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Legacy Park Dedication

See Also:
A Jewel Arises Along The Legacy Trail,” by Roger Normand

Press Release

The Dedication Ceremony for Legacy Park will be held on Monday, February 1, 2016 at 10 a.m. The newly constructed Legacy Park is located at 395 E. Venice Avenue, Venice, FL, next to the historic Venice Train Depot. Legacy Park and the restored train are located at the junction of junction of two multi-use paved trails: the 10.6 mile The Legacy Trail and the 10 mile Venetian Waterway Park (5 miles long on each side of the Intracoastal Waterway).

Legacy Park offers multi-use recreational opportunities. A kayak/canoe launch allows access to the wide expanse of the Intracoastal Waterway as well as the more intimate confines of Hatchett Creek. Opting for the latter, paddlers will feel transported back in time as they travel through a dense canopy of native white, red and black mangrove trees and view other natural Florida landscape features. A two station kayak/canoe wash station provides a quick cleanup at journey’s end. There are pervious parking areas for vehicles and boat trailers. The design provides parking spaces while still allowing water infiltration and reducing surface water runoff into the creek.

A wildlife observation platform built next to Hatchett Creek provides up-close viewing opportunities of creek inhabitants and shoreline wetland restoration habitat. Sheltered picnic pavilions are available along with a public restroom and drinking fountain. A handicap-accessible 1/2 mile asphalt nature trail winds through the park with periodic benches along the trail. Stormwater retention ponds are surrounded by native vegetation provide habitat for wading birds and small mammals while improving the water quality flowing into the creek. Visitors are likely to see a diverse mix of birds such as snowy egrets, great egrets, blue heron, tricolored heron and osprey. Picnic pavilions are also available

The city of Venice acquired the ten acre abandoned industrial cement plant site in 2008 for $7.4 million using funds from the voter-approved one-cent sales tax surcharge and a grant from the Florida Communities Trust. The city developed a comprehensive redevelopment plan in coordination with Sarasota County during the intervening years and demolished all the buildings on the site and restoration of the Hatchett Creek shoreline.   Just over $2 million was spent on design, permitting and construction of the new park using funds from Sarasota County, Park impact Fees; Land and Water Conservation Fund, Recreational Trails and Florida Coastal Management Programs. Future plans include a train themed covered playground and additional landscaping. Sarasota County will assume all future operations and maintenance needs for the city owned Legacy Park though an inter-local agreement.

The Legacy Trail featured on the Osprey Nokomis Chamber of Commerce Chat Radio

The Osprey Nokomis Chamber of Commerce Chat Radio recently featured  a segment on The Legacy Trail.  Radio hosts Rod and Kim Thomas took a break from running their very popular Bentley’s Boutique Hotel and attached Morgan’s Restaurant in Osprey, FL to talk with a few members of the Friends of The Legacy Trail – President Chuck Butterfield, along with Carla Martin, Roger Normand, and Darryl Lang.  Their lively conversation spanned the history of the trail, some of the popular trail amenities, and ongoing efforts to extend the trail 8 miles north to Payne Park in the heart of downtown Sarasota.  Tune in the discussion here.

Rod and Kim are enthusiastic supporters of The Legacy Trail.  We are grateful for their many diverse acts of generosity, including allowing the Friends of the Legacy Trail to host the public meetings at Bentley’s.  Thank you, Rod & Kim!

Tour de Parks set for 20 March, 2016

Many riders from this year’s Tour de Parks expressed their enjoyment of doing the ride, but asked for more advanced notification of the event so they can better plan their participation.  We heard you.  The Friends of the Legacy Trail have set the date for next year’s Tour de Parks on Sunday, 20 March 2016.  Next year’s ride will again feature 15, 37, and 62 mile fully supported rides traversing many splendid area parks and scenic vistas.  Click here for one riders’ perspective on the 2015 TdP.

Voice your opinion with FL legislators on the use of Amendment 1 funds

Amendment 1 – the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment – was approved by 75% of voters in the November 2014 general election. This amendment was intended to restore historical, substantially higher funding levels to long standing programs to protect Florida’s water, wildlife habitat, natural areas and parks. The Amendment dedicates one-third of the funds generated from the existing Florida excise tax on land documents to acquire, restore and manage conservation lands.

Many media reports, including The Sarasota Herald Tribune, indicate that legislators are considering using Amendment 1 funds in place of operating funds at state conservation and park departments. Some legislators believe the state already owns too much public land and cannot properly manage it.  They propose to virtually eliminate the use of Amendment 1 funds for land acquisition.

Amendment 1 presents a potential funding source to support the Legacy Trail extension, as Amendment 1 calls for renewed state spending on recreational areas, along with water and land conservation and other related purposes.  The three rules of real estate are location, location, location.  If legislators believe the state has too much land, they should act to dispose of some of it, while moving to acquire other high value conservation and park parcels.

See the following talking points provided by Florida’s Water & Land Legacy, the coalition of conservation and civic organizations, businesses and concerned citizens who advocated for Amendment 1.

The time to fix this is short.  Contact your Sarasota area legislators below today.  The regular committee meetings end April 21, and the last day of the regular sessions is May 1st, so please act today.

House District 70: The Honorable Darryl Ervin Rousan, State Representative

House District 71: The Honorable Jim Boyd, State Representative

House District 72: The Honorable Ray Pilon, State Representative

Senate District 28: The Honorable Nancy Detert, State Senator

  • visit web site, which includes an email link

Here is some suggestion text:

I am one of the 4.2 million people who voted in favor Amendment 1.

