The Apopka City Council voted 5-0 yesterday to accept a $120,000 grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to create recreational trails at Kit Land Nelson Park. The improvements also include additional parking spots adjacent to the park. The grant required an $80,000 match from the City, which will come from unused funds from various departments that go to the general fund.

A separate grant will allow the city to create a new playground for the park. Construction of public bathrooms is underway, and the city is moving forward with plans to build a water play area for children.

“We brought Dr. Jackson in to attract grants to the City, and she’s done an outstanding job,” said Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer. “This is an opportunity to enhance the park, make it more useful, successful, and bring additional people to the park. I think it’s a great opportunity.”

Dr. Shakenya Harris-Jackson is the grant and neighborhood services coordinator for the City of Apopka. She facilitated the grant with the FDEP, and has worked with the City of Apopka since March of 2015.

According to the information packet provided by the City for the August 16th meeting, on March 15, 2017, City Council approved the second reading of Ordinance No. 2561 which amended the Capital Improvement Plan to include the fitness trail/track in Kit Land Nelson Park as it was a requirement of the grant application process. The FDEP awarded the City $120,000 to Construct a 10′ X 2,900 Linear Foot concrete fitness trail in Kit Land Nelson Park with the installation of additional landscaping, lighting, and parking spaces. The fitness trail will support non-motorized activities such as bicycling, skating, walking, and fitness activities. The Match requirement is $80,000. The estimated project cost is $200,000.

According to the packet, each fiscal year employee positions within the General Fund are vacant. Although fully funded within the budget, a portion is always left over. A recent check of these accounts show there will be much more than the required match left over at September 30, 2017 that can be transferred to the Grant Fund for this specific use.

Note – The City of Apopka Public Information Office contributed to this report.


  1. So the splash pad is project is now going to be bid on one more time (the 3rd time) per the Apopka City Council vote based on the city attorney’s recommendation. I wonder how the next bid fiasco will play out? Will the same two bidders last time put in their re-bids, and will their plans and bids remain the same or change? Will another bidder enter the picture, or multiple bidders that haven’t bid before? It is going to be interesting for sure. The 2nd bid process was revealed with plans and bid estimates before the council. The cat is out of the bag, so to speak. Potential new bidders and/or previous bidders know what the previous plans were, that were presented, as well as what figures their rival company bid. Sealed bids amounts were previously revealed, so how is it going to go next time? Stay tuned, as the splash pad soap opera continues……….

  2. What a shame other boy scout troop members earning their Eagle scout badges weren’t allowed to work in a group project to get their multiple Eagle scout badges to build the community splash pad….LOL! The splash pad would have been already built, with their seeking out expert’s help for free, and kids would be already using it, and the final cost figures would have been at an all time low for any city splash pad anywhere around, and those boy scouts would have been able to cut right through all that boring administrative red tape, and legal mumbo jumbo…LOL…. but of course, they couldn’t bid, and anyway, that would have been too logical of a solution.

  3. I saw that alligator spray head on one of the Apopka websites, from a stock picture of a splash pad, I assume, that thing was so cute!


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