Guide to Polk  

Dobbins Park

HOURS: Daylight

LOCATION: 514 W. Ariana St., Lakeland

FEATURES: A toddler playground and regular playground, bathroom with changing station, basketball court, three covered areas with picnic tables and grills, a bike rack and eight swings.

For information, call 863-499-6090.
LAKELAND | Dobbins Park has a little bit everything.

One of the oldest in the city, the 10-acre Dixieland park offers two playgrounds, covered pavilions, a paved walking path, basketball and volleyball courts and a large green field.

The neighborhood park opened in 1954 but received a $450,000 addition in 1994 for children's and preschool playground equipment.

Dixieland Elementary School uses a large covered pavilion built by the Polk County School District for its physical education classes. In addition, teachers use the pavilion for lunch on occasion.

Dixieland Principal Debbie Henderson said the school has an agreement with the city to use a portion of the park.

Henderson praised the park's beauty.

"There are crape myrtles right outside my window," Henderson said.

Pam Page, assistant director of Lakeland Parks and Recreation, said the renovation of Dobbins helped revitalize the neighborhood.

"The park serves as a gathering space for the neighborhood," Page said.

On a recent morning, people could be seen walking the 1/2-mile path around freshly mown grass. A young girl played at a playground as her parents watched.

For nearly six decades, the park at Ariana Street and Camphor Drive has been the site for kids to run through the grass, swing, or climb trees.

The park was dedicated for Mayor and City Commissioner L. Guerry Dobbins, who retired in 1967 after 19 years of city service.

In 1979 voters narrowly defeated a bond issue question on whether to build a swimming pool and gymnasium there.

Henderson, teachers and residents in the community enjoy walking the track after work.

One thing the park is missing are two basketball rims.

Henderson said that's planned. School officials don't want people playing basketball near the school while school is in session.

"We want to keep the area safe for the children," Henderson said.

[ John Chambliss can be reached at or 863-802-7588. ]

Created: April 20, 2013 11:59 p.m.
Modified: April 20, 2013 11:59 p.m.
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