Messages from the Mayor and Town Manager

August 14, 2019

The first item on our agenda at the August 13th Commission Meeting was an announcement regarding a grant agreement with the West Orange Healthcare District for the Arts & Heritage Center, which will now be known as the West Orange Healthcare District Arts and Heritage Center at the Town of Oakland.  This is great news for the Town and everyone who uses the West Orange Trail!

West Orange Health Care District representatives with Town of Oakland Representatives at check preseBelow you will see the press release that explains our new partnership that will bring arts, heritage, and now wellness programming to our residents through a $1 million-dollar grant from the district. This will also allow the Town to direct impact fee funds that would have been used for the Arts & Heritage Center to other endeavors for our residents such as improvements to Speer Park and more.

The relationships that we have established here in Central Florida and at the State level in Tallahassee have been crucial in bringing funding that improves our way of life here in Oakland.  Our partners such as the West Orange Health Care District, Orange County Government, Metro Plan, local companies and boards and the State have helped provide funds for the Heritage Center, the Oakland Nature Preserve, public bathrooms on the trail, road improvements, playgrounds, and the wastewater project to name just some of the improvements.

We appreciate the trust that we have been shown by our funders through these donations and grants and we work hard to maintain these relationships.  

Please look at the Press Release below and, as always, feel free to reach out to us at Town Hall at  (407) 656-1117 with any questions you may have.

Regards,

Kathy Stark, Mayor

TOWN OF OAKLAND, WEST ORANGE HEALTHCARE DISTRICT

ESTABLISH $1 MILLION PARTNERSHIP

TO IMPROVE LOCAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS

WINTER GARDEN, FL (August 13, 2019) — Residents living in Oakland, FL, neighboring communities and visitors to west Orange County will soon have a vibrant, new place to take part in programs and activities to improve their overall health.

In February 2019, the Town began construction of a community gathering space at the corner of N. Tubb Street and the West Orange Trail, adjacent to Oakland’s Town Hall. Now, with a $1 million grant from the West Orange Healthcare District, the facility will transform into the West Orange Healthcare District Arts & Heritage Center and will be dedicated to improving community health and wellness through health, arts and heritage programming.

With the grant funding, the new center will:

  • Offer regular nutrition and fitness programs coordinated with the District’s “Healthy West Orange” team and its local healthcare partners
  • Host health screenings and back-to-school physicals through partners like Shepherd’s Hope
  • Feature vegetable and herb gardens with educational signage on the benefits of eating well
  • Include safe and secure bike racks to encourage neighbors to pedal to and from the center and make better use of the West Orange Trail

“The partnership with the West Orange Healthcare District is a natural fit for the Town of Oakland with our focus on a healthy lifestyle and a dedication to our heritage and the arts,” shared Mayor Kathy Stark. “This partnership will allow additional programming for our residents and visitors along the West Orange Trail and will be a wonderful gathering place to socialize or just sit on the porch and rock as you enjoy the beauty of the big oaks and the activity along the trail. We are very grateful for the support and trust of the District and look forward to the opening of the Center this winter.”

In addition to naming rights, the District will also be recognized in signage on the building’s large wraparound porch, along pathways leading to the center, in gardens and on several planned bike racks. A sculpture of Westly, the mascot for Healthy West Orange, will be located on Town property located along the trail.

“Oakland is an important part of our area and is perfectly situated at the county’s western gateway, so we saw this partnership as a terrific opportunity to put our mission into action,” said District CEO Tracy Swanson. “We are also impressed with Oakland’s commitment to its residents’ wellbeing and look forward to collaborating on many new ways to encourage health and wellness.”

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About the West Orange Healthcare District

The West Orange Healthcare District (WOHD) is an independent special healthcare district created in 1949 by the Florida Legislature and governed by a 16-member board appointed by the Governor of Florida. Now in its 70th year, the District has awarded more than $130 million in local community grants to enhance residents’ health and wellness. For more, visit www.wohd1949.org. The District is also a proud founding champion of “Healthy West Orange,” a grassroots movement to inspire west Orange County to become the healthiest community in the nation. For more, visit healthywestorange.org