Water-Related News

'Soft' opening soon for massive Seven Wetlands Park in Lakeland

The first phase of the largest park in Lakeland’s system may “soft open” as soon as February.

The first of two phases of Seven Wetlands Park, stylized as “Se7en Wetlands,” has been completed except for signage necessary to prevent hikers in its 8.5 miles of rustic trails from getting lost.

Once the signs are installed, the park will be open for operation, Deputy Parks Director Pam Page told commissioners Friday.

“That’s to avoid the ‘Seven Wetlands maze’ idea,” Mayor Bill Mutz joked.

The 1,640-acre park is named for its original purpose as a water treatment wetland, a function that will continue. It will be accessible from two Polk County parks near Mulberry: Lakeland Highlands Scrub Preserve and Loyce Harpe Park.

As the park lies outside of Lakeland’s corporate limits, and will be as much a county amenity as a Lakeland one, the city relied on state funding to build it.