From trash to treasure – Admiral Lehigh Trailhead Park
Blogger David Bulit has made his name by presenting forgotten places as compelling photographic subjects at his online project called Abandoned Florida. Once-vibrant homes, schools, theaters and open lots are displayed strewn with trash, covered in graffiti and grown-over with weeds as if the earth is attempting to reclaim its due. While such images are fascinating to look at online or in a coffee table art book, they’re not what you want to see on your way to work or in your own backyard.
Admiral Lehigh Golf Resort might have been a fitting subject for Mr. Bulit’s site, but Lee County and the citizens of Lehigh Acres had a better idea: transform this dilapidated golf course into a beautiful park that would become a community treasure for many decades to come. EnSite provided the civil engineering and landscape architecture for the project, and assisted with the design and permitting.
Today the paved trail at Admiral Lehigh Trailhead Park provides a great place to walk, jog or wheel around the three-acre wildflower prairie, where butterflies and birds are in abundance. Picnic pavilions provide shelter to escape the heat and take in the sights and sounds of nature. Photographers, families, bird watchers and dog walkers enjoy this park. Native plants abound, exotic species have been eliminated, and most of the existing trees were preserved. Many sustainable principles help support a beautiful, natural space that will allow future generations to enjoy our accessible, functional interpretation of what nature has intended.