New and Improved Whistle Stop Park in Edgewater

An Edgewater project that deserves a wolf whistle is the newly renovated Whistle Stop Park, which reopened this spring to a spirited celebration of music, vendors and fitness demonstrations highlighting all of the healthy things to do throughout the park!

The new and improved Whistle Stop Park, an amazing outdoor space open to the general public, inspiring outdoor recreation and preservation of a treasured part of the city of Edgewater, is a testament to the dedication and commitment that Edgewater residents continually display for their community.

When we say, “park,” we actually mean unbelievable innovation in recreation! There is a brand new splash pad, for fun spray pool water play that requires no lifeguard since there is very little standing water. 

There is a 7,000 square foot skate park within the park (Yep, you “heard” right!) with a flow bowl, promising hours of skateboarding entertainment and demonstrations. 

The ADA-inclusive, train-themed colorful playground with slides, swings and more allows for all children of varied abilities the opportunity to participate in park fun to the fullest extent possible. 

Plus, there is wide open green space for field events, a covered picnic pavilion and restrooms for family outings or social gatherings, and even a dog park for visitors of the furry, four-legged variety! 

If you want to hold court, Whistle Stop Park is the perfect place, with a volleyball court, tennis courts, a basketball court and racquetball courts. 

If exercise and staying healthy is your thing, there are meticulously landscaped walking trails winding around the park and lined with trees and flowers, along with a fountain, which all add a beautiful scenic element to this revolution in recreation. And don’t forget the fitness stations which accommodate park visitors of every age!

For additional convenience (as if any is needed!), a newly paved road runs through the renovated park.

The aptly named, cheerful and accommodating, 14-acre Whistle Stop Park which rests along railroad tracks took three years and well over $3 million to complete; but its journey is one to be admired. The inception of the Whistle Stop Park renovation all began with the desire of a mother to remain in her son’s line of vision so that he would feel safe on a swing. In 2016, the Edgewater City Council agreed to purchase two expression swings – face-to-face swings to create a comfortable bonding experience for children and their caregivers – for placement within local Edgewater parks.

Then, Edgewater Councilman Dan Blazi, a long-time proponent for the special needs community, took things a step further. His determination led to discussions about all-inclusive parks and playgrounds with specialty and standard features to accommodate a broad range of visitors…spaces where children of all developmental levels could play side-by-side.

With further input and ideas from Edgewater residents and other government officials, the project continued to grow and eventually blossomed into the Whistle Stop Park renovation project we all now know and love today, which (by the way) also includes outdoor exercise areas for seniors!

Edgewater residents then voted to incur an increase in their taxes of just over $21 per year to revitalize their city’s parks, most specifically Whistle Stop Park. Approval of this referendum allowed the city of Edgewater to apply for a $3.43 government loan and Volusia County ECHO funds (a groundbreaking Early Childhood Opportunity grant program promoting high quality early care and education improvements) supplemented park financing with an additional $400,000.

Whistle Stop Park renovations began in January of 2017, the first and only update it had in 30 years. Although the original completion for the new and improved Whistle Stop Park was scheduled for 2018, weather and underground utility issues caused lengthy delays. However, this novel park project was finally concluded in May. 

If you would like to cool off this summer in a brand new splash pad, take a stroll through Whistle Stop Park and enjoy some family-friendly fun or just meet up with friends and relax in this enjoyable new venue. Whistle Stop Park, open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. with its splash pad accessible from 9 a.m. to dusk, is located at 651 Roberts Road and run by the City of Edgewater Office of Parks and Recreation. If you would like more information, you can call 386-424-2400. 

Whether you are looking for beaches, fishing piers, boardwalks, hiking trails, observation towers to observe wildlife in its natural environment, picnic and grilling areas, playgrounds, the area in and around Edgewater can certainly accommodate! Edgewater is an Intracoastal waterfront community located along the diverse ecosystem of the Indian River; and it is loaded with parks. In fact, it seems as if you only need to step outside and walk in any direction to find one.

New Smyrna Beach, which is Edgewater’s next door neighbor, offers 14 parks on its mainland alone, including Smyrna Dunes Park. Smyrna Dunes Park boasts 73 pristine acres surrounded by water on three sides at the northern tip of the New Smyrna Beach peninsula.

Another Edgewater neighboring community is Port Orange; with…you guessed it…tons of recreational opportunities as well, including Spruce Creek Recreational Facility. Spruce Creek Recreational Facility offers hiking trails, a pavilion area with picnic tables and grills, restrooms and, of course, beautiful scenery. In addition, Port Orange Riverwalk Park was designed by the same company that completed the recent Whistle Stop Park renovations. There, you can enjoy a promenade area with an event stage, concession stands, paddleboard launch pad and rental equipment, a boardwalk, fishing pier and more.

So, whether you are in Edgewater or one of Edgewater’s neighboring communities, feel free to “park it.” With the newly renovated Whistle Stop Park and so much more, you definitely won’t be disappointed!