An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Sarasota County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

Urfer Family Park Nominated for "America's Favorite Park"

Sarasota County Parks and Recreation is encouraging residents and visitors to go online and vote for Urfer Family Park, 4000 Honore Ave., Sarasota, in Coca-Cola's "America’s Favorite Park" contest.

Through September 6, votes can be cast for free at the link below. The contest to find America's Favorite Park is part of Coca-Cola's Live Positively campaign. This is the second year for the contest, which will award the winning entry a $100,000 grant. The second- and third-place finishers will win grants of $50,000 and $25,000. Voters can cast their ballots as many times as they wish.

"When Urfer Family Park opened in 2009, we had more than 2,000 people come to enjoy it on opening day and it hasn't stopped since," said Carolyn Brown, interim general manager, Sarasota County Parks and Recreation. "Urfer Family Park has something for everyone, three different playgrounds based on age groups, paved recreational/physical fitness trails, urban nature trails, outdoor fitness stations and even the totally restored historic home of Sarasota’s first doctor that now houses a visitor's information center."

Urfer Family Park was recently awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Urfer was constructed with many state-of-the-art sustainable techniques, processes and materials including:

• low-flow irrigation systems
• Florida-friendly plants to reduce water usage by 50 percent
• diverting 75 percent of construction waste by recycling or reusing materials
• building the park in accordance with the Florida Water Star Gold criteria
• installing roofing materials with exorbitant reflectivity to keep buildings cool
• using sustainably harvested wood for about one-third of the wood materials.

"Kids, parents and grandparents have a blast at this park while learning about energy conservation,” said Brown. “We have Siesta Beach, the number one beach in the country, we have the best weather year-round and we have a park that is a blast and teaches people how easy it is to save energy. How cool is that!"

For more information, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000.