I believed when voting for the amendment that it would provide new, additional funding for Florida Forever, land conservation, springs and the Everglades.

Please support amendments on the Senate floor to use Amendment 1 funds as the bill sponsors originally intended, not as a substitute for existing operational funds.

I particularly support the possible use of Amendment 1 funds for efforts to extend The Legacy Trail to downtown Sarasota.

Doug Hattaway of the Trust for Public Lands speaks at Feb3, 2015 FLT mtg

IMG_1905Doug Hattaway of the Trust for Public Land was our guest speaker for the February 3, 2015 FLT meeting. TPL is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect lands as parks and open spaces. The Draft Feasibility Study to extend The Legacy Trail to downtown Sarasota, now being reviewed by Sarasota County Staff, pegs the construction cost at about $15 million, but offers no estimate on land acquisition costs or financing opportunities. TPL was instrumental in negotiating the purchase of the existing 10.6 mile segment of The Legacy Trail, and has begun discussions to acquire use of the proposed 8.6 mile extension. Doug provided insight on the acquisition of the current trail corridor and opportunities for acquiring the corridor to downtown Sarasota.

New Ambassador Patrols hit the Trail

FLT renewed its commitment to sponsoring Ambassador Patrols along The Legacy Trail and Venetian Waterway at a 4 December 2014 orientation seminar held at the Nokomis Park Community Center. About 15 new Ambassadors participated. Deputy Cathy Duff of the Sarasota Sheriff’s office provided a law enforcement perspective, while Sarasota County employees Vicki French, Brenda Canales, and Ed Wolfenbarger explained the County volunteer application process, required background checks, reporting aspects, patrol duties and responsibilities. Patrollers will offer helpful advice to trail users, report potential law enforcement concerns to the Sheriff’s office, and maintenance needs to the County Parks office. Patrollers completing the volunteer application process received a high visibility Ambassador Patrol vest to wear while on patrol. See the Trail Ambassadors tab on the left for more information.

Another $10K Closer to Bringing The Legacy Trail to Downtown Sarasota!

The first annual FLT 5K Fun Run/Walk and other corporate donations have raised a most impressive $10,000 towards the Extend the Legacy Trail Campaign. This effort aims to help pay for an ongoing feasibility study to bring this multi-use urban trail from its current northern terminus at Culverhouse Park to downtown Sarasota!

An unseasonably chilly Sarasota morning greeted participants on November first 2014 for the inaugural FLT 5K Fun Run/Walk. Braced with hot coffee and with car headlights illuminating the night, volunteers gathered in the wee hours to set up tables for the start and finish line at Culverhouse Park. Despite the cool start, the morning sun quickly warmed the air and brought a lovely fall morning, signaling the end of another hot Sarasota summer. Participants got some exercise and met new friends. Runners and walkers agreed it lived up to its billing – its was a FUN event for a great cause. All received an Extend the Legacy Trail T-shirt and a light, nutritious breakfast upon their return, complements of Doctor’s Hospital. Thank you to Doctors Hospital and our other event sponsors: The Silverstein Institute, Coppola Realty, Heritage Family Chiropractic, and The Bucket Fillers. We hope you can join us for next year’s event if you couldn’t make it this time.
With a growing number of trail users now exceeding 120,000 per year, it’s not surprising that proximity to The Legacy Trail is often included as an amenity in new and existing home sales listings for neighborhoods that abut or are close by. Real estate developers and realtors see real economic value in the presence of this multi-use trail.

Justin Powell, VP Palmer Ranch Holdings Ltd presents a check to Margaret Brading of FLT

We are deeply grateful to the generous donations provided by real estate developers Taylor Morrison Homes, Pulte Homes, Inc., and Palmer Ranch Holdings, Ltd. to support the Extend Campaign. Regrettably, Steve Kempton, Division President for Taylor Morrison was unavailable for a photo recognizing their donation.

Michael Woolery, Land Div Mgr for Pulte Homes Inc presents a check to Margaret Brading of FLT
Michael Woolery, Land Div Mgr for Pulte Homes Inc presents a check to Margaret Brading of FLT
A special note of gratitude goes to longtime FLT volunteer Margaret Brading who conceived, planned, and with the help of a few dozen other FLT volunteers managed the 5K Fun Run/Walk event. She also sought these corporate donations. All Legacy Trail users benefit from the tireless efforts of our FLT volunteers who graciously give their time and effort to help stage Legacy Trail fund raising events like this one.

The 5K Fun Run/Walk and these corporate donations have, together, brought us $10,000 closer to our fundraising goal to support the Extend the Legacy Trail Campaign.

Click HERE for the current funding status. See the Trail Extension tab on the left for the latest news on the ongoing feasibility study to extend The Legacy Trail.

Free Helmets & Fitting for Children at National Night Out

As part of its safety outreach efforts, Friends of The Legacy Trail, partnering with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office at National Night Out on October 7th, fitted over 140 children with free bicycle helmets. The helmets were provided by the Florida Department of Transportation. Florida regulations require that a bicycle rider or passenger under 16 years of age must wear an approved bicycle helmet that is properly fitted and securely fastened on the child’s head. Passengers include childen riding in a trailer attached to a bicycle.

More free bike helmet and fitting events are planned in the future.