The investment will both catalyze and strengthen The Bay’s commitment to excellence in transforming Sarasota’s bayfront
Note: This release was originally written and published by The Patterson Foundation on May 21, 2019.
SARASOTA, Fla. (May 21, 2019) – The Patterson Foundation will contribute up to $5 million for operations and Phase 1 of The Bay’s master plan. Through The Bay, the community is engaged in a multi-year journey to transform 53 acres of Sarasota’s bayfront into a public park that is free, open and welcoming to our diverse region while offering fitness, health, cultural, recreational, and educational activities and events.
Following an initial $2 million contribution, The Patterson Foundation will make additional $1 million investments each time private philanthropy contributes $5 million toward Phase 1 and The Bay’s 2019-2022 operating budget — a combined budget of $20 million. Phase 1 will bring the first round of enhancements to the 53-acre site and result in the creation of a 10-acre community park stretching from U.S. 41 to the bayfront along Boulevard of the Arts. Potential updates to the site during Phase 1 include open spaces for a range of activities and events, restoration and activation of the land’s natural mangrove habitat, new pier structures,
and other public amenities.
“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 Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “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.”
Prior to this latest commitment, The Patterson Foundation provided $300,000 in catalytic funding and consulting support for the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization (SBPO) to facilitate the development of The Bay’s master plan. Following the master plan’s unanimous approval by the City Commission in September 2018, the SBPO evolved into the Bay Park Conservancy to work with the City of Sarasota to create, co-fund, build and operate the park for the community. Through an additional unanimous vote by the City Commission in April 2019, the City of Sarasota and the Bay Park Conservancy have entered into a partnership agreement to manage The Bay’s evolution.
“We deeply appreciate and are inspired by The Patterson Foundation’s unrestricted leadership gift which will serve as a foundational catalyst towards Phase 1 of The Bay park,” said AG Lafley, startup CEO of the Bay Park Conservancy. “To receive it coupled with an incredible challenge for our community, cements our shared commitment to opening the park by 2021.”
For more information about The Bay, visit thebaysarasota.org.
About The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations and communities. The Foundation focuses on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve. For more information, please visit www.thepattersonfoundation.org and connect with @ThePattersonFdn on Twitter.