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Jiggs Landing's grand opening set for Dec. 11

MANATEE – Jiggs Landing, one of only two public freshwater launches in Manatee County, will reopen to the public later this month after a year’s worth of renovations that restored much of the property’s original beauty.

The ceremony is set for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 11 at Jiggs Landing, 6106 63rd St. E., Bradenton. There will be a ribbon cutting, an open house, historical photo displays and riverfront nature tours at the Fish Camp. The event is free and open to the public.

Refreshments will be available with all proceeds benefitting the United Way.

Over the past year, Manatee County has built four rustic camping cabins, a restroom, picnic shelters, a concession area, an array of boating and kayak structures including a two-lane boat launch and a kayak launch, dock and mooring facilities along a newly renovated seawall that lines the lake shore.

Al “Jiggs” and Agnes Metcalf purchased the seven-acre property in 1944 with the dream of creating a fish camp on the banks of the Braden River. Their dream was a reality for more than 40 years, and it became a landmark for countless local fishermen and nature lovers.

Manatee County government purchased the property in 2005. In subsequent years, pollution was removed from the site while Manatee County worked to secure grant funding for the renovations.

The $1.7 million project was funded with savings left in the county’s former environmental millage fund and with $930,000 in federal and state grants including Land and Water Conservation Fund, Florida Recreational Development Assistance Program and Florida Boater Improvement Program.

For more information or for directions to Jiggs Landing, call (941) 748-4501 ext. 4602 or visit the Jiggs Landing area of Manatee County’s website, www.mymanatee.org

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