Just the Facts
- Almost 300 acres in the City of Sarasota
- On February 18, the Sarasota City Commission approved design Option III (3). Read about the option below.
- Conservation Foundation is working with the City of Sarasota to conserve the entire property so that it will always be open to the public as outdoor recreation space.
Why it Matters
The historic Bobby Jones Golf Club of nearly 300 acres plays a significant environmental role for the region. Enormous volumes of storm water, including runoff from as far away as the Mall at University Town Center, are retained and filtered by the property before flowing into Sarasota Bay. The almost 300 acres of green space situated within an urban area serve as habitat for more than 45 species of birds and many other wildlife species. The hundreds of trees on the property play a critical air quality role by processing carbon from the atmosphere, thereby improving local air quality, cooling the region, and helping to counter climate change.
On February 18, the Sarasota City Commission voted to accept Option III(3) and directed staff to work with Conservation Foundation to draft a conservation easement agreement. Read about it in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.
The City of Sarasota is considering a permanent conservation easement which would ensure the permanent conservation of green space and allow compatible future uses, which would be limited to golf, light recreation, natural resource restoration and protection as parkland or open space.
Option III (3) Download the design and options here.
Read two letters of support for Option III from golfing experts Bobby Jones Links and Nicklaus Design
Community Benefits of Option III (3)
- Restored and upgraded 27 holes of golf (one regulation 18-hole course and one short nine-hole course for beginners and seniors)
- Creates a unique recreation destination with more natural open space for people and wildlife
- Increases the park’s nature-based recreation to 130 acres with a created wetlands and pine uplands
- Provides new recreational amenities including a playground, lawn bowling and nature trails that will expand the use of the park for more people in the community
- Offers the potential to expand the Legacy Trail along Circus Blvd. to and through The Meadows and on to Benderson Park
Option III (3) also provides the following advantages:
- A Conservation Easement that will ensure the property is never developed, reduced in size or degraded. which will assure private and foundation funders their investment will not be undone resulting in a lower development cost to the City
- The 30 acres of added wetland will provide balanced recreational land use with 153 acres of golf, 130 acres of nature trails and improve water quality by removing excess nutrients before they flow into Sarasota Bay
- The added 30 acres of wetland will store 9.8 million gallons of stormwater helping to prevent downstream flooding
- The wetland will also store 1,620 metric tons of CO2, the equivalent of preventing greenhouse gas omissions from burning 1.8 million pounds of coal for a year