VENICE, FL (December 6, 2022) – Gulf Coast Community Foundation recently awarded Venice Area Beautification, Inc. (VABI), a 30-year-old, volunteer based organization, with a $100,000 grant to support Phase 3 of the Venice Urban Forest. Since 1998, Gulf Coast has provided over $1.5 million dollars in their historic partnership with VABI. Phase 3 is the final phase of the Urban Forest, along an industrial corridor, and focuses on installation of additional irrigation piping to irrigate all the new trees and understory plants. The grant will cover the cost for native trees to be bought and planted, including 400 slash pines, 200 red cedars, and 10 longleaf pines. The Urban Forest is home to over 90 different species of birds. The grant is especially timely after the Urban Forest suffered damage from Hurricane Ian, losing approximately 125 trees.
“The Venice Urban Forest, powered in part by funding from Gulf Coast, is an environmental safe haven for wildlife, clean water, and a place of natural respite for residents and visitors,” said Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s Senior Vice President of Community Leadership Jon Thaxton. “The secret sauce in the success of this project has been the hardworking volunteers of VABI who have not been deterred by rain, heat, or hurricanes in their mission to create an accessible and beautiful walking trail forest for all.”
“Gulf Coast Community Foundation has been a constant and strong supporter of VABI and many of its endeavors over the years. I am very thankful that I live in a community where such a generous foundation has supported this organization from the beginning,” said VABI Board of Directors President Nancy Woodley. “The Venice Urban Forest is a magical place for future generations to enjoy. We are grateful for Gulf Coast’s impact on this long lasting endeavor,” Woodley continued.
The future of the Urban Forest includes using natural materials to stabilize a maintenance pathway so the volunteers can continue to maintain the property. Phase 1 of the Venice Urban Forest is open to all from dawn to dusk. To learn more about the Venice Urban Forest, visit VeniceUrbanForest.com.
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About Gulf Coast Community Foundation
Headquartered in Venice, Fla. and with a second office in downtown Sarasota, Fla., Gulf Coast Community Foundation has transformed the region through bold and proactive philanthropy for over 25 years. Serving the needs of the region as a partner in philanthropy, and leader in community initiatives, Gulf Coast has granted nearly $500 million in the areas of: health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Gulf Coast was named one of the “Best Nonprofits to Work For” nationally by The Nonprofit Times in 2010, 2011, 2017, 2020, and 2021. To learn more visit GulfCoastCF.org and follow us on Facebook at @GulfCoastCommFnd.
About Venice Area Beautification, Inc.
Venice Area Beautification, Inc. (VABI) is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization focusing on projects that enhance our community for every resident. VABI embraces a vision of Venice that retains its small-town flavor and history. VABI’s vision is to help “build community” in the Greater Venice area. Planning is focused on timeless projects that offer all residents and visitors a safe place to walk, discover the enchantment of nature, connection to neighborhoods and parks, and experience outdoor art and sculpture. VABI ‘s mission is to enrich the quality of life for every resident of our community making Venice a more beautiful place to live, work, and play.