A rendering of The Bay Park's Reading Room.

A rendering of The Bay Park's Reading Room.

The Bay Park Conservancy, the non-profit organization responsible for overseeing the redevelopment of 53-acres of city-owned land along Sarasota Bay into a public park, celebrated the opening of the Mangrove Walkway with a small, private ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 25. The Mangrove Walkway will officially open for public access on April 10.

The half-mile, 10-ft. wide sidewalk winds around the coastal wetlands in The Bay Park. It originally broke ground in January of 2020 with the western portion opening to the public in October of 2020. Work will continue on other walkway features, including the new kayak launch, dredged and restored bayou and enhanced bayou bridge with an expected completion of summer 2021. Enhancements include the removal of invasive plant species, the installation of more than two dozen different Florida-friendly plants, the addition of more than 100 new trees, new stormwater treatment measures and new ADA accessible pathways.

The Mangrove Walkway is designed to be accessible to walkers, runners, bikers and more. Additional features of Phase 1 include the Sunset Boardwalk, The Lawns, the Living Shoreline and a concession area.

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