Mackay Gardens & Lakeside Preserve

Mackay Gardens & Lakeside Preserve Volunteer Opportunities

Have you been wondering how you can make a significant contribution to the quality of life enjoyed by City of Lake Alfred residents? Please consider becoming a Mackayster volunteer at Mackay Gardens and Lakeside Preserve (MGLP).

There are many ways to help make this historic location a notable gathering place for residents and visitors to this area. Volunteer tasks range from something as simple as litter control along Mackay Blvd. and the hiking trails in the preserve, to garden and preserve improvements and maintenance, to assisting with the development and production of nature-related educational programs.

 To learn more about these opportunities, please visit MGLP any Monday morning between 8 and 11:30 AM, or contact volunteer coordinator Cathy Butcher at

Mackay Gardens & Lakeside Preserve Amenities

  • Located at 945 Mackay Boulevard on 112 lakeside acresA map detailing walking paths through Mackay Gardens
  • Park open from dawn to dusk daily
  • Beautiful Mackay Estate residence, available for weddings and other special events, by appointment
  • Nature trails and fitness trails along Mackay Boulevard
  • Playground
  • Dock
  • Restrooms
  • No entrance fee


  • Master Gardeners Classes University of Florida/IFAS Polk County
  • Guided Tours (by appointment)
  • Yoga
  • Astronomy Nights

Please contact the City of Lake Alfred's Parks and Recreation Department at 863-291-5272 for additional information.

House Characteristics

Mackay HouseThe Mackay Estate was built by Alexander Mackay, a Scottish entrepreneur and investor who bought the property on Lake Rochelle in 1915 and began construction of the Mackay family estate which he called "La Rochelle." The estate's 8,000-square-foot residence is an outstanding example of Craftsman-style architecture, with sleeping porches and large porch columns, open interior spaces and a staircase in the main room. A walled arbor with arched openings is located west of the residence and a sunken garden with a fountain is on the east. A beautiful Gazebo has been added with a breathtaking view of the lake.

Grant Funds

Restoration and Preservation

Mackay Gardens and Lakeside Preserve was purchased in 2004 with funds from the Florida Community Trust Florida Forever program. Additionally, the City of Lake Alfred received grant funding in 2006 from the Florida Bureau of Historic Preservation to renovate the house. This allowed for the complete overhaul of the electrical system, plumbing, re-roofing, handicap accessibility, resurfacing of the hardwood floors and plaster repair. The city also received a grant from the Florida Recreational Development Assistance Program to add a playground, picnic pavilion, restrooms, fishing pier and nature trails. The Mackay home is available for business meetings, corporate retreats, family reunions and parties. Please call 863-291-5272, to make an appointment to see this incredible locatio