Guide to Polk  

Nye Jordan Park

PROS: Admission is free; variety of recreational opportunities, including basketball, tennis and playground; pavilions are available for rent; on-site restrooms; pets are allowed.

CONS: No air-conditioned areas; alcoholic beverages are prohibited; limited parking.
Nye Jordan Park in Bartow is the kind of place that could have leaped from a Norman Rockwell canvas.

Tucked away in the city's historic district, its shady picnic pavilions and vintage swing set are reminiscent of parks where baby boomers once played. Truth is, century-old oak trees dripping with Spanish moss have been sheltering visitors here for more than 50 years.

But a glance at the play center, with its rock climbing walls and tube slides, illustrates this park is all about today's kids.

The park, spread over 3 1/2 acres, sits on the southwest corner of South Orange Avenue and East Stuart Street, about a mile south of downtown Bartow.

In 2006, the city invested $270,000, including a $135,000 grant, in sprucing up Nye Jordan Park, named for a former Bartow city commissioner. Crews brought in six picnic pavilions, including four that are covered, replaced aging fences, erected the play center and constructed new restrooms that are accessible to handicapped patrons. One of the four roofed pavilions also is designed for those using wheelchairs.

The play center would challenge even the most adept young climber, and it's not uncommon to see parents joining their children in play there.

The park also has a basketball court for neighborhood games, and three tennis courts round out the recreational opportunities at Nye Jordan Park.

Space for about a dozen cars is available on a gravel lot along Orange Avenue, on the park's east side, with more parking on the west side.

The renovations in 2006 included a paved pathway leading west from Nye Jordan Park to the newly built Summerlin Park, a block away on the campus of Bartow High School. Patrons can snack at Nye Jordan's pavilions and head west to walk the footpath around Wilson Lake at Summerlin Park.

Admission to Bartow's parks is free. Pavilions at Nye Jordan Park can be reserved for $16.05, plus tax, by calling the city's parks and recreation office at 534-0120. Each pavilion has a table and a charcoal grill.

As with all city parks in Bartow, Nye Jordan Park is open from sunrise to dusk and alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Pets are permitted on a leash.

[ Suzie Schottelkotte can be reached at 533-9070 or ]

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