The Patterson Foundation in Sarasota, Florida, has announced a commitment of up to $5 million in support of a multiyear effort to create a new public park along the city's waterfront.
The commitment includes a $2 million gift in support of The Bay, as the park will be called, as well as $1 million in matching funds for every $5 million contributed by private funders toward Phase 1 and the park's 2019-22 operating budget. Phase 1 of the master plan includes an initial round of enhancements to the site and the creation of a ten-acre community park stretching from U.S. 41 to the bayfront along Boulevard of the Arts. Potential additional enhancements to the site include open spaces for activities and events, restoration of the land's natural mangrove habitat, new pier structures, and other public amenities.
The foundation previously awarded $300,000 in startup and consulting support for the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization — which became the Bay Park Conservancy earlier this year — to facilitate development of the master plan, which was approved by the city commission in 2018.
"Throughout its evolution, The Bay has demonstrated a sense of inclusiveness that aligns with the Patterson Foundation's aspirations and approach to strengthening the community," said Patterson Foundation president and CEO Debra Jacobs. "The Patterson Foundation desires to be the catalyst for the Bay Park Conservancy's success, which was the aspiration at the heart of the previous support for the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization."
(Image credit: Bay Park Conservancy)