City providing large-scale park in Torino for family recreation
BY KERRY FIRTH
Residents of Torino are anxiously awaiting the opening of the new Winterlakes Neighborhood Park. Construction on the 28-acre park began in October 2019 with an expected completion early this fall. The city’s newest park will provide residents and their furry friends new opportunities to play and stay fit.
The park, at 5241 NW Jennebo St., features two practice baseball/softball fields, a basketball court pavilion, four pickle ball courts and two tennis courts. A walking/jogging trail will encircle the perimeter with 10 fitness stations to enhance workouts. A large open field will be available for multiple purposes like soccer or football and a large picnic pavilion will be perfect for family and group gatherings.
Kids will enjoy a new playground equipped with shade sails and a protective rubberized safety surface. Dogs will have their own space as well, with a newly constructed dog park. Two Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant restrooms and a maintenance building will complete the first phase of the project. Fishing will be allowed in all areas of the park.
The park is designed to utilize the existing infrastructure that was put in place when the property was leased to St. Lucie School District from 2007 through 2012 as a temporary school site. The district had already cleared and graded the property, designed and permitted the storm water collection system and wet retention pond, installed underground drainage, parking lots and a sidewalk. An open-sided gymnasium brought water, sewer and electric to the site and a playground was constructed.
“When the lease ended, the parks and recreation department assumed all the maintenance responsibilities for the property,” said Brad Keen, assistant director of Port St. Lucie Parks and Recreation. “We saw the opportunity to give a facelift, expand the existing infrastructure and create a very large neighborhood park.
“This is the city’s first neighborhood park since the construction of the Woodlands Trail Park in 2018,” he added. “It’s also one of the largest.”
The Trust for Public Land, in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association and the Urban Land Institute, created the 10-minute walk initiative to ensure there’s a great park within a 10-minute walk of every person, in every neighborhood, in every city across America.
“We strive to fulfill those goals but Port St. Lucie has grown so rapidly that we’ve had to stretch that walk zone out to 15 or 20 minutes,” said Keen.
Currently the Port St. Lucie Parks and Recreation system includes more than 46 parks encompassing 1,516 acres of parkland, equating to 1 park for every 3,913 residents.
In July 2018, the parks and recreation department looked to the future and began a yearlong planning process assessing needs and priorities from residents with the goal of creating a long-range vision. More than 1,200 residents participated in the process by attending workshops and focus group meetings and completing mail and online surveys. A 10-year Parks and Recreation Master Plan was adopted by the City Council in July 2019.
To read the 10-year master plan, visit www.cityofpsl.com/capra.