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15,000 YEARS LATER...Sinkhole, Leeland Bottomless Lake sees new future

The 187 feet deep and four acres wide lake is the oldest landmark in Lehigh Acres, and has reportedly been here for 15,000 years.
Posted at 10:14 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-07 22:14:19-04

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — It has been called a sinkhole, Bottomless Lake, Still Lake, and Leeland Lake. This time it's not getting a new name but a new face.

"It's going to be a place of serenity, you know, a real peaceful place," Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District (LAMSID) Director Dave Lindsay said.

The 187 feet deep and four acres wide lake is the oldest landmark in Lehigh Acres. LAMSID said it has been here for 15,000 years.

Lindsay added they bought the property last month, and their goal is to preserve the land.

David Lindsay Lehigh Acres Municipal Improvement District sinkhole bottomless lake
FOX 4's Lehigh Acres Community Correspondent Ella Rhoades talks with David Lindsay, director of Lehigh Acres Municipal Improvement District about plans for the so-called Bottomless Lake, since the group purchased the property on Joel Boulevard last month.

"The history is getting lost. A lot of the original people from Lehigh are passing away or moving away, so we want to try to capture as much as we can," Lindsay said.

They'll put in boardwalks and walking paths around the lake for people to enjoy and build an interpretative center to teach people about the lake and history of Lehigh Acres.

LAMSID believes it's time to share the history of the place they call home.

Lindsay said he hopes, "They'll take away knowing that the history is preserved, and there are some people that are still here from the very early days."

Sinkhole Bottomless Lake Lehigh Acres
Another view of the so-called Bottomless Lake, purported to be a sinkhole that's been around for thousands of years.

Some people in the area said they like the idea that the community can learn more about their home.

One resident told Fox 4's Lehigh Acres Community Correspondent Ella Rhoades, "Creo que el museo inlcuye los niños, los enseña y no tanto tiempo con el tablet." (I believe the museum includes the children which will teach them, and it's less time on the tablet.)

However, not everyone agrees on the sinkhole's future.

"I think it just doesn't make any sense to have a museum in a residential area even though Lehigh is developing," another resident said.

People want more places to go to close by, and LAMSID wants that place to be the lake.

Someone else added, "Aquí hay mucha población y se necesita más areas de recreación y eso." (Here there's a lot of people, and it needs more recreational areas.)

LAMSID plans to finish the project by October 2025.