Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership

 
                     

 

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MILL SITE PARK                                          

The Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership (Partnership) has facilitated the development of the Bagdad Mill Site Park since 2005.  In 2006, the Partnership facilitated a visioning workshop with Santa Rosa County.  Community members toured the site and took part in surveys and group exercises that identified what they would like to see at the site.

The Partnership received a technical assistance grant from the Florida Department of Community Affairs in 2007 to conduct a study of the retaining wall along the river's edge. The retaining wall assessment was the first step in determining what improvements were possible at the mill site. The assessment provided recommendations for development of the Bagdad Heritage Trail, boardwalks and walkways throughout the park.

In 2008, the Partnership assisted Santa Rosa County to contract with a landscape architect to create a Master Plan for the park that incorporated the community input from the vision plan.  The plan identifies the locations of fishing piers, picnic areas and the Bagdad Heritage Trail that will eventually connect with the Blackwater Heritage Trail in Milton.

Throughout 2009, the Partnership organized volunteers to plant 81 large native trees throughout the park and install an irrigation system to support the plantings.  The Partnership's volunteer efforts saved Santa Rosa County thousands of dollars in labor.  More than 200 volunteer hours were logged during this effort. To view pictures of the work days, visit our Photos page.

The Partnership adopted the Bagdad Mill Site Park through Santa Rosa Clean Community System's "Adopt A Spot" program.  In 2009, the Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership provided more volunteer hours at the Mill Site Park than any other Florida Office of Greenways and Trails park in the state.

The site remains closed due to safety reasons. Santa Rosa County plans to demolish the vacant concrete buildings and plan for pier construction in mid-2010. 

    

History of the Mill Site

Located at the confluence of Pond Creek and Blackwater River, the Bagdad Mill Site Park was once location of the Bagdad Lumber Mill that operated on the 20-acre site for more than a century until it closed in 1939.  It wasn’t until the early 1970s that industrial waterfront activity returned to Bagdad with the opening of a concrete plant at the old lumber mill site.  In 1995, an asphalt plant began operation on the mill site, eventually leaving the area in 1999 because of unsuccessful attempts to acquire a submerged land lease needed for continued operation.  Targeted with lawsuits for pollution and destruction of protected natural resources, the company eventually donated the 20-acre waterfront tract to the State of Florida for use as a park. The site was left littered with debris and vacant buildings that were further damaged by hurricanes and vandals. Santa Rosa County subleased the site from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Greenways and Trails in 2005.  Although agreed the property would be developed for use as a passive use park, two active hurricane seasons left the county with minimal resources to develop the site.  The Partnership continues to assist Santa Rosa County in the park's development. To find out how you can help, please contact us through the information below.

 

For More Information:                             

Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership, Inc. BagdadWaterfronts@gmail.com
P.O. Box 801, Bagdad, FL 32530
(850) 981-9915

 

 

 

 

Bagdad Mill Site Master Plan

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Bagdad Mill Site Park Pictures