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Natural Awakenings Northwest Florida

Renovated Optimist Park Now All-Inclusive

Aug 09, 2018 08:05PM

Optimist Park is Santa Rosa County's most recent recreation area to receive a renovation making it inclusive for people of all abilities. The playground now features a "lumber mill town" theme, with equipment depicting elements of the area's history of river and rail transportation. The 17.8-acre park, located off Old Bagdad Highway at the corner of Parkmore Plaza in Milton, reopened with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 16.

All equipment and components of the renovated park are compliant with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). New, pour-in-place rubberized surfacing makes the play area accessible for all. There are now two groups of age-appropriate ADA-friendly play structures, for children 2 through 5 and 5 through 12, as well as two shade structures and four benches where families can rest. An ADA-compliant sidewalk system provides interconnectivity throughout the majority of the facility, which also features two baseball fields, a pavilion and a dog park.

The project cost of $300,000 was funded through the local option sales tax and Santa Rosa County District 2 recreational dollars. County crews completed the demolition and construction projects while contractors installed equipment and paved the parking lot. ADA upgrades to the walking track and restroom improvements are on schedule for future enhancements.

"We are excited to open another new all-accessible facility for our citizens and their families," says Santa Rosa County Commission Chair Bob Cole. "We invite the public to come see this beautiful new park for themselves."

For more information about the recreational facilities in Santa Rosa County, visit

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