Community Foundation of Sarasota County Commits $1 Million to The Bay Park Conservancy

Categories: Donors, Philanthropy, Community Impact,

SARASOTA, FL – The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, in partnership with an anonymous donor, has committed $1 million to The Bay Park Conservancy to support construction of The Bay’s initial 10-acre phase, as well as activation programming to ensure future park activities bring together people and families of all ages and backgrounds from throughout the region.

“The Bay offers an opportunity to ensure our area provides an atmosphere that bridges generations and unites our community by offering unique experiences where everyone who visits feels they belong,” said Roxie Jerde, President & CEO, of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “These gifts uphold the spirit of inclusivity and community pride that ignited The Bay.”

The Community Foundation was an early supporter of Bayfront 2020, the coalition of citizen volunteers that in 2013 began developing efforts to imagine restoring and enhancing the City of Sarasota-owned property, as well as the Sarasota Bayfront Planning Organization, which developed the park’s master plan.

“A signature public park adds to the social and economic, cultural and educational value of a community,” said A.G. Lafley, founding CEO of The Bay Park Conservancy. “The Community Foundation of Sarasota County’s generous support will help us offer a wide range of programs and activities that will be open, accessible, free and welcoming to everyone in our community in a beautiful park on Sarasota bay.”

Major design efforts of the first phase of The Bay are focused on environmental conservation and restoration of the shoreline and mangrove bayou on the southern portion of the property. The open lawn space along Boulevard of the Arts is where early activation programming will take place.

The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is committed to fostering a community-wide culture of caring, empowerment, and belonging through impactful solutions powered by philanthropy.


About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of over $398 million in nearly 1,500 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $34 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. For more information, visit or call (941) 955-3000.