After more than seven years of planning and deliberation, the Culverhouse Nature Park will be open to the public Saturday, June 29, with a kick-off celebration and refreshments.
The idea for the park started in December 2006, when Eliza and Hugh Culverhouse placed a perpetual environment easement on the property. With the easement, no commercial enterprises were allowed on the 82 acres of land. The Culverhouse's eventually donated the land to the county.
Turtle Rock resident Catherine Dente organized a county meeting in August 2009 and county leaders, area homeowners and community members discussed turning the land into a nature park. Community members also discussed the formation of a community garden within the Culverhouse Nature Park. The garden has been implemented already. Dente and fellow Turtle Rock residents Marcia Freeman and Leila Frangie led the way in organizing the 1.5-acre community garden that is currently at its full capacity of 65 members plus their helpers.
Dente says for those who are interested in planting vegetables in the community garden can be put on a waiting list. Dente says the garden is a wonderful way to bring community members together.
“We have all sorts of people and every language you can imagine,” Dente says. “People from all around the world bring their ideas about gardening and share ideas and seeds with community members.”
The Culverhouse Nature Park is meant to be a passive nature park for Sarasota residents to enjoy the wildlife around them. The park contains a parking area for cyclists who want to ride on the Legacy Trail.
In the next 10 years the county plans to add more trails, a playground for children, picnic tables and an all-purpose playing field where families can throw a Frisbee or play catch.
Dente says the park is “a place to renew the spirit and enjoy the wildlife and birds,“ in a very peaceful setting.
Contact Yaryna Klimchak at [email protected]