In December of 2006, the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency purchased a 113 acre site in southwest Tallahassee for stormwater treatment and wetland mitigation associated with the Capital Circle Northwest/Southwest roadway project. The parcel provides a habitat for a variety of native flora and fauna and is located within the Bradford Brook Watershed and the Wakulla Springs Basin. Although previously known as the “Delta Industrial Site,” the area’s importance to the native wildlife and water quality was recognized by the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency. In 2012, the Tallahassee City Commission voted to name the future park after Commissioner Debbie Lightsey to recognize her service to the community and dedication to protecting the local environment. Although funding to construct the park is not yet available, the Intergovernmental Agency has approved $50,000 for the design of the Debbie Lightsey Nature Park.
Conceptual Park Design
Blueprint was approached by the Tallahassee Section of the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) who offered to donate their services to develop the concept design for the Debbie Lightsey Nature Park. Contributing ASLA Chapter members, including Patrick Hodges, Steve Roberts, Jeremy Floyd, Hilda Gilchrist, and Tom O’Steen, dedicated numerous personal hours to developing the concept. The ASLA Chapter’s contributions have been instrumental to the development of the conceptual park design, which includes:
- “Rake and Ride” trails for mountain biking
- Sheltered picnic areas
- Wetland boardwalks & ADA accessible trails
- Natural habitat & water protection info
- Creation of multiple greenway connections
- Vehicular access via Capital Circle
The conceptual park design will be discussed at these upcoming public meetings:
Blueprint Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) Meeting:
June 2, 2016
Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency (IA) Meeting:
June 20, 2016
The conceptual park design is proposed for approval at the June 20th IA meeting; if approved, Blueprint will move forward with design of the Debbie Lightsey Nature Park. Although construction funding has not been allocated at this time, Blueprint is pursuing grant opportunities including the National Recreation and Parks Association Grant. The winner of this grant will be announced on June 30th.