Two Wins on North Port Water Resources Stewardship


The City of North Port scored a pair of water-resource related gains in September 2014, receiving a prestigious international award on water conservation and finally gaining full ownership of Warm Mineral Springs which led to its reopening that same month.

North Port was cited at the Annual WateReuse Symposium, the world’s preeminent conference devoted to water reuse, for its rain barrel art contest promoting the city’s year-round water conservation and protection, education, and awareness program. This city program aims to inspire, inform, and involve the community to adopt water conservation and protection practices into their daily lives.

The WateReuse Association,organizer of the symposium held this2014 in Dallas, presents the awards to give worldwide recognition to significant efforts to advance alternate sources of water supply or offer an innovative approach to provide local water needs. Also cited this year were awardees from Australia and India, with the San Francisco 49ers joining North Port among the U.S. honorees.

Historical “Miracle Lake”

Two Wins on North Port Water Resources Stewardship

Shortly after receiving the award, North Port also endeared itself to tourists and fans of Warm Mineral Springs, with the city’s $2.75 million purchase of the Sarasota County government’s stake in the springs. The city and the county jointly purchased the 81-acre site of the springs in 2010, but a management squabble between them forced its closure in 2013 and again in 2014.

Also called “Miracle Lake” by those convinced of its healing powers, Warm Mineral Springs is listed in the U.S. National Register of Historical Places because of its archaeological significance. This North Port tourist attraction likewise has been associated with the “fountain of youth” that 16th century Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon supposedly found in Florida. Thousands of Eastern Europeans, in fact, have settled in North Port because of the legendary curative benefits of the city’s springs.

More springs amenities eyed

City officials are equally satisfied with North Port acquiring full ownership of the springs, believing that the time is ripe for its full development which can help further drive the city’s economy. The city expects a $1.2 million annual income from the springs just from entrance fees ranging from $20 to $7.50 which takes into account discounts for Sarasota residents.

An updated environmental assessment and public workshops have been promised earlier by city commissioners in order to draw a 10-year plan for the springs’ site. North Port officials favor a park-like setting with several additional amenities, such as facilities selling healthy meals and drinks as well as gifts and other sundry items.

Residing close to the springs

With city approval, special classes, events and entertainment may also be hosted at Warm Mineral Springs. Bigger project ideas previously floated include construction of a hotel and a condominium.

The Warm Mineral Springs area is also notable for some attractively priced Sarasota homes for sale. Prices of available residences in this area are typically priced in the $100s, featuring three bedrooms and floor areas starting at 1,700 square feet. Options of local properties priced in the $200s can include a 2,200-square-footwaterfront home next to the Myakka River and close to the Tamiami Trail.