1565 First Street
Sarasota, FL 34236
For Immediate Release: June 4, 2015
Contact: Jan Thornburg, Sr. Communications Manager 941-954-2613
EXOTIC PLANTS TO BE REMOVED
Sarasota, FL: As part of a comprehensive effort to revitalize North Water Tower Park, 4700 Rilma Avenue, and the surrounding neighborhoods, exotic vegetation within the park will be removed starting Monday, June 8. Dense non-native vegetation, including Brazilian pepper and air potato vine plants, must be cleared prior to construction beginning to improve the nearby stormwater system. The park and facilities will remain open to the public during the work.
With the highest concentration of exotic vegetation located along the western and southeastern borders of the park, that is where most of the work will be done. Crews will remove the plants manually and also will use machinery. The work is expected to be completed in 2-3 weeks.
While the park is owned and maintained by the City of Sarasota, the comprehensive improvement project involves several community partners, including the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP), Sarasota County, residents and merchants.
SBEP received a $300,000 federal grant last year through the EPA Gulf of Mexico program with the intent to improve the stormwater quality in the North Water Tower Park vicinity. Through an interlocal agreement, Sarasota County is responsible for managing and maintaining stormwater systems throughout the City. Through these collaborations between the City, SBEP and Sarasota County, the stormwater improvement project will be accomplished.
The project also is a significant part of a proposed North Water Tower Park area Master Plan, which calls for improving park access for residents in the nearby Bayou Oaks Neighborhood and heightening natural surveillance within the park using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles. Thinning the exotic vegetation in the area will lessen opportunities for unwanted activity in the park and neighborhoods.
E Co Consultants, a Manatee County based environmental restoration company, was contracted by SBEP to remove the exotic vegetation. With exotics known for their resiliency, the company is slated to return as many as four times to prevent future regrowth of the plants.
About the City of Sarasota: Distinguished by Google as a Digital Capital in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida's Suncoast with 53,000 year round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at www.SarasotaGov.com
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