Skip to Main Content

News Details

Loyce Harpe Park field dedication honors former Polk Commissioner

Published on Mar 4, 2022

Polk County’s Parks and Natural Resources held a ceremony Friday to dedicate the little league fields and softball complex at Loyce Harpe Park after former County Commission Chairman Larry Libertore.

Libertore, who died in 2017, served on the County Commission from 1984 through 1992 and was instrumental in the county’s purchase of the land that is now Loyce Harpe Park. The two little league baseball fields and softball complex at the park will now be known as the Larry Libertore Sports Fields.

“I think this is a wonderful tribute to Larry’s legacy,” said Board Chair Martha Santiago. “He played such a vital role in getting Loyce Harpe Park established and as a true public servant throughout his life. I’m happy we could do this to honor him and his family.”

Libertore, who played football for the University of Florida, moved to Lakeland in 1963 and organized Lakeland’s first professional football team, the Florida Brahmans. His first foray into public service was when he was elected in 1970 to the Florida House of Representatives to represent District 51. He served four years in that post.

Libertore worked as a successful real estate developer and was elected in 1984 to serve on the Board of County Commissioners.

During his time on the Board, he aided in the design of the Polk County jail facility, helped establish the Bartow Senior Multipurpose Center, helped identify the location of Veteran Services, aided in the development of the Countywide Library Services Committee, rallied for placing the historical library on the third floor of the old Polk County Courthouse, engaged support for the Carter Road Park master plan and proposed establishing a countywide library system.