Land O’ Lakes park and community center have a new name

The Pasco County Commission has renamed the community center and park in Land O’ Lakes as the Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park.

Commissioners adopted the new name on Nov. 7, at the request of Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore.

“They are trying to have more of an identity in that area,” said Moore. “I think they’ll be excited by this.”

Heritage Stage made its debut in August as community, school, business and civic leaders had a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Land O’ Lakes park and community center also now have a new name – Land O’ Lakes Heritage Park. (File)

Moore said he consulted with members of the board of directors for the Heritage Foundation before making the suggestion.

The word “heritage,” it appears, is becoming a unifier in that effort.

A newly built Heritage Stage made its debut in August at the park.

And, the Heritage Park Foundation, is a longtime voice of advocacy for the community at large, as well as the park.

The foundation grew out of initial efforts to preserve the parkland, and later attempts to raise money to build a stage for community gatherings at the park.

The completion of the stage marked a major milestone for the foundation, which had long pushed for improving opportunities for community unity, through social gatherings in the park.

More is on the way as the foundation plans to install a story board to honor Land O’ Lakes’ history, and the park. “There’s a history of the park being a community-built park,” said Sandy Graves, who spearheaded efforts to get the stage.

She is working with local historian Susan MacManus on the story board.

The outdoor stage was built through a partnership between Pasco County, Pasco County Schools, the Florida legislature, local businesses and volunteers.

A Pops in the Park holiday performance, featuring the brass section of the Florida Orchestra, is planned for December.

The new name could have another benefit.

For years, the Land O’ Lakes Community Center has been located at 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., and the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex, at 3032 Collier Parkway.

The similarity of names has been a source of confusion.

“I can’t tell you how many times I’d hear people say ‘I thought it was at the rec center’,” Graves said.

There was some discussion about renaming the park Heritage Park, but keeping the name of the community center intact.

Paula O’ Neil, Pasco’s clerk of court and comptroller, favored renaming the entire complex to create greater clarity. County commissioners and county staff also supported one name.

With the name change, that leaves a well-worn sign outside the community center, with the old name.

That’s not expected to last long.

“You’ve renamed the park. So, get ready for a new sign,” Moore said.

Published November 15, 2017

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