A long time in the making but the ‘city within a park’ vision has actually begun. This article reflects on-going progress made towards providing residents and visitors alike with an urban recreational setting along our waterfront in near proximity to Boca Raton’s downtown. ‘It’s Open’ tracks that progress. Sister articles in this BocaWatch edition ponder on and reflect the possibilities when quality of life opportunities share center stage with economic development goals. Thank you to the residents who have fought so hard to achieve this sea change in the direction of previous and current elected officials; officials elected to represent the interests of the residents.
Al Zucaro, Publisher
This article presents some updated information regarding Wildflower Park progress. The tracker graphic included toward the end of this article has been updated accordingly. Past update articles are included for reference in Attachment 1. Following is a brief update discussion on each of the open phases.
Residents have been asking for Wildflower Park to be opened as a passive park while the long term EDSA comprehensive waterfront study is proceeding. The park was officially opened on Monday, November 27, 2017!
Similar to 2016, the park will be enhanced with bleachers, etc., to accommodate Holiday Boat Parade viewing on December 16, 2017. The boat parade will start at 6:30 PM at the North end of the City at the C-15 canal and proceed South on the Intracoastal Waterway to the Hillsboro Bridge. The Palmetto Park Bridge will close at 7:20 PM for the parade.
There are pedestrian-scale entrances from under the bridge and Palmetto Park Road and a vehicle-sized entrance from NE 5th Avenue. At this point the park is actually the remnants of the Wildflower restaurant parking lot with some benches added at the seawall. The plan is for this to be an interim design until the recommendations from the comprehensive waterfront study are implemented. Although the scope of the comprehensive waterfront study includes all of Boca Raton’s waterfront parks, the study will have a large impact on the final design of Wildflower Park.
The City’s consultant on the waterfront study, EDSA, is planning to present their report and conceptual mater plan at the December 11, 2017 City Council Workshop Meeting.
Another consultant, Applied Technology and Management Inc. has been contracted to design and help manage the construction of a new seawall at Wildflower Park. The contract is for $86,862 and the new seawall is scheduled to be completed in September, 2018 with post-construction project certification due to be complete in November, 2018.
To fund the seawall construction and implementation of Wildflower Park enhancements recommended in the comprehensive waterfront study, a Wildflower Park line item is included in the City’s Capital Improvement Budget. The amount allocated for FY2017/2018 is $1.5M and for FY2018/2019 $2.8M has been budgeted.
Since the seawall design and construction project is starting before decisions have been made on the final design of the park, it will be necessary for the seawall project to track the progress of the park design project to ensure that the seawall design includes any changes driven by the final park design. This was discussed at the November 28, 2017 City Council meeting and the city manager indicated that the seawall design will be consistent with the park design.
Attachment 1 – Prior Wildflower Park Progress Tracking Articles