The Bay Park: Features of Phase 1 - The Bay Sarasota
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The Bay Park: Features of Phase 1


The Bay Park: Features of Phase 1

The Bay Park: Features of Phase 1

Over the past two years, the team in partnership with the city and the community has progressed The Bay initiative from Conceptual Master Plans of the entire park and the first phase, to a feasible and developable Implementation Plan for the first phase, and most recently to a recommended Site Plan for the first phase that we can develop into an actual park for everyone in our community to use and enjoy. 

In this presentation, you will learn more about the key features and components of Phase 1 of The Bay: 

  • The Sunset Boardwalk
  • Living Shoreline
  • Mangrove Bayou
  • The Lawns

You can learn more about the design and features of Phase 1 by either clicking through the slideshow directly below or scrolling through this page.

“From the very beginning, the community, the City of Sarasota, and our team of experienced park designers and developers have come together to create a signature park on Sarasota Bay that is accessible, free and welcoming to all.”
The original Master Plan for the 53-acre site and Phase 1 was approved by the City Commission in Sep. 2018.
Community input received April - August 2019 helped shape the current Phase 1 design of the park with a pedestrian Sunset Boardwalk, Living Shoreline, Mangrove Bayou, and open Lawns.
There are four major components: Sunset Boardwalk, Living Shoreline, Mangrove Bayou, The Lawns
Sunset Boardwalk
The recommended design presented to the City Commission in September 2019 focused on ecological restoration and environmental sustainability, which determined the circular shape and location of the Sunset Boardwalk.
The intent of the Sunset Boardwalk is to create a walkway over the water that engages with Sarasota Bay, the Living Shoreline and Mangrove Bayou in an intimate and respectful way. 

The Sunset Boardwalk is for pedestrians. No boats will be permitted to dock or tie-up. No fishing will be allowed.
Two narrow and translucent bridges serve as connectors over the seagrass. They allow sunlight to pass through to the ocean floor below.
Living Shoreline
The design team imagined a Living Shoreline that is resilient and sustainable.
The updated design enables the Living Shoreline to be restored and sustained.
The Lawns
The vision for the Lawns is to be a flexible canvas that will be used for a wide-range of fitness and health, arts, cultural, educational, recreational and social activities.
The Lawns are right-sized (1.5 acres instead of 2.5 acres) to accommodate the Living Shoreline and Mangrove Bayou.
In the most recent design (Sep. 2019), the restrooms and food service pavilion were moved to the east end of the park lawn, which is on higher ground and will offer a longer, unobstructed view of Sarasota Bay, especially ideal for sunset viewing.
The lawn area design in Phase 1 (as presented to the City Commissioners in Sep. 2019) no longer includes a restaurant. Any/all restaurants will move to the north of the Master Plan, around the Canal District and/or in the new performing arts center.
Mangrove Bayou
Once complete, the Mangrove Bayou will feature a half-mile walkway that will be accessible for walkers, runners and bikers. This path will include a Kayak Launch, Hammock Grove, and outdoor “Reading Room” with beautiful views into the Bayou.
Other environmental enhancements will restore the ecology of the Mangrove Bayou, through the removal of invasive plant species, mangrove windowing and new stormwater treatment.
The Hammock Grove, one of the last remnants of Sarasota’s original shoreline, is an area full of Live Oak trees and Cabbage Palms. This ecosystem will be preserved and enhanced, featuring  small decks and viewing areas where visitors can enjoy the natural environment.
The Kayak Launch will be improved to allow better access for kayakers and paddle boarders.
The Reading Room provides an overlook into the Mangrove Bayou.
The intent is to add a beautiful and dramatic tree-lined promenade from Van Wezel Way to the Sunset Boardwalk on the north side of Blvd. of the Arts.

You can also learn more about The Bay’s journey from conceptual idea to Phase 1 site plan here.

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