The best thing about a new park is that unlike a building, you don't need an official grand opening to begin using it.
That's exactly what's happened with Mullet Creek Park, the new greenspace on the outskirts of downtown Safety Harbor that is basically complete but hasn't had its official dedication ceremony yet.
The reason behind the delay is a good one; the city commission scrapped the original plans for the playground equipment in favor of a design more fitting with the theme of the park.
"The playground equipment has been approved, it's being manufactured now, and it should be ready to be installed sometime in April," community planner Ana Mena said at the site on Friday.
"But the park is open for use, and you can see, people are already taking advantage of it."
Indeed a handful of people were milling around the park grounds on Friday; a mother and daughter swinging on the wooden swing; a man resting during a bike ride; and an Ohio family enjoying a relaxing day while visiting relatives who live across the street.
Barb Gourley said her grandsons chose to play at the park instead of going to Busch Gardens even though they leave for Ohio on Saturday.
"My husband and I live across the street while we're here for the winter, and we just love this place," she said. "There's always people here, but at night it's very quiet and peaceful."
While the installation of the playground equipment - and the dedication ceremony - are still a couple of months away, there's still plenty to see at the park.
Butterflies are already starting to inhabit the trees in the common garden, there's a variety of art all throughout the park, and there are many chairs and benches to relax on while reading or taking in the sights.
It makes for a place that feels like a green oasis right near the middle of town.
"The park is just beautiful," Gourley said. "They did a wonderful job with it."
- Mullet Creek Park Nears Completion
- Garden Club Contributes to Mullet Creek Park
- Safety Harbor 'Treasure' to Have Park Dedicated in Her Honor
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