday, May 15 | 6-7 p.m. | Simpson Park Community Center, 1725 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Lakeland | $12-$38 | Enhance personal safety in this class for women ages 15 and up.
  • Kava Karaoke Night | Wednesday, May 15 | 8 p.m.-3:30 a.m. | SUN KAVA, 5711 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland | Free entry | Show your vocal chops or watch from the sidelines with craft food + kava shells.
Thursday, May 16
  • Ballet Class | Thursday, May 16 | 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Coleman-Bush Building, 1104 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., Lakeland | Free | Kids ages 5-17 will learn basic ballet skills, terminology + more in a supportive, supervised environment.
Friday, May 17
  • Mental Health Community Summit | Friday, May 17 | 8:15 a.m.-12 p.m. | The Well, 114 E. Parker St., Lakeland | Free | Learn from a panel of experts on a variety of mental health topics — refreshments will be provided.
  • Polynesian Celebration | Friday, May 17 | 6-9 p.m. | Bonnet Springs Park, 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd., Lakeland | Free | Celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month through captivating performances + delicious food.
  • Tequila Mockingbird and Addison Panic | Friday, May 17 | 8 p.m. | Union Hall, 1023 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland | $15 | Enjoy a unique evening of music from two of the artists behind local burlesque troupe Moxie La Femme.
Click here to have your event featured.
 
 
News Notes
 
Real Estate
  • Developer Gregory Fancelli is designing a multi-story, mixed-use building at 313 N. Massachusetts Ave. While plans aren’t finalized, drafts show commercial space on the ground floor, residential units on upper floors, a rooftop event space + on-site parking. (The Ledger)
Civic
  • “Neighborhood retail” was a key topic in the city’s strategic planning retreat. Officials shared that adding more “missing middle” housing (think: duplexes + townhomes) and local amenities could ease traffic congestion while increasing neighborhood density. (LkldNow)
Number
  • 50. That’s how many restaurants have inquired about the space once occupied by WACO Kitchen at LAL. While airport officials decide which restaurant is the best fit, they’re considering inviting food trucks to set up shop ahead of Avelo’s commercial flight launch next month. (LkldNow)
Tech
  • PCPS has contracted Verra Mobility to install stop arm camera technology across its 500+ school buses this summer, making it the first county in Florida to use the company’s tech. The company will cover all installation, maintenance, and operation costs for the cameras. (WFLA)
Stat
  • Around 1,300 people are experiencing homelessness in Polk County — a ~60% increase from last year. See how organizations like Polk for Recovery RCO are helping those experiencing both homelessness + mental illness. (WFTS)
Edu
  • The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is looking to add individuals to its roster of substitute crossing guards for the upcoming school year. Lakelanders looking to help can get more details before applying.
Read
  • Team Book or Team Movie? That’s the question in the Larry R. Jackson Branch Library’s new book-to-film club, Lit Flix. Meet to discuss film adaptations of literary works starting on Saturday, May 25 at 1 p.m. — this month’s selection is “The Color Purple.”
Seasonal
  • Keel & Curley’s annual Watermelon Weekend will take place Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m, enjoy kid zones, special wine and cider releases, and wares from local vendors — all while enjoying fresh melon slices. Admission is free + parking is $10.
Plan Ahead
  • Let’s get ready to rumble. WWE will return to the RP Funding Center this summer on Saturday, Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Guests can expect to see superstars from Monday Night Raw like Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Bianca Belair + LA Knight. Tickets start at $20.
Job
Home
  • Did you know you could finance your fixer-upper with home equity? You could get up to $50K with a HELOC — calculate your payment.*
Wellness
  • Cornbread Hemp’s CBD Sleep Gummies are available in two strengths and made with high-quality USDA organic CBD extract. Get 30% off with code CBDSLEEP30.*
Correction
  • Yesterday we said that Continental Realty Corporation purchased Lakeside Village for $3 million. While that’s the cost of upcoming renovations, the purchase price was actually $78 million. Thanks to reader Matt R. — who “enjoys reading LAL every day” — for catching our error.
 
 
Try This
 
Join the club + flash that member card
Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 4.43.28 PM
Bok Tower Gardens’ members get special pricing on regular ticketed events in addition to many other perks. | Photo by @lavender.gooms
Whether you’re looking to become a patron of the arts, spend more time in nature, or learn something new, consider becoming a member at one of these spots around Swan City.

Bok Tower Gardens | $75-$1,000/year
Members receive unlimited year-round admission, discounts on food and gifts, invitations to members-only events, reciprocal admission at 300+ regional and national attractions, and more.

Florida Children’s Museum | $120+/year
Members receive free admission, discounted guest passes, invitations to members-only events, and birthday cards from Blinky. Other Lakeland businesses like Pressed and The Nest also offer perks for FCM members.

Polk Museum of Art | $10/month-$5,000/year
This membership comes with perks like free admission to Bok Tower Gardens + After School Art/ArtLab programs, and savings on spring break and summer camps. Pro tip: Right now, the museum is offering Buy One, Gift One on all memberships.
 
The Buy
 
Graduation gifts. Celebrate the end of the school year with graduation gifts for the recent grad in your life.
 
 
The Wrap
 
Amelia Herring.jpg Today’s edition by:
Amelia
From the editor
One of my goals this year is to try a new hobby. One I’ve been considering is taking up knitting and/or crocheting — anyone up for teaching me? I can return the favor with a (probably poorly) crafted granny square.
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