August 15, 2022
Nearly 100 visitors recently came to Orange County Parks and Recreation’s Magnolia Park to celebrate the addition of new facilities on 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 jetty, dock, pavilion, inclusive playground, additional parking and interpretive signage.
“Magnolia Park has long been a camping gem for residents and visitors, and now the park is even more welcoming,” said Mayor Jerry L. Demings. “We are grateful for the hard work and dedication of our community to make this project possible.”
Orange County District 2 Commissioner Christine Moore expressed pride in the new Eco Education Center. “Environmental education is an integral part of the landscape of our parks,” Moore said. “The Eco Education Center will allow us to enhance and add educational offerings.”
Friends of Lake Apopka (FOLA), a Lake Apopka restoration advocacy group, helped develop an educational exhibit to show the history of the lake, including the long-term effects of local fertilizers in the water system and the progress of the lake’s health.
“In addition to the FOLA Lake History exhibit, we will be offering Florida plants, wildlife and conservation programs,” said Matt Suedmeyer, manager of Orange County Parks and Recreation. “We’re excited to see what the Eco Education Center adds to the overall experience and ready to bring all the new amenities to our visitors.”
Other partners included the Orange Audubon Society, Bloom and Grow Garden Society, Commercial Media Systems, Winter Garden Heritage Foundation, St. Johns River Water Management District, Florida Native Plant Society, 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, this District 2 project has been allocated $4.1 million.