Sarasota County’s 2016 Board-adopted Parks, Preserves and Recreation Strategic Master Plan (PPRSMP) examined community recreational needs, establishing desired levels of service, and outlining implementation strategies.
Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources is comprised of seven divisions.
Sports Development and Athletics
- Sports Development and Athletics maintains and makes improvements to 113 athletics fields, including county athletic fields, as well as city of Sarasota lawn bowling greens, and Venice and North Port’s athletic fields.
- We manage agreements and field use permits for over 100 sports groups and works in tandem with the county tourism agency.
- Visit Sarasota County, to retain and attract sports tourism events in order to enhance economic development in Sarasota County.
Recreation and Special Events
- Recreation and Special Events provides recreation opportunities across the county, ranging from small neighborhood programs, to regional events.
- We organize camp programs, manage multiple recreation an community centers and provide customer services to all recreation users.
- Specialty parks such as Payne Park Tennis Center, Knight Trail Park, Venice Community Center and the historic Phillippi Estate Park are managed by this division.
Beaches and Water Access
- Beaches and Water Access manage beaches that attract visitors worldwide, protects beach and waterfront property and infrastructure.
- We provide daily trash removal and facility cleaning at recreational beaches, beach access points, and boat ramps;
- We also manage the development and placement of artificial reefs; maintains buoys, channel markers, and marine signage and we provide land stewardship and environmental management of beach and dune areas, wetlands, bay waters, and other protected habitats.
- The division also manage recreation and special events at these sites.
Neighborhood Parks and Maintenance Services
- Neighborhood Parks and Maintenance Services is responsible for major maintenance, repair and amenity replacement for all park divisions, utilizing contractors and in-house staff.
- This division is also responsible for the operation and daily maintenance of neighborhood parks.
Natural Area Parks, Preserves and Trails
- Natural Area Parks, Preserves and Trails manages over 50,000 acres of the county’s natural areas;.
- We provide safe access to natural areas, environmental and cultural resource stewardship and habitat management.
- We plan and promote special events at natural area parks and preserves.
- The division also manages two nature/environmental centers, we also coordinate and conduct numerous nature and environmental programs.
Park Planning and Capital Program
- Park Planning and Capital Programs (PPCP) is responsible for land acquisition, planning services, park capital projects planning and design, and coordination with Public Works Capital Projects on the construction and management of park capital projects.
- PPCP also facilitates public input processes for park planning and design, manages input from the Parks Advisory and Recreation Council (PARC) and the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Oversight Committee (ESLOC) advisory boards, and interfaces with other county departments and government agencies regarding future planning for development in Sarasota County.
Business and Partnership Services
- Business and Partnership Services manages systems that control program registration, facility reservations, electronic access to facilities, campground reservations and point of sale transactions.
- We are responsible for procurement activities; manages concession leases and facility use agreements.
- We develop partnerships, operate the Turtle Beach Campground and provide support to the department through research, development, and implementation of policy, guidelines, and procedures.
The Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) accredits park and recreation agencies for excellence in operation and service.
- Charged with providing high quality services and experiences, park and recreation agencies across the United States turn to CAPRA Accreditation as a credible and efficient means of achieving these goals, while providing assurance to the public that the agency meets national standards of best practice.
- Agency accreditation is available to all entities administering park and recreation systems, including municipalities, townships, counties, special districts and regional authorities, councils of government, schools, and military installations.
- Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources is currently working toward obtaining CAPRA Accreditation.