Spotlight Ocala: Tuscawilla Park

Tuscawilla
Photo Credit: Kathrine Jakob/What’s Up Ocala

We’ve highlighted some of our previous customers and a number of TJM employees with interesting stories (be sure to check out Chance’s employee spotlight this month. He has some great artwork!) We thought it would also be fun to highlight some of the interesting places around our hometown: Ocala, Florida.

Central Florida has some beautiful landmarks, from horse farms to natural springs to hiking trails and more. Let’s take a closer look at some of what Ocala has to offer:

Tuscawilla Park

Located near downtown in the historic district, Tuscawilla Park celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016. Historical records say the park was opened on a $50 loan by the Ocala Women’s Club. Originally named Taylor Pond, the Tuscawilla name comes from the legend of an Indian maiden who died in a grotto that was once near the park grounds.

Throughout its history, the park has had several additions. An auditorium was built in 1936 by the Works Public Administration. A two-story armory was added in 1941; it now houses the Discovery Science Center. In 1988, the park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Tuscawilla1
Photo Credit: William at http://www.panoramio.com/photo/36258849

Today, the park is a great place to get some exercise, offering a walking trail, tennis/basketball courts, and a play area for kids. The park is also home to a number of art installations provided by local artists.

“We consider this our Central Park,” said Julie Johnson, head of the city’s Parks Division in an August 2015 article on Ocala.com. “It’s an extension of downtown.”

The City of Ocala has plans to add more artistic endeavors to the area in the near future. The Art Park will be an area designed for artists to set up shop and perform their craft. The Magnolia Art Xchange is opening a gallery for local art/artists in the former Union Station railroad terminal near the park.

Tuscawilla Park is a great spot to spend a lazy afternoon near the water. Throughout its 100-year history, the park has been a great spot for Ocalans to chill out, play, and get some exercise. The next time you’re looking for someone to have a picnic with a family, or just go for a walk, head downtown to Tuscawilla Park!

Tuscawilla Park is located at: 300 NE Sanchez Ave. Ocala, Florida.