Suwannee Democrat

Local News

November 30, 2012

Heritage Park and Gardens

A vision for a new regional park

Live Oak — What do you do with a 75-acre tract of land that that looks like a park? Simple. You give it a fancy name and open it to the public.

The beautiful Live Oak estate which is now known as Heritage Park and Gardens was purchased by the city of Live Oak, this year, using a grant from the Florida Communities Trust. The property, formerly known as the Crapps Estate, is within Live Oak city limits on Helvenston Street. At one time barely visible from the street, the mansion and gardens are now easily seen, thanks to the extensive grooming efforts of volunteers and prison work crews. The park is being managed by a volunteer citizens’ group known as the Friend’s of Heritage Park and Gardens. Community support both financially and physically has been very encouraging and very much appreciated, as this new project develops.

According to Friend Ronnie Poole, the park will be open to the public for picnicking and enjoyment of the lush green grounds later this month. Plans are also underway for use of the park for private venues such as weddings, reunions and corporate retreats. Heritage Park is also an ideal location for festivals and open air music concerts.

The long-term vision for the property is that of a regional park that would become a destination location for passive events, as well as an active recreational site. The conceptual master plan (see related photos, right side. Click on image.) is an ambitious long-term vision of how the property could be developed.

The area around the Crapps Mansion would be initially developed with parking, playgrounds, picnic areas, and an event area. Long-term plans include a fitness trail and even an education center with a recreated cracker village and demonstration farm. The property west of the mansion would be an active area with ball fields, a playground, dog park and ponds.

Heritage Park and Gardens is a place that must be seen to be appreciated. This is a park unlike anything else in Live Oak and our immediate area.

For information about the park contact The Friends of Heritage Park and Gardens on Facebook at HeritageParkAndGardens. Their monthly meeting takes place on the first Tuesday of the month at 8:30 a.m., at the Crapps Mansion. The public is welcomed and encouraged to attend.


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