ORLANDO, FL — Lake Lorna Doone Park reopened today following an $8MM renovation that included the addition of the Winnie Palmer Nature Walk and the Arnold Palmer Putting Experience. Supported by the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation, along with other local organizations, the park renovation is part of a larger project to enhance the West Lakes and Parramore areas of Downtown Orlando. Foundation representatives joined Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Regina Hill, representatives from Florida Citrus Sports, Lift Orlando, and others to welcome the park’s new assets. The activities will offer great opportunities for local children and families while affirming the Palmer Foundation’s commitment to support children’s health, character development, and nature-focused wellness.
Winnie Palmer Nature Walk
To facilitate the creation of the Nature Walk, the Palmer Foundation worked closely with City of Orlando Parks Department leaders and recruited educators from the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve (at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania). Piloting some pre-opening programs at the West Lakes Early Learning Center, visions for future outreach, kid-friendly signage to encourage exploration, and content for a soon-to-launch Park website came into focus. Through its sponsorship of the PNC Challenge, Central Florida leadership of PNC Financial Services joined with the Palmer Foundation to provide additional walk funding and support for program development. Aligned to PNC’s award-winning “Grow Up Great” efforts, giving local preschoolers the chance to participate in nature-focused experiences will be a continuing priority.
“My mom and dad loved spending time in Orlando and working alongside other members of the community to enhance Orlando for its children and families,” said Amy Palmer Saunders, Chair of the Palmer Foundation. “Our Foundation is grateful for the opportunity to work closely with PNC’s Central Florida team members and partners on such a worthy endeavor.”
Arnold Palmer Putting Experience
In addition to the financial support provided by the Palmer Foundation for a golf experience for kids and families, architects at the Arnold Palmer Design Company (APDC) stepped forward to create the Arnold Palmer Putting Experience, a free, challenging and fun putting course. Drawing on its work designing more than 300 golf courses around the world, APDC’s design team reinterpreted the back nine holes from Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club, site of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard. Mike Jones with Maverick Golf Design assisted with the shaping of the course, and Tour Greens, APDC’s official synthetic turf partner, supplied the turf and handled the installation. The effort was very much a collaborative and satisfying success—one that should prove engaging for local children and families for years to come.
About the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation
The Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation champions its namesakes’ legacy through grantmaking and initiatives that support children’s health, youth character development and nature-focused wellness. Learn more at PalmerFoundation.org.