Manatee Beefing Up Park Amenities


SARASOTA, FLORIDA, March 15th, 2017 – Manatee is expected to complete a 15-year parks master plan this spring, but this early, local officials have already launched several initiatives to develop and maximize recreation and open space amenities of the county.

In a meeting this March, the County Commission approved the county’s first community pool north of the Manatee River. This new aquatic facility will be located at the 18-acre Lincoln Park in Palmetto, directly across east of Lincoln Middle School. Notable amongst the nearby communities which stand to directly benefit from this new pool are Sylvan Oaks and Sugar Mill Lakes, both potential hunting ground for affordably priced Palmetto homes for sale.

A multi-pool concept is planned at Lincoln Park, one with zero-depth entry as support pool and as an expanded splash area. There will be a main pool with six to eight lanes as a competitive component of the facility. Other amenities in this park include lighted basketball courts and football fields.

In Bradenton, county plans have also been announced last year on the upgrading of the pool at John Marble Park in Bradenton to enable its year-round operation and accommodate more activities for swimming clubs, high school teams and recreation. After the county’s master plan is completed, replacement of the aging gym of the park, which is located just south of the golf community of Peridia, could also move forward.

Inclusive Playgrounds

Manatee Beefing Up Park Amenities

Meanwhile, in another development this March, the County Commission approved the construction of barrier-free inclusive playgrounds at the G.T. Bray, Buffalo Creek, and Tom Bennett parks. Manatee park officials will be working in tandem with the nonprofit Suncoast Playground Projects Inc. which local Rotarians formed recently to advocate for playgrounds that accommodate children of all abilities.

The initial cost of the project is estimated at $1.8 million, with the redevelopment of each playground following its own theme. At G.T. Bray Park, it would be sea life, while Tom Bennett Park and Buffalo Creek Park would follow ranch life and fossils, respectively.

Environmental Center at Robinson Preserve

Overall capital expenditure for Manatee County parks and recreation is set at over $2.7 million this year. Much of this amount is allocated to the ongoing expansion and restoration of Robinson Preserve. Included in these initiatives is a trail linking Robinson Preserve to Perico Preserve and eventually towards south to Neal Preserve.

This September, the preserve is expected to have a soft opening for its Mosaic Center for Nature, Exploration, Science and Technology. This 1,700-square-foot environmental center, amongst other things, will feature elevated boardwalks and an environmental classroom with programming for all ages.

Happy Communities at the Fringes

Bordered by many attractive Bradenton homes for sale, Robinson Preserve’s existing 487 acres is being expanded by 150 acres on its southeast edge. This additional acreage of former farmlands are being developed for more nature trails, marshes and emergent islands.

A new property development, The Estuary, is one of the communities near the expanded preserve. Planned for 50 homes in a 53-acre site, this community is located a short distance south of Robinson Preserve for a front-row seat to some of the prime recreation and open space amenities in Manatee.