The Patterson Foundation is continuing its support for The Bay by committing up to $4 million in matching funds to catalyze private donations toward the completion of Phase 1 of The Bay’s master plan. Each time private philanthropy donates $5 million toward Phase 1 through 2023, The Patterson Foundation will provide a $1 million match, up to a total contribution of $4 million — resulting in a $24 million investment into The Bay.
The Bay is a community, city and park conservancy initiative to transform 53 acres of city-owned land into a signature public park on Sarasota Bay. Once complete, The Bay will include a wide range of park uses that will be open and accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds. Phase 1 of The Bay 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. The Phase 1 construction has made substantial progress, including the opening of the half-mile, 10-foot-wide Mangrove Bayou Walkway that winds around the coastal wetlands in the park.
“The Bay is becoming one of Sarasota’s most welcoming and inclusive spaces because of the focus on transforming an under-utilized and neglected waterfront into an environmental and aesthetic jewel for all to enjoy,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “While much has been accomplished so far, there is more to be done to complete this crucial first phase. The Patterson Foundation is proud to work with The Bay Park Conservancy and people to propel more excellence at The Bay.”
Since 2016, The Patterson Foundation has supported this multi-sector, community-strengthening effort by providing more than $5 million in catalytic funding and strategic consulting. The Patterson Foundation supports The Bay Park Conservancy because it demonstrates accountability, excellence and transparency in ways that foster wide participation and inclusion.
A previous matching challenge by The Patterson Foundation helped propel private funding for Phase 1 beyond $20 million between 2019 and 2021. The Bay Park Conservancy’s commitment to living its vision and guiding principles, coupled with The Patterson Foundation’s match, inspired philanthropy’s impact on The Bay’s progress, even during a pandemic. This latest challenge by The Patterson Foundation aspires to catalyze support for The Bay Park Conservancy as it continues to build momentum toward realizing Phase 1.
“For more than five years, The Patterson Foundation has been a catalyst and steadfast leadership supporter of The Bay initiative,” said AG Lafley, founding CEO of The Bay Park Conservancy. “Debra Jacobs and her Governing Board understood the power of gathering our community together, in a public park on The Bay that is open and accessible, free and welcoming to the full and rich diversity of Sarasota.”