Photography by Brian Tietz

Along the Gulfshore


Green Space We Love: Baker Park, Naples

A decades-long dream for the community, the 15-acre urban park debuted next to the Gordon River last year.

We’ll say it: Baker Park embodies everything that is great about living in Naples. Go on a Sunday, and you’ll see families playing Ultimate Frisbee on the expansive lawn, couples lounging on picnic blankets, kids running giddily across the splash park and modern playground and small groups huddled inside the Eva Sugden-Gomez Center.

A shining symbol of the region’s philanthropic spirit, the $22 million urban park is the culmination of seven years of work by people like Patty and Jay Baker and Eva Sugden Gomez, who helped fund the project; architect Matthew Kragh, who designed the buildings; and Mayor Bill Barnett, among many others.

The riverside green space is a beauty with its native vegetation and standout features, like the community center’s Jason Krug-designed LED sculpture, installed by Method & Concept. Every feature was conceived with locals and ecology in mind. There’s a bike repair station, a pedestrian bridge that connects to the mangrove-lined Gordon River Greenway and a 34-foot-tall knoll for a birds’ eye view of the entire scene.