EAST MANATEE — Land preparation has begun for a new 25-acre county park to be built near Creekwood. The park would include a play lot, dog park, playing field, picnic tables, pavilion, parking lot and restrooms.
“This is a public-private partnership in which the County of Manatee owns the land and Centex will help fund for the first initial phase of the park,” said Valerie Dolenga of corporate communications for the Pulte Group in an e-mail. The property is at 7110 44th Ave. E., north of Creekwood.
Cindy Turner, director of Manatee County Parks and Recreation, said plans for the park go back more than a decade as part of a development of regional impact.
Centex has made an $850,000 commitment to build the park, Turner said.
“We have had a lot of feedback from the community over many years,” Turner said. “One of the biggest requests has been for this dog park.”
G.T. Bray park in west Bradenton and Buffalo Creek Park in the Ellenton-Parrish area already have county dog parks. Creekwood Park would give dog owners a new destination.
The park is expected to be completed within the next nine to 12 months, Dolenga said in her e-mail.
Creekwood residents welcomed the news.
“I think it would be amazing. We have two kids, 4 and 6,” said Denise Bisharat. “If they threw in a skate park, that would get my husband really excited.”
Sharon Fannin, a former chair of the Creekwood architectural control committee, said everyone she has talked to believes the park is a good thing.
“A play lot is really needed,” Fannin said, adding that some residents are now driving to the John H. Marble property at 3675 S.R. 70 E. for a playground.
“Otherwise we don’t have a play lot in our community,” Fannin said.
Asked about Tom Bennett Regional Park now under construction at the intersection of State Road 64 and Interstate 75, Turner said plans for that park currently do not include a dog park.
But there have been requests to include a dog park there, and Turner said county staff would try to see if there is portion that might work for that purpose. “We will make every effort to do so,” she said.
Work is expected to begin early next year on the long-anticipated Conservatory Park, built around a 10-acre lake north of University Parkway between University Pines, the Sonoma neighborhood and Palm-Aire.
The Conservatory would be a passive park. The Herald has previously reported that it would include a launch for canoes and kayaks, a pier, observation area, picnic pavilion, restrooms, playground equipment and trails.