SARASOTA, Fla. (May 21, 2019) – The Patterson Foundation will contribute up to $5 million for operations and Phase 1 of The Bay’s master plan. Through The Bay, the community is engaged in a multi-year journey to transform fifty-three acres of Sarasota’s bayfront into an iconic recreational and cultural destination that is active, fun, comfortable, safe and broadly attractive for people of all ages.
Following an initial $2 million contribution, The Patterson Foundation will make additional $1 million contributions each time private philanthropy contributes $5 million toward Phase 1 and The Bay’s 2019-2022 operating budget — a combined budget of $20 million. Phase 1 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. Potential updates to the site during Phase 1 include open spaces for a range of activities and events, restoration and activation of the land’s natural mangrove habitat, new pier structures, and other public amenities.
“Throughout its evolution, The Bay has demonstrated a sense of inclusiveness that aligns with The Patterson Foundation’s aspirations and approach to strengthening the community,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “This level of support is not about being the biggest partner at the table. Rather, it reflects The Patterson Foundation’s desire to be the catalyst for the Bay Park Conservancy’s success — the same aspiration at the heart of the previous support for the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization.”
Prior to its contribution to this initial phase of The Bay’s master plan, The Patterson Foundation provided $300,000 in catalytic funding and consulting support for the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization (SBPO), which facilitated the master planning phase.
“We deeply appreciate and are inspired by The Patterson Foundation’s unrestricted leadership gift which will serve as a foundational catalyst towards Phase 1 of The Bay park,” said AG Lafley, startup CEO of the Bay Park Conservancy. “To receive it coupled with an incredible challenge for our community, cements our shared commitment to opening the park by 2021.”
Following the master plan’s unanimous approval by the City Commission in September 2018 and conclusion of the SBPO’s work, the group evolved into the Bay Park Conservancy to work with the City of Sarasota to create, co-fund, build, and operate a park for the community. The City of Sarasota and the Bay Park Conservancy are engaged in partnership agreement to manage the effort through an additional unanimous vote by the City Commission in April 2019.
For more information about The Bay, visit thebaysarasota.org.
About The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations and communities. The Foundation focuses on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve. For more information, please visit www.thepattersonfoundation.org and connect with @ThePattersonFdn on Twitter.