This article provides information on the status of Boca Raton’s Wildflower Park and Silver Palm Park enhancements as well as information on completion. The city estimates that Wildflower Park will be opened for public use in October 2022.
Silver Palm Park was due to be completed on March 7, 2022; however, the park’s opening was delayed to July 1, 2022.
Back in July of 2020, I wrote our article “Wildflower Past, Present and Future” to provide a history on the Wildflower and Silver Palm Parks. The article also has links to more information on the two projects.
The City of Boca Raton web site also provides updates on these projects here: Wildflower / Silver Palm Park Site | Boca Raton, FL (myboca.us). See their April 13, 2021, update for a description of the features planned for the parks.
The Park That Almost Wasn’t
Along the trail of The High Line in New York City is a little sign that says, “WELCOME TO THE PARK THAT ALMOST WASN’T.” The former use was an elevated freight line destined for demolition and commercialization but a group of engaged residents advocated for the line to become a public park and they won.
Similarly, the Wildflower property was destined for commercialization but a group of motivated Boca Raton residents as well as some city officials envisioned a better use: a downtown waterfront park for the public to enjoy.
In 2016 the question of what to do with the Wildflower and other waterfront properties was put to a vote by the residents of Boca Raton. Almost 30,000 residents voted in favor of keeping Boca’s waterfront properties open for recreation only. The schedule tracker at the end of this article begins after the passage of the 2016 referendum.
As shown in the above pic, Wildflower Park construction is substantially complete. Some interesting facts:
- The wall between the park and the vacant property on the corner of East Palmetto Park Road and Northeast 5th avenue was recently painted.
- A water fountain dispensing chilled water is located at the pavilion. This fountain also has a feature for filling water bottles. This will be handy for park users as well as cyclists and walkers.
- The colorful interactive art feature and splashpad are designed as children’s attractions
- There is a delay in completing the colorful lighting in the connector between the parks due to permitting issues. The bridge is the property of Palm Beach County and county officials have been slow in approving the lighting. At the August 23 meeting the city council voted to send a letter to the Palm Beach County commission requesting expedited approval. The following figure shows the designer’s vision for the lighting.
Silver Palm Park
Silver Palm Park, as shown in the pic below, was opened on July 1st and is complete with the most significant exception being the boat wash stations. The Boca Raton city manager provided an update on the completion of the boat wash stations at the August 23rd city council meeting. He indicated that the stations are awaiting signage and spigot handles for the two stations. The availability of the water spigot handles is being delayed by supply chain issues according to the city manager.
The following progress tracker has been updated to show that Silver Palm Park enhancements were completed on June 30th, a delay from March 7th. The most significant remaining open item needing completion is the boat wash stations.
The tracker is also updated to show that the Wildflower Park enhancements have reached the significant completion milestone of August 13th. Remaining open items include completing the park connector under the bridge, resolving open administrative and punch-list items by September 12th and then opening the park for public use by October 31st.
This article provides updates on completion progress of Wildflower and Silver Palm Park construction projects. BocaFirst will continue to monitor progress of these projects.