Whether you're a native of Lakeland, a visitor, or just moving to the area, you've probably noticed the beautiful swans on Lake Morton. They're such a part of the city that the swan has become Lakeland's  mascot with statues of swans at every turn and pictures in every brochure.


Native swans have been in the area since about 1923 and their population was at about 20 by the mid-1930's. Disease and predators, however, took their toll on these beautiful creatures and in 1954, the last of Lakeland's swans wound up as a quick meal for a local alligator.


A previous resident of Lakeland, Mrs. Robert Pickhardt, then residing in England, heard about the demise of the swans and decided to see if there was anything she could do to remedy the situation, so she contacted the Queen of England to ask for help.


In 1954 a large flock of swans was living on London's Thames River. They were the descendants of a pair of swans given to Richard the Lion-Hearted by  former Queen Beatrice to honor his work in the Crusades.


After learning of the loss of Lakeland's last remaining swan from Mrs. Pickhardt, Queen Elizabeth graciously agreed to donate a pair of swans from Richard the Lion-Hearted's flock. However, Lakeland would be required to come up with $300 to cover the cost of catching and shipping the swans to Florida.


A former visitor to Lakeland, after hearing about the tragic demise of the swans and wanting to help Lakeland in its effort to bring new swans to the city, decided to donate the money needed. Soon thereafter, a graceful pair of Mute Swans was transported to Lakeland and released on February 9, 1957, to set up housekeeping in their new home on Lake Morton.


The pair of swans quickly adapted to their new surroundings, learning to outwit the alligators who would have them for lunch, and presently about 80 descendants of these swans live and thrive on Lake Morton and other city lakes.


You too can live and thrive in the Lakeland area and Damion Boyce and The Boyce Team are ready, willing and able to help you find the perfect home here. With its beautiful weather, unique wildlife and sunny disposition, Lakeland is the perfect place to raise a family or retire from a cold climate. Contact Damion to see some of the homes available in the Lakeland area and you too can begin enjoying the Florida lifestyle sooner than you think.