What Orlando is talking about
The Orlando Land Trust said Tuesday that it had successfully raised the $3.25 million needed to purchase a lot of land on the corner of Rosalind Avenue and Central Boulevard. Their intent is to turn the lot — which currently encompasses a 7-Eleven, a locksmith and a former barber shop —w into an open green space.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Orlando Land Trust by now. It’s made headlines a few times these last two years in its uphill battle to fight off new big development from coming to Lake Eola.
Orlandoans have had mixed feelings from the start.
For some background, the Orlando Land Trust is a non-profit started by two Orlando residents, Lynn Long and Eugenia Sefcik. With the help of philanthropist Ted Haddock, these self-described little old ladies raised the funds to purchase the property and keep a big developer from putting in a new 28-story multi-use building.
"We have said all along that this issue is about protecting the quality of life we all enjoy here in Orlando. Cities are living, breathing things, and while growth is important, so is protecting the city's heart and soul," Long said.
The land trust has donated the land to the City of Orlando’s Community Redevelopment Agency with the stipulation that it must be used solely as a park or open green space.
The city is thrilled with the purchase.
“I have great respect and gratitude to Lynn and Eugenia for not only their dedicated efforts to secure this key piece of land near our Lake Eola Park, but also for their vision to gift this to the city and allow us to incorporate it into future green space, giving us the opportunity to expand the amenities of our crown jewel park for future generations to come and enjoy,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
Meanwhile, Orlandoans in the “Smart Growth Central Florida” Facebook group have since raised some good and controversial points about what having a green space really means.
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