LEESBURG – Lake County’s Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve (PEAR Park), located at 4800 University Ave. in Leesburg, received the Florida Native Plant Society’s 2011 Ecosystem Restoration Landscape Award for its Garden Pavilion.
Since the park’s inception, the participation and hard work of Parks & Trails staff and PEAR Association volunteers have been instrumental in turning visions into realities.
Each year at its annual conference, the Florida Native Plant Society gives awards for high quality native plant landscapes. The awarding criteria is based on the project’s concept and goals, use of native plants, relationship to surrounding native plant communities, preservation of any existing native plants, an educational component for neighbors and visitors, creative solutions to significant obstacles and planning for ongoing management of the landscape.
The judges consisted of Florida Native Plant Society members who are in the fields of landscape design, environmental permitting and restoration, and native plant nursery ownership, as well as well-educated homeowners.
PEAR Park is the largest County park at 318 acres. The back 268 acres feature gardensfocusing on wildlife, as well as scrub and meadow restoration areas. This portion of the park also boasts a community garden, native butterfly garden, xeric garden, two scenic pavilions and access to 4 miles of hiking and nature trails. The front 50 acres contains a playground, ball fields and dog park.
For more information about PEAR Park’s Ecosystem Restoration Landscape Award, call the Lake County Parks & Trails Division at (352) 253-4950, email firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.lakecountyfl.gov/parks.