Orange Park, FL

Orange Park approves a plan to open Bradley Park to the public

Julie Morgan
Bradley Park dedication ceremonyPhoto byClay County BCC Facebook Page

The Town of Orange Park has set March 1 as a tentative opening date for Bradley Park Conservation at Nelson Point.

Town Manager Sarah Campbell said at Tuesday night’s meeting that they’ve been working on a plan to open the park safely. She outlined a list of items that should be completed before they can open the park. One of those items was a community cleanup day on Saturday, February 18.

“The reason we picked Feb. 18 is it’s the town’s birthday. It is 144 years old on Feb. 18, so we thought it would be a good way to celebrate the town’s anniversary/birthdate with a community cleanup event.”

Public works will work on other items on the list, such as cleaning up metal and concrete. In addition, they’ve been tasked with filling in ruts left by equipment on the property.

Mayor Randy Anderson commented about involving as many residents as possible so that the town can “get this done and get it open so people can start enjoying it.”

Vice-mayor Alan Watt was on board with the plan saying, “Let’s make it secure, make it safe,” he said.

If you remember, last year Bradley Park was a point of contention.

Residents appeared before the council upset after many trees were removed. The tree removal was supposed to include only those that were diseased, dying, or invasive.

After the tree removal, the environmental quality board presented to the council a tree replanting plan. The plan included planting more than 30 trees in a two-phased approach.

The town has been working since the park's dedication in January 2020 to open it for public access. They are addressing a number of projects, including a parking lot, fence, public restrooms, replacement of culverts, and sewer connection, among others.

The property 10-acre property was purchased through Florida Forever funds and will remain a nearly-natural park in perpetuity.

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