Orlando's Lake Lorna Doone Park is getting a makeover

Lake Lorna Doone Park is about to undergo a major facelift. 

Tuesday, the City of Orlando broke ground on the $8 million park renovation funded by the city and private donors.

“Elation, I’m pinching myself, I’m in disbelief,” said Tangia Smikle, a resident.

Smikle was overjoyed that her neighborhood park is about to see a major enhancement.

“This is going to be on par with Lake Eola Park,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

Upgrades include a splash pad, a walking loop with fitness stations and a playground that is inclusive of children with special needs.

Smikle is most thankful for the inclusive playground, because her 19-year-old daughter has special needs.

She remembers bringing her daughter to the park as a child and being limited.

“I’d watch my daughter trying to climb over the bark that you see behind me, the challenges she had with her developmental delays, nothing really to play on,” Smikle said.

Soon, there will be a park for everyone to enjoy and make many more memories.

“This is a historic park and you heard people talk about playing here as a child, people that are now 40, 50 and 60 years old,” Mayor Dyer said.

Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill hopes the project will be a reminder of the city’s commitment to improving neighborhoods for everyone.

“This shows the commitment to the community, that as we continue to build buildings here in District 5, do improvements at Camping World Stadium, that we haven’t forgotten them also,” Commissioner Hill said. 

The project expected to be completed by June of next year.