Magnolia Park Opens New Eco Education Center Building
Nearly 100 visitors recently came to Orange County Parks and Recreation’s Magnolia Park to celebrate the addition of new amenities along the east shore of Lake Apopka. Mayor Jerry L. Demings, District 2 Commissioner Christine Moore and other officials cut the ribbon on August 8, 2022, for an Eco Education Center, restroom facilities, fishing and mooring pier, dock, pavilion, inclusive playground, additional parking and interpretive signage.
“Magnolia Park has long been a jewel for camping for residents and visitors and now the park is even more inviting,” said Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “We are thankful for the hard work and dedication from our community to make this project possible.”
Orange County District 2 Commissioner Christine Moore expressed her pride in the new Eco Education Center. “Environmental education is a vital part of our parks’ landscape,” said Moore. “The Eco Education Center will allow us to enhance and add educational opportunities.”
Friends of Lake Apopka (FOLA), an advocacy group for the restoration of Lake Apopka, helped develop an educational display to show the lake’s history, including the long-term effects of local fertilizers in the water system and progress of the lake’s health.
“In addition to FOLA’s display on the lake’s history, we will offer programs on Florida plants, wildlife and conservation,” explained Matt Suedmeyer, manager of Orange County Parks and Recreation. “We’re excited about what the Eco Education Center adds to the overall experience and are ready to serve our visitors with all of the new amenities.”
Other partners included the Orange Audubon Society, the Bloom and Grow Garden Society, Commercial Media Systems, the Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, the St. Johns River Water Management District, the Florida Native Plant Society, the Apopka Historical Society and the Museum of Florida History.
A public meeting was held in October 2016 to share the plans with citizens. As part of Orange County’s INVEST in Our Home for Life program, $4.1 million was budgeted for this District 2 project.