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Parks and Natural Resources

Looking to watch nature in action, enjoy outdoor recreation, or want to learn about Polk’s rich history? Polk County’s Parks and Natural Resources diverse recreation facilities, natural resource management areas and enriching cultural amenities have you covered.

Environmental Lands Program

What began as a grassroots movement, now serves to preserve and protect more than a dozen of Polk’s endangered and environmentally sensitive lands, water resources and wildlife habitats. The program also provides a fascinating Discovery Center and nature-based recreation.

History Center

Showcasing, informing, and inspiring residents and visitors with Polk’s rich history is the mission here. The center provides interesting programming, genealogy exploration, opportunities to discover heritage trails and experience fun special events. History exhibits and artifacts tell fabulous stories about historical times that relate to the county.

Invasive Plants

In partnership with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, lake ecosystems are restored and preserved through the protection of native vegetation and elimination of exotic plants on 87 lakes and waterbodies in Polk County.

Mosquito Control

Public health is improved by treatment and reduction of mosquitoes and the dangerous viruses they carry and transmit to people and animals.

Parks and Recreation

Parks and Recreation meets recreation and quality of life needs of the county’s residents and visitors through the management of parks, sports fields, an ATV Park, campgrounds, resource centers and special programs.

Water Quality

To maintain and protect the county’s numerous wateresources, water quality sampling is conducted and analyzed in the division’s in-house laboratory. The data is reported to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and is available on the Polk Water Atlas.


The county’s Stormwater Management Program follows on the heels of water quality monitoring and includes surface water treatment projects, public outreach, pollution prevention measures, runoff control and illegal dumping prevention.

Gaye Sharpe

Phone: (863) 534-7377
Toll Free: (800) 780-5346

Street Address:
4177 Ben Durrance Road 
Bartow, FL 33830

Office Hours of Operation:
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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