Proposed Jaycee Park renovations causes division in Cape Coral

Reporter: Zach Oliveri Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

Fan favorite Jaycee Park could get renovations, and opinions vary from those who visit the park.

Renovations include a bar, a place for food trucks, and an amphitheater.

But locals are concerned about the noise, traffic, and the effect the changes would have on the community. They’re worried the park could go from where you come to walk your dog or enjoy nature to a party destination.

Currently, the park is a place to decompress.

“This is a park for recovery, rejuvenation, loving nature, meditating by the river,” said Ryn Gargulinski, a Cape Coral local.

“We can sit and come and enjoy the view,” said Kathy Poplawski, a Cape Coral local.

“I walk my dogs, and then I jog some, and my husband gets his exercise in here also,” said Alice Reese, a Cape Coral local who lives right next to the park.

While the park has been a Cape Coral favorite for years, the city has big renovation plans. They plan on turning Jaycee Park into a waterfront destination.

Cape Coral local Roe Suarez is in favor of the renovations.

“The more places that people can get together and not be completely cramped,” Suarez said. “I think that’s great.”

But those sentiments are not unanimously shared, some are opposed to the idea.

“When you’re talking about an amphitheater and if you’re adding more parking, you’re taking away from the grass areas in the park right now,” Reese said. “I don’t think they’ve put in enough thought into how it will impact everything.”

Another Cape Coral local, Kathy Poplawski believes the renovations won’t be for all ages.

“I can’t understand why the city want to have children located next to a bar,” Poplawski said. “It’s just going to change the whole dynamics of this park.”

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