PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — Bay Bluffs Park on Scenic Highway in Pensacola needs more than $1 million in repairs. In an effort to find funding opportunities, Pensacola Mayor D.C. Reeves said at a press conference Tuesday that he will be in talks with Conservation Florida, a nonprofit land conservation organization, to preserve the park. 

“We hope that that kind of conservation will help us get grant funding and we can start to look at what our future options are. Do we blaze trails through there? There’s been Boy Scout, Eagle Scout projects throughout the state of Florida that have partnerships that can better enhance that property,” said Reeves.

The funding is needed to fix the structural issues like unleveled deck boards and sagging decks that made the park unsafe.

Residents we spoke with are disappointed by the closure of the popular park.

“This is the public’s park,” said Pensacola resident Carrie Condon. “For them shutting it down, I mean I understand why, because there’s some things that needed to be fixed on it, but it having to be shut down, that takes away something for the public to have. Something for the locals to have.”  

An agreement with Conservation Florida would also ensure the park would stay a city-owned property for years to come.

“Certainly our intent is to keep it. No matter what form,” said Reeves. “Whether it’s got boardwalks or it’s trails, whatever the case may be. That this continues to stay part of the inventory of the city and that this is a natural resource and something that stays with our children and our grandchildren for years to come.”

Reeves says he will meet with Conservation Florida on Oct. 19.