New Park for Downtown Bunnell

Construction has begun on Heritage Park in downtown Bunnell. The project, located on the corner of State Road 100 and U.S. 1 is the result of a $29,000 grant that was received from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Recreation Development Assistance Program. The City of Bunnell and the Heritage Crossroads Byway Organization have worked closely for several years to develop a compatible urban recreational concept for this City owned parcel. Obtaining the property, seeking the necessary funding to develop the greenspace, and then finalizing an acceptable concept was a work of passion for the community development team charged with bringing this project to completion. The City of Bunnell, a founding partner of the Heritage Crossroads Byway Organization reports that construction has begun and is expected to be completed by the end of April.

The Heritage Crossroads Scenic Highway is one in the collection of byways that compose the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) sponsored Florida Scenic Highways Program. This program was developed to help community-based organizations conserve, protect and promote Florida’s resources while growing Florida’s economy. Started in 1996, this grass roots-based program includes over 1,500 miles of designated highway throughout the state.

Once completed the site will include several picnic tables and bicycle racks. The centerpiece of the park will be a large pergola that will provide shade for park users. Much of the remaining area will be green space.

Bunnell Mayor Catherine Robinson said creating and preserving green space is important for the city. “I love the parks,” she said. “I think it really adds something to a community when you have parks and places that honor your history and that’s what Heritage Park does.”  “We want this to signify that we are the crossroads of Flagler County and that this little plot of dirt is going to be meaningful in the future for people who come through here,” she said.

Claudia Calzaretta, FDOT District Scenic Highways Coordinator said that partnerships are what the scenic highways program is built on. This project is a perfect example of local partners coming together to make their community a better place to live.

Heritage Park pergola under construction
Bike racks being installed
Installation of park amenities




Heritage Crossroads participated in Flagler County’s 4th of July Centennial Celebration, recognizing 100 years of history.

Heritage Crossroads and the Flagler County Historical Society partnered to create a bus tour that explores the history of Flagler County.

Barb Kelly, Chairman, giving a presentation to the Hammock A1A Scenic Highway group.

Barb Kelly, Chairman, giving a presentation to the Hammock A1A Scenic Highway group.

Students Study the Heritage of their Community.

The Florida Scenic Highways Program is a FDOT sponsored, grassroots-based program designed to showcase the unique resources found along Florida’s highways. The program encourages local communities to preserve, maintain, protect and enhance their outstanding cultural, historical, archaeological, recreational, natural, and scenic resources. The Heritage Crossroads: Miles of History Heritage Byway spans 92 miles within Flagler, St. Johns, and Volusia counties. This byway organization is comprised of volunteers who advocate for the preservation of the region’s heritage and history.

Recently, the byway organization vice chair Dr. Nancy Duke-Birkhead, a professor at Daytona State College, challenged students in her American History classes to learn more about the community they live in. Student teams selected historical resources located along the byway to investigate. The goal was to learn about the resources that contribute to Flagler County’s long history. The students reviewed historical files, listened to guest lecturers, field reviewed their subject resource and prepared a poster board on the results of their research. The poster boards were displayed at Flagler County’s Creekside Festival in late October where the students answered questions on their research from festival attendees. All agreed that understanding the roots of your community makes history come alive.

Flagler County Historical Society volunteers staff at the Holden House February 2013

Flagler County Historical Society volunteer staff at the Holden House February 2013

The Holden House is open to the public every Wednesday 10 am-1pm. Please check out our calendar for further information.


(VIDEO STILL/Jason Wheeler, Staff) Members of the group Heritage Crossroads recreate the history of Flagler County at the first ever Flagler Heritage Festival – Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012.

Henry Flagler Look-A-Like contest application.

On December 1, 2012 Heritage Crossroads put on the first annual Flagler Heritage Festival. It was a great success! The event brought together historic exhibits and re-enactments, a kids corner, vendors, and live music to help all who attended learn more about Flagler history. A special thank you to all the volunteers who helped make the event enjoyable for all! Next year promises to be even bigger so stay tuned for more information later this year.

Heritage Crossroads – A Hidden History

Written by Stan Drescher, a local poet and board member of the Heritage Crossroads Scenic Highway group, reflects on the influence of the byway and the effect it has had on the community.

Heritage and History
Was John Seibel’s dream
To educate and preserve
His was a perfect scheme

Heritage Crossroads, ‘04
Made that dream come true
All saw scenic highway signs
But our past was known to few

A tinted printed brochure
Explains our talking tours
And depicts to visitors
What we display outdoors

92 miles to emphasize
Right here in Flagler County
And we’re proud to share the wealth
Our historic bounty

We’ve made a map that lists
All 16 ancient sites
It should boost public interest
And further raise our heights

A Russian prince for his bride
Gave a gift to match her face
And found beauty nowhere else
So gave Princess Place

Princess Preserve is quite a place
With facts that cannot fool
It was all made of concrete
The first in ground swimming pool

A trip down the Old Brick Road
Will take you back in time
And make you rethink your life
A modern paradigm

We know slaves worked at Bulow
The truth is not absurd
But since we cannot change the past
We’ll just avoid the word

The oldest cemetery
Dates from 1875
It’s Isaac Moody’s resting place
He was famous when alive

Tourists come here to relax
And read quietly all day
But just mention Heritage
They run the other way

Some think we’re a museum
And it’s all a bore
So we gave a dissertation
And saw a surfer snore

Don’t turn when you hear cultural
The word has significance
It’s like archeological
Treat both with diligence

We have on the drawing board
A modern welcome center
With kiosks placed strategically
And a recorded mentor

No gain or profit can be made
We’re a 501c3
And ‘tho we do raise money
It’s all for charity

John was the first president
Since two thousand four
But now he must pass the torch
Congrats you were top drawer

Heritage Crossroads participated in an Executive Committee Workshop on November 27, 2012 to discuss the events and actions necessary to update the Five Year Corridor Management Plan. To view the entire summary click here.

Photo from November Meeting (November 1, 2011)
Back row: Garry Balogh, FDOT District 5, Environmental Scientist/Scenic Highways Coordinator; Bill Ryan, Author, Flagler County Historical Society; Bruce Piatek, Executive Director, Florida Agricultural Museum; Carl Laundrie, Communications Manager, Flagler County

Next row: Gigi Hart, Grants, Special Projects and CRA Coordinator, City of Bunnell; Stan Drescher, Poet; Vivian Richardson, African American Society; Bill Lenssen, Bulowville

Next: Laura Gamba, Tourism Promotions & Partner Services Manager, Flagler County Chamber of Commerce; Mary Ann Ruzecki, Friends of A1A

Front: Mary Ann Clark, President, Flagler County Historical Society; Vice Chairman, Heritage Crossroads; George Hanns, long time Flagler County Commissioner

Heritage Crossroads receives Level 1 Accreditation! (July 2011)