Lake County introduces unique playground to Central Florida
Lake Idamere Park is located at 12335 County Road 448, Tavares. The Children’s Foundation of Lake County continues to collect private donations to add additional features to the boundless playground. For more information, call (352) 253-4950.
There is magic happening in Central Florida and anyone who pays a visit to Lake Idamere Park can feel the excitement.
Elected officials from Lake County, City of Tavares and the State of Florida celebrated the grand opening of a playground at the 43-acre lakeside park in December 2006. Typically, a dedication of a new play area doesn’t attract hundreds of visitors and a host of distinguished guests, including newly elected state Gov. Charlie Crist.
“This playground is a one-of-a-kind facility in Central Florida,” said County Commissioner Debbie Stivender. “This project will benefit all County citizens with special needs as well as being a focal point for all local children who enjoy a state-of-the-art playground.”
Unlike any other playground in Central Florida, Lake Idamere’s boundless playground is specifically designed to assure that children of all abilities are able to play in a safe area created to meet their special needs. The specialized playground equipment with a pour-in-place rubber foundation can be enjoyed by children with physical challenges without leaving their support equipment.
The $700,000 project, which was first introduced to Lake County in March 2004 when Gov. Jeb Bush and County Commissioners held a groundbreaking ceremony, took several years to develop. To provide support for the project, the Lake County Children’s Services Council and the Children’s Foundation of Lake County raised $73,000 in private donations for the playground.
Lake County provided more than $400,000 for the project and also received a $200,000 matching grant from the state in October 2004 for the boundless playground. Even with the state grant and private donations, development slowed due to the sheer cost of the specialized playground equipment, which ranges between $300-5,000 per piece. The Parks & Trails Division maximized the allocated funds for the project by completing as much work as possible in-house, such as site prep work and landscaping.
“It is finally here, the day we all dreamed about,” said Emily Lee, Director of the Lake County Children’s Services Council. “The project to assist in raising private donations to the build the boundless playground was a dream Candy Giddens had for her daughter Ashton. She was tired of taking her daughter to the park and watching other children play.”