The park is located on the same plot of land as the original homestead of its namesake — Capt. Leonard Destin.

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Although we’re currently in shutdown due to COVID-19, area folks will have something to look forward to in the near future - the Capt. Leonard Destin Park.


"We’re really close," said Catherine Card, public information manager for the city of Destin.


RELATED: ( Dec. 2019) Leonard Destin Park is taking shape


Earlier this week, Card along with other city staff and contractors did a walk-through inspection on the park doing a punch-list of sorts on minor details yet to be finished.


And not to fear, the coronavirus hasn’t slowed down the progress of the park located on Calhoun Avenue overlooking Choctawhatchee Bay in Destin.


RELATED: (Aug. 2018) Construction starts on Leonard Destin Park


"Not at all," Card said, noting the biggest delay was due to Hurricane Michael.


She explained that progress was starting on the park in 2018 when Michael blew through the area ravaging Bay County. Crews were called to work on two parks in Panama City at the time.


"They had to divert their resources to those parks to get them back online and open. Then they circled back with us," she said.


"COVID-19 did not come into play ... it’s the one thing it didn’t impact," she added.


The park is located on the same plot of land as the original homestead of its namesake — Capt. Leonard Destin.


In 2015, The Trust for Public Land purchased the 3.42-acre lot on Calhoun with Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment early restoration funds with a vision to create a park for the public, provide public assess to the water and help preserve the history of the community, according to the city of Destin’s website.


Once the project is complete, The Trust will give the park to the city.


However, right now the contractor has about 30 days to complete the project and fix the things on the punch-list before the next inspection.


"That park is not city owned at this point," Card said. "There will be a lot of paper work until it is pushed over to us ... we’re probably looking at mid-July of taking ownership of the park."


Nevertheless, a lot of that is contingent on making sure everything is completed as well as what Gov. Ron DeSantis says about relaxing social distancing protocols and CDC guidelines.


"We’re hoping to get back to some normalcy prior to all of this in hopes that this will be a wonderful opportunity to help engage our public. But we’re going to have to take it one day at a time ... but mid-July is the time frame," Card said for the park to fall under operation of the city.


In the meantime, "it’s gorgeous," she said.


"It’s a wonderful park that will be able to highlight our history," she said.


There are information boards throughout the park, one which tells of how Leonard Destin came to settle in the community that would eventually be named after him. Plus there is also a replica of a historical seine boat that earlier fishermen used.


In addition to the historical aspect of the park, there’s plenty of fun to be had, from a splash pad for the kids to the playground.


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Card said her children came along on the walkthrough of the park earlier this week and loved the splash pad as well as the playground and can’t wait to come back.


"I can envision a ton of kids out there on a hot summer day," she said.


The park will also be a great place in the fall for parents to come down and enjoy a great sunset because it’s located right on the water.


And due to its prime location on the water, people will be able to launch their kayak or paddle board right there at the park.


VINTAGE PHOTOS: Destin in the 1960s


"It truly is a park for all to enjoy. The sidewalk pathways are gorgeous and they are wide enough for those who are wheelchair bound," she said, noting the wide walkways will allow them to get down to the beach area.


For those who like fish, the park also has a pier that is ADA compliant.


"I’d say this park is unique as for all the amenities," she said. "There’s so much that our other parks don’t have. It’s like one-stop shop of recreational activity."


Card reiterated the amenities at the park include the playground, splash pad, the ability to launch kayaks and paddle boards, a swimming area and a place to fish. Plus people will be able to read and learn about the beginning days of Destin.


"So we’re really excited ... I think this is going to be a jewel as far as parks go," she said.


The park also has bathrooms, water fountains, covered picnic areas and plenty of parking.


VINTAGE PHOTOS: Destin in the 1950s


The only thing not welcomed at the park are pets.


"It’s not going to be a dog-friendly park," she said, noting safety and health reasons.


Although the park looks like it is almost complete, it is closed for now and no one is allowed in the park from land or water.


Once it is officially opened, it will be open from sunrise to sunset.


"We’re just really excited," Card said.


The total park project cost is about $10 million. That consists of land purchase and park development expenses, as well as more than $900,000 that the Trust plans to donate to the city to cover 10 years worth of operating and maintenance costs.