Lakeland's Parks in Peril

LAKELAND -

In an emergency measure, Lakeland's parks department had to cut $500,000 out of its budget for the last quarter of this fiscal year. That may not sound like much - but it's enough to force the department to make the most drastic cutbacks in recent memory.

Current economic conditions are filtering down even to the blooms. The city's nursery will be growing less than half of the 40,000 annuals that it has grown in the past. And that's going to hit one of the city's points of pride - its showy, colorful traffic islands filled with flowers at strategic points through the city.

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