Fort Harrison Walking Park Newest Contribution to Downtown Beautification
The brand new Fort Harrison Walking Park provides an oasis in downtown Clearwater, Florida.
The Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization dedicated a new walking park this weekend. Located directly to the south of the Fort Harrison, on the site of a former county service station, the 38,000 square foot urban park connects the Church’s Oak Cove property on Osceola Avenue with the Flag Building, now in the final preparation stages for its grand opening.
The dedication ceremony was held on Sunday November 3 and attended by local Scientologists. The dedication was followed by an “open house” and entertainment in the park.
The property was purchased by the Church in 2011. In April 2013, the Church received a permit from the City of Clearwater to start the construction process. Over the last few months, the structures on the site—two small offices and a 1960’s-era service station—were demolished to make way for the thoroughfare, which was rapidly constructed.
The former Fort Harrison Avenue eyesore was transformed into a park of more than 3,200 trees, plants and shrubs of 32 different species with a 200-year-old, forty-five foot live oak tree providing the backdrop to the oval lawn and pergola. The pavers and bricks mirror the streetscaping done in the downtown area and a fountain, benches and decorative hardscape complete the park.
Though the property is privately owned, members of the community are welcome to visit the park when they wish, said Church spokesperson Pat Harney.
“It is our hope that the beautification of this site is something that will be enjoyed by our neighbors and people passing through the downtown area,” said Ms. Harney. “Projects like this have been a part of the Church’s heritage since our Founder L. Ron Hubbard expanded and beautified the gardens of his home in England in the mid 1960s.”
The Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization (Flag) is the international religious retreat of the Church. It is the largest Church of Scientology in the world and provides religious services to parishioners from six continents. Additionally, Flag’s local Scientology community regularly participates in outreach activities including the annual Winter Wonderland, tutoring projects and Church-supported drug education and human rights education initiatives.
# # #