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New name suggested for Dunedin park

The second Dunedin park in as many months could get a new name.

The Dunedin Youth Guild already has a portion of Hammock Park named after it. But the group wants its name transferred to a future park currently known as the "Bleakley property."

"They feel that they would gain more exposure in this new location, especially since this park is located at the north entrance to the City," states a memo to city commissioners, who will consider the request during their Thursday night meeting.

Dunedin on April 6 renamed Pioneer Park in honor of the late John R. Lawrence, Dunedin's longest-serving city manager. City commissioners had thrown their unanimous support behind the measure, saying the revitalization of downtown was among the many accomplishments Lawrence achieved during his 21-year tenure.

According to the city memo, the Youth Guild has also made significant contributions to Dunedin's youngest residents. They include supporting numerous youth athletics, music and educational programs throughout the local schools and community. The group recently donated $200,000 to build a future
playground at Weaver Park.

City officials are targeting a summer grand opening for the Bleakley property -- 2.3 acres of open grassland and 400 feet of shoreline located on Bayshore Boulevard, next to the Pinellas Trail overpass north of Curlew Road. The current moniker comes from Dale Bleakley, the former owner who sold what was acknowledged as the city's last undeveloped tract of mainland waterfront property to the city in 2010.

The future park has been touted as a nature, boating and recreation enthusiast's dream, with a bike trail, kayak launch, trees and picnic tables and benches.