SARASOTA, FLA. - The North Water Tower Park is tucked away in northern part of Sarasota surrounded by dead end streets and is not easily found.
“It is a great public space that is relatively unknown,” says Andrew Georgiadis, Principal Urban Designer for Sarasota. Georgiadis has been working on plans to improve the park by making it more visible and accessible.
“Part of that increasing access such as perhaps eliminating some of the dead ends that are in the vicinity and actually making the grid go through so people can access the park on foot or by bike or even by car.”
Part of his plan includes using zoning to allow new residences to be built along some of the park right of ways.
“Zoning could be a tool to help promote that development that would shape it better and actually provide those users and those eyes on the space right now.”
“You see a lot of kids over here, a lot of families and at the same time you see the trouble makers.”
Ryan Thor is in the park every day and likes the idea of opening it up.
“I kind of like the nature effect of it all but at the same time you kind of got to clear it to loose some of the mischief.”
Matt Davis brings his daughter to the park twice a week.
“She loves the park and I like the walk around. It is nice, the scenery.”
Part of the scenery will be changing with the planned improvements that include removing invasive plant species.
“The park has a beautiful native forest that has been chocked by several foreign species that are overtaking it and smothering it.”
To help fund the improvements in the three year pan, the city has applied and been approved for a $300,000 grant from the EPA.
The park improvement project not only includes inside the park but also the neighborhood surrounding North Water Tower Park.