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Parks & Natural Resources Division

Jeff Spence, Director 863-534-7377 · Email
General Office: 863-534-7377 · Fax: 863-534-7374
Drainage: Conner Updike, Jr, P.E., Manager 863-534-7377 · Email
Drainage: Phil Irven, Coordinator 863-534-7377 · Email
Environmental Lands: Gaye Sharpe, Natural Areas Manager 863-534-7377 · Email
Invasive Plant Control: Gaye Sharpe, Natural Areas Manager 863-534-7377 · Email
Mosquito Control:  Mike Mahler, Manager  863-534-7377- Email
Parks & Recreation:  Mike Callendar, Manager 863-499-2613- Email
Water Resources: Robert Kollinger, P.E., Manager 863-534-7377 - Email
Laboratory: Diane Gibson, Manager 863-534-7377 · Email
4177 Ben Durrance Road · Bartow, FL 33830 · Map
Hours of Operation: M-F 8AM - 5PM

The Natural Resources Division was established to develop and implement natural resource management programs that protect, enhance, and manage Polk County's environment. The division's programs include Invasive Plant Management, Environmental Lands, Mosquito Control, Water Resources, and Drainage. The Invasive Plant Management Section prevents the spread of exotic aquatic and upland plants on public lakes, waterways, primary drainage canals, and environmental lands. Chemical spraying of ditches, lakes, and other sites is carefully scheduled. The Mosquito Control Section strives to prevent mosquito-borne diseases by reducing mosquito populations through breeding-site inspections and spraying by trucks and aircraft.

The Environmental Lands Programs is responsible for the acquisition and management of environmentally-sensitive lands. The division works on stormwater and lake improvement projects; is involved with ground and surface water pollution investigations; and tracks air quality issues. The Water Resources Section maintains a certified water testing laboratory and works closely with other local, regional, state, and federal agencies. Investigation, restoration, and management of the regional surface water drainage system is also under the purview of this division.

The Parks and Recreation Section are responsible for the maintenance and programming of over 60 recreational facilities.  Facilities include 36 boat launching sites, 120+ sports fields, four campgrounds, multiple picnicking sites and five resource centers.  The program is responsible for 27 youth athletic leagues with more than 12,000 participants.  Parks and Recreation ensures 2,200 coaches undergo certification and a background screening process.  The program partners with the School Board to allow access to 44 school owned facilities for after school activities.




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We enhance the quality of life for people throughout Polk County
The Polk County Board of County Commissioners is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer
Polk County Board of County Commissioners | 330 West Church Street | P.O. Box 9005 | Bartow, FL 33830 | 863.534.6000