Ocala parks are the very essence of life in our town. Our granddaughters were to visit for the weekend and we set out to plan a wonderful adventure for them. In researching our options, we discovered that Ocala is a city of parks. There are more parks per capita in our town than you could imagine. One of the most interesting is Sholom Park, a tranquil escape from city life.
Sholom, A Wonder Among Ocala Parks
The developer of On Top of the World created Sholom and gifted it to our city. He designed the park as a place to get lost in thought or enjoy a family adventure. Throughout the year it features “Yoga In Nature” events, art shows, concerts, weddings and more. Surprisingly, the park also features a glass wall serving as a display for inspiring quotes from giants of literature, art, music and other fields. Here you will find manicured lawns ideal for tossing a football around, or just reposing on a blanket with your special someone and enjoying the tranquil setting. There is a pond filled with Koi and, as we were soon to discover, smaller, yet more aggressive fish as well.
The park features open fields and forests. Additionally, paved paths weave their way throughout this marvel of nature. Some take you on a circuitous jaunt around the park. Others are mazes that challenge you to find your way out. Ocala residents have contributed the benches dispersed throughout the park as well. Of course, each bench bears a plaque honoring the donor or explaining their reason for giving. We also discovered a small area where there are a few round tables perfect for picnicking with family or friends.
Ocala Parks: Sholom Adventure
Our Sholom Park adventure began with a visit to the bountiful Koi pond. To be sure, feeding fish is a thrilling experience for youngsters. Therefore, this park features a wooden, roofed feeding platform with dispensers of Koi food pellets. Koi are descended from middle eastern carp bred centuries ago to highlight variegated colors of florescent orange, white and black. If their colors remind you of goldfish, it is because they also are descended from carp and bred for their colors.
The girls placed a quarter in a dispenser and out flowed a handful of pellets. As we looked down from the railing, below us a large school of orange and white fish congregated, anticipating the free meal that was to come. However, the girls were in for a surprise. As they began to toss pellets over the railing, a feeding frenzy ensued. But the Koi were too slow to react. As a result, a school of small, gray fish attacked the pellets as if they had not seen food in some time. The speed and energy with which these fish attacked their treat excited the girls all the more.
Ocala Parks: Tadpole Season
As we meandered away from the feeding platform, the children came upon another wonder of nature. Most bodies of fresh water are home to amphibians, and the Koi pond was no exception. Of course, in the spring frogs lay millions of eggs. They soon hatch and launch schools of tadpoles into the waters. As the girls traversed the shoreline of the pond, they discovered thousands of tiny tadpoles darting in and out of small bays, an exciting discovery indeed.
We spent the rest of our visit playing with a colorful inflated rubber ball and took two exhausted little ones back home to dream of their exciting day at the park.
Below you will find information about three of the most interesting Ocala Parks. Enjoy reading. Ocala is a city of parks. Who’d have thought?
A secret grotto in the heart of the city, Scott Springs Park lays smack between the bustle of Walmart and Aldi, just off of Easy Street. You wouldn’t even guess that behind the non-descript city park sign lays a cave overlooking a crystal clear spring….Learn more here!
Art and nature converge in harmony at the expansive Tuscawilla Park, adding inspiration and surprises to an otherwise everyday stroll or ride around the lake. Since 2011, the city of … Continue reading
Sholom Park is home to native wildlife including numerous bird species, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise. Additionally, paved trails lead you through open prairies and under the shaded canopies of live oaks, hickories, and long leaf pine trees. Tribute benches are strategically placed throughout the park allowing guests a place to rest, relax, and reflect. Learn more!
“When people replace the love of power with the power of love, the world will find peace.” – Jimi Hendrix (from the glass wall in Sholom Park.)
The Ocala lifestyle offers some wonderful surprises, including the fact that amazing Ocala parks dot our city.
Andrew Kruglanski, MBA, ABD, Broker