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Groundbreaking held for Crystal Lake Park

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Feb 26, 2024

City officials and stakeholders turn the dirt during the groundbreaking of Crystal Lake Park on Friday. CHUCK BALLARO

When completed, Crystal Lake Park is expected to be one of the gems of Cape Coral’s park system, offering amenities one might find on a coastal beach.

The city invited the public to see the vision Friday as officials broke ground for the park in the northwest Cape, which has been pushed back by years, first by the pandemic and then Hurricane Ian.

Hundreds turned out as the facility will provide those in this underserved area a place to go for recreation or just to see the sunset.

Kevin Black, chairman for the park committee for the Northwest Neighborhood Association, believes this will be one of the best parks in Cape Coral when completed.

“This park will have unique amenities that most parks don’t. They’ll have walking paths around the lake, the ability to do diving and the beach in the corner,” Black said. “You’ll be able to see beautiful sunsets and sunrises over Charlotte Harbor from the hilltop. It’s truly an amazing park.”

Cape Coral councilmember Keith Long speaks during the groundbreaking of Crystal Lake Park on Friday. CHUCK BALLARO

Melissa Mickey, communications manager for the city, said this is one of the best parts of living in a growing city.

“Seeing new projects pop up that are closer to your home or seeing something with amenities that are exciting to you,” Mickey said. “This park will have amenities that the other parks don’t.”

Crystal Lake Park will also have a shaded picnic area, fitness stations, a fitness playground for kids, and boat, kayak, and canoe launch.

The park is expected to open in the spring of 2025 at a cost of $17 million, which is much higher than originally budgeted for because of the delays and the sharp increase in costs.

District 6 Councilmember Keith Long said he was excited to have a facility like this for the community and his family.

“To be able to bring something like this to the neighborhood and give them a place to gather and enjoy everything Florida has to offer is something we’re excited about,” Long said.

In 2018, Cape Coral voters approved a $60 million expansion of the city’s parks and recreation amenities. The approved 15-year general obligation bond was intended to fund major parks and recreation improvements throughout the city.

“These parks bring people together as neighbors. They get to know each other and walk together or their dogs together. This will be no different,” Black said. “It’s a good fit for the area and there’s not much out here.”

Among the parks to be funded by the GO bond, six parks have opened – Giuffrida Park, Del Prado Linear Park, Gator Trails Park, Sands Park and Joe Coviello Park with the improvements at Cultural Park also completed.

The contract for Festival Park was awarded last week for a total budget of $17,829,987.