MILTON — Optimist Park is Santa Rosa County's most recent recreation area to receive an all-inclusive renovation. The playground now features a "lumber mill town" theme with equipment that’s Americans with Disabilities Act-friendly depicting elements of the area's history of river and rail transportation.

The 17.8-acre park, located off Old Bagdad Highway at the corner of Parkmore Plaza in Milton, reopens with a public ribbon-cutting ceremony at 4 p.m. July 16.

New pour-in-place rubberized surfacing makes the play area accessible for those of all abilities. ADA-friendly play structures are designed for two age groups: two through five and five through 12. Two shade structures and four benches offer a comfortable area for rest. An ADA-compliant sidewalk system provides interconnectivity throughout the majority of the facility, which also features two baseball fields, a pavilion and a dog park.

"We are excited to open another new all-accessible facility for our citizens and their families," Santa Rosa County Commission Chairman Bob Cole said. "We invite the public to join us in the ribbon-cutting celebration on Monday to see this beautiful new park for themselves."

The project cost of $300,000 was funded through the local option sales tax and District 2 recreational dollars. County crews completed the demolition and construction projects while contractors installed equipment and paved the parking lot. ADA upgrades to the walking track and restroom improvements are on schedule for future enhancements.