Parrish residents get a first look at plans for long-awaited park

23 acres of land will be preserved
ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:35 PM EST
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PARRISH, Fla. (WWSB) - A world-class park will be coming to Parrish in the near future, sitting on 23 acres on Fort Hamer Road near Erie Road, not far from Parrish Community High School.

It has been in the works for a long time.

“I am very happy that it’s finally coming to fruition, we’ve been working on this, I started this back in 2017,″ said Gretchen Fowler, a Parrish resident and former president of the Parrish Civic Association.

Wednesday night residents got a first-hand look at the plans and meeting with Manatee County officials.

“We can’t wait to have more activities for the kids, the playground, the splash pad. This is what young families are looking for,” said Vanessa Gallon, a Parrish resident.

This is a victory for land preservation in an area seeing large amounts of development.

“This is preserving a green area for families and individuals to just enjoy nature in an area that is building and booming,” said Bill Logan, spokesperson for Manatee County. “So setting this aside is important so that this green space will remain available throughout the ages.”

The park will feature a playground, splash pad and a bandshell for shows, among other many amenities for residents and families to enjoy.

“This gives Parrish the opportunity, it may not be a huge park but it is our park and it’ll be a park for us to play and enjoy each other’s company,” said Fowler. “Bring the community out, it’s really important to have that.”

Part of this land is owned by Manatee County, the other portion was owned by the Florida Department of Transportation. ABC7 is being told work on this park should begin this August. It’s expected to be finished by September 2024.

“It’s very important, that’s part of a community is your parks, your recreation and amenities,” said Logan. “And being able to have something like this come new to Parrish is great.”