Mark your calendars for Friday, December 15th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 noon for the City of Sarasota’s Grand Reopening of Bobby Jones Park. The event will begin with a ceremonial tee off on the golf course followed at 10:00 AM with tours of the new wetlands and nature park.
The Nature Park tour will be led by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast that includes a 1.25 mile walk that is expected to take about 45 minutes with stops at specific stations where subject matter experts from the Audubon Society, the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program and START will explain the various environmental impacts of the new park including expanded habitat for birds and wildlife, reforestation and improved water quality downstream.
The new park covers 300 acres with 100 acres of park land and a 20-acre wetland that has been planted with nearly 50,000 native plants via a grant from the Healthy Pond Collaborative funded by the Barancik Foundation and the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program. The stormwater management system is comprised of five wet detention areas, two dry detention areas and the regional detention areas that includes the created wetland system shown above and Pond 5. The stormwater system will service 5,800 upstream acres to improve water quality before the water flows into Phillippi Creek. Experts have determined that along with the conversion of 100 acres of former golf course land to passive recreational land the stormwater system will annually remove 4,757 pounds of total nitrogen and 496 pounds of total phosphorus before the water leaves the park. When you consider that one pound of nitrogen can produce three hundred pounds of algae that means this system will eliminate over 1.4 million pounds of potential algal growth from our waterways.
Online reservations to attend the event can be made beginning on December 2nd by visiting bobbyjonesgolfclub.com.