Vice Mayor Ken Cutler Shares Upcoming Events in Parkland
Parkland Vice Mayor Ken Cutler.

A Message from Vice Mayor Ken Cutler:

I want to thank Mayor Walker for once again allowing me to write this month’s column. 

So, this month, July 2022, while the country celebrates its independence, Parkland also commemorates the 59th year of its founding. 

There were fewer than 50 people living in the area in the early 1960s since practically all the land was devoted to agriculture, a situation that caused a delay in civic development.  Other lands in nearby communities were also predominantly private ranches or farmsteads that needed to be organized as developers began exploring the possibility of new growth. 

In early 1963, Florida State Representative Emerson Allsworth sponsored the Bill in the Florida House of Representatives to approve Parkland’s City Charter at the request of landowner and city founder Bruce Barnett Blount.  

Allsworth, who will be 96 years old this year, recalls that:

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“It was a local Bill that normally passes 99% of the time because the rest of the legislators typically give deference to local legislators, but in this instance, there was a split in the local delegation because one of the Broward delegates opposed the creation of Parkland.  His argument was that it was undeveloped land at the time and ‘How can you create a city when there’s no one living there? It’s just a city of trees.” 

The answer of course was that this was going to be a planned city and the first commission would be the owner and developer who would then turn it over to the citizens once there were enough of them to have an election. 

Originally, the city was going to be called “BBB Ranches,” but legislators argued there were already too many “ranches” that had city names in the state, so Allsworth came up with the name Parkland.  Maybe it was because of all those trees, as there certainly weren’t any parks here yet. 

In fact, the first park in the city, Quigley Park, would not be dedicated until November 1989.  Its original name was “Five Acre Park” because of its size, but was renamed in honor of Mayor John H. Quigley, Parkland’s fourth mayor, who died while in office in February 1972.

On July 10, 1963, the date on which the city celebrates its anniversary, the Bill passed the Legislature and Governor Farris Bryant signed the Charter Bill agreeing to the creation of the new city on August 13, 1963. 

Thus, Parkland came into legal being.  Other areas to the south were rapidly being settled at that time as well.  The cities of Coral Springs and Tamarac were chartered in the same year and four years later, Coconut Creek was incorporated.  Thereafter, much work was done by a stalwart and dedicated group of pioneers to lay the foundation of what we know today.

Next year on March 11, 2023, the City of Parkland will be celebrating its 60th anniversary. (The March date was chosen because it’s very hot in July and people leave for vacation). 

The Commission has voted to bring back the Parkland Days Parade and will have a full day of festivities.  It will be Parkland Days once again! 

In the next few months, the city will be looking for groups that are willing to participate in the parade so stay tuned and make sure that you are receive the city’s e-mail blast Parkland on Tap to get updates.  Register at cityofparkland.org/NotifyMe to get all the latest news.  If, like me, you are interested in Parkland history, please consider joining the Parkland Historical Society or if you want to help volunteer to assist in making this an extra special Parkland Days celebration, get student community service hours, or just be involved, contact the city to find out more at 954-753-5040.

To celebrate the 4th of July, the ever-popular Eats ‘n’ Beats will be on Saturday, July 2, and kicks off with a concert by nationally touring country music artist and actor Chas Collins. 

Also in July, an event near and dear to my heart, the second round of the Parkland Fishing Derby will be on Saturday, July 9th from 8:00 a.m – 10:00 a.m. at Pine Trails Park. 

Friday, July 22nd will be Movies in the Park from 8:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. also at Pine Trails Park. 

Since July is Parks and Recreation Month, you may want to be sure to check the city calendar for all of the fun we will have this Summer with our full slate of activities for all members of the family.  Have a great time this month. 

Ken Cutler
Vice Mayor, City of Parkland, Florida

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