Volunteers turn drainage ditch into new park in Orlando

About 70 volunteers turned out Saturday to help turn what used to be a drainage ditch into a beautiful new park. They worked through the morning putting finishing touches on the project, that was four years in the making.

Volunteers like Scott Verboncoeur cleaned trash and planted trees around the man-made pond.

“I liked that I helped the environment and helping this place look a little better,” Verboncoeur said. 

The new area was part of Orange County's Barnett Park. Mayor Jerry Demings, cut the ribbon when it was all done.

“I have two of my granddaughters here and that's what it's all about, to make the world a better place for them and their children, yet unborn,” he said.

In before-and-after photos, it was clear that the park had come a long way from what it was. But it's more than just a nice new picnic spot - it also helps the environment.

“What it does is it treats the storm water runoff from the surrounding neighborhood around Barnett Park before the water enters Lake Lawne,” explained Julie Bortles, who works for the county.

The whole project cost about $2 million, 75 percent of that funding came from the state.