Community survey underway for Florence Park in DeFuniak Springs

October 6, 2020

Park eyed for a $200,000 state grant

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. Oct. 6, 2020 – Citizens in DeFuniak Springs are taking advantage of a community-wide survey about what they want to see in their public parks. The survey is being conducted by the recently revived City Beautification and Tree Board as the City prepares a state grant application to upgrade Florence Park at the corner of Clay and South 11th Street.

Florence Park is in the historic district of DeFuniak Springs originally plotted as part of the Florida Chautauqua resort/campus in 1884.  The park is referenced as “Cypress Place” on the original campus map.  The park today is mostly undeveloped with decades-old swing set, slide, jungle gym and round-about, and City staff responded to an opportunity to apply for a $200,000 state grant to upgrade the park.  Members of the City Beautification and Tree Board learned about the grant opportunity and heard recommendations by Dewberry Engineers (the City’s contracted engineering service), Kim Lonas of CHOICE regarding accessible playground equipment for children of all abilities, and one staff member passionate about pickle ball.  The recommendations inspired board members to conduct a community-wide survey about what citizens want to see in all of their parks, not just Florence Park.  The Board is also moving forward with drafting a Parks Master Plan based on public input of the survey.

“We’re delighted to see so much interest in all of our parks,” says City Manager Mell Smigielski.  “The submitted surveys will first benefit our application needs for the Florence Park grant application we are submitting this month, but they will also be critical to our City Beautification and Tree Board, and eventually City Council, as we consider adopting a Parks Master Plan to upgrade all of our parks.  We are getting great suggestions on the surveys we are receiving, some which we had never considered,” he says.

Citizens of DeFuniak Springs may obtain/submit a completed questionnaire in three ways:

  1. Complete and submit an online survey at
  2. Download and print the survey at Scan and email to or mail/deliver to City Manager Mell Smigielski, City Hall, 71 US Highway 90 West, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433
  3. Pick a copy up from the City Manager’s office at City Hall, 71 US Highway 90 West, DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433.

Questions?  Call Public Information Officer Christopher Mitchell at (850) 892-8500, ext. 114.