||The land was first leased from the Navy in 1979, and not until a decade later, then Councilwoman Tillie Fowler (later U.S. Representative) began to push hard to develop the land. Remnants of an 16-foot wide old brick road linked Ortega to Jacksonville pre-dates 1917 but was heavily used when Camp Johnston was built as part of the preparations to train American troops during World War I. The road can be found at several locations in the park. In September 1996 the dedication of the observation tower, nature center and outdoor classroom was dedicated. In 2005 the park was renamed for Tillie K. Fowler; a “steel magnolia”. A woman of impeccable grace & civility who was tenacious and fearless in her pursuit of tireless advocacy on behalf of issues important to the City of Jacksonville and on behalf of the needs of the United States’ armed forces, particularly the U.S. Navy, to pursue causes of importance to Jacksonville and the nation.
A new entry sign/gate into the park was completed in 2011.