At the end of this month, the Healthy Pond Collaborative Sarasota will complete its fist year of a three-year grant from the Charles and Margery Barancik Foundation. As many of our regular readers will recall from previous articles in our Monthly E-Newsletter, this program grew out of a 2021 pond enhancement program initiated by START and the Sarasota County NEST Program that was supported by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Based on the initial results of that program, the Barancik foundation provided $250,000 in funding to create the Healthy Pond Collaborative, a partnership including START, the Sarasota County NEST Program, the University of Florida IFAS Sarasota Extension and the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida.

A year later this partnership has visited and advised twenty different communities on healthy stormwater pond practices that reduce unsightly algal growth and help prevent costly bank erosion. The Healthy Pond Collaborative awarded eleven local communities with grants to buy the necessary aquatic plant stock that is necessary for a successful pond enhancement program. As of this writing, this program has helped plant over 4.3 miles of new pond shoreline in Sarasota County this year.

To have your community become part of this successful pond enhancement program in 2023, contact Sandy Gilbert at for details.

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