The mill site's natural characteristics were changed in the twentieth century when it was used as a prestress concrete plant (1977-1992) and an asphalt plant (1995-1999). When the asphalt company was unable to continue their operations, the land was donated to the State of Florida with the provision that it be used for the conservation and protection of natural and historical resources. The county subleased the site from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Office of Greenways and Trails to develop a park. Since 2005, the Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership has helped conserve the Bagdad Mill Site and has supported the county's efforts to develop the 22-acre property In 2006, a master planning process was held and a management plan was developed for the park. A technical assistance grant from the Florida Department of Community Affairs in 2007 to study the retaining wall along the river's edge was the first step in determining what improvements needed to be made. A master plan and conceptual layout of park amenities, funded by a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant, was developed in 2008
Volunteers planted trees and installed an irrigation system, and in 2009, more volunteer hours were invested at the Bagdad Mill Site Park than any other Florida Office of Greenways and Trails' park in the state. With assistance from the State of Florida, the vacant concrete buildings left by the asphalt plant were demolished in 2010. In 2011, the park was designated by the Department of Environmental Protection as part of the Florida Greenways and Trails System. A ground-breaking ceremony for the first phase of improvements
to the park was held in 2013. That phase was completed in 2016. For more information about the Bagdad Waterfronts Partnership, visit bagdadwaterfronts.org.
Center: Richard Lewis and Tom Scott guide tractor operator
John Davis as he lowers a tree into its hole.
Right, top: Bagdad Mill Site Park under construction
Right, middle: Restored barber shop
Right, bottom: Bagdad Art Stroll, 2008