The City of Lake Wales Horticulture Department is in full swing installing plants and flowers in Lake Wales.
300 Florida native plants and 1,052 Florida friendly plants have been planted in select areas, such as the Stuart Avenue and Scenic Highway parking lot, downtown Linear Park and the Lake Wales Family YMCA.
“We’re kicking up the charm in the city,” Lake Wales Horticulturist Lester Gulledge said. “This is the first of many upcoming horticulture projects,” he noted.
The plantings are part of the City’s Lake Wales Connected Plan — a community-based vision for the future. The plan focuses heavily on the integration of trees and multiuse trails in the city.
The horticulture department plans to landscape the new 3,000-foot Park Avenue Connector Trail this fall. Landscape design plans for the trail include new cathedral live oaks, flowering perennials and ornamental grasses.
“Many of the plants we use attract pollinators,” Gulledge said. “We want our plants to flourish. Birds, butterflies and bees transfer tiny grains of pollen among plants, helping the growth of flowers,” he added.
Next up for the horticulture department is the installation of 125 trees along Rails to Trails, a multiuse trail that runs between Scenic Highway and Buck Moore Road.
“It’s exciting to see progress being made,” Assistant to the City Manager Michael Manning said. “We’re paying homage to the city’s original visionaries and landscape architects led by Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.,” he mentioned.
Gulledge, a certified arborist is responsible for the City's first all-inclusive tree assessment policy that has preserved healthy trees and identified unhealthy trees for removal.