New Bobby Jones Park space approved in Phillippi Creek Watershed
Although is it more than 8 miles away from the mouth of Phillippi Creek, the Bobby Jones Golf Course is located in the north part of the Phillippi Creek watershed. This means rainwater that flows onto the 300 acre property drains into the creek.
On February 18, 2020, the Sarasota City Commission voted in favor of a plan that would transform 130 acres of the existing municipal Bobby Jones Golf Club into an open space recreational area. The plan would create an additional 30 acres of wetlands and protect the property from future development through a conservation easement.
It is estimated that the 30 acres of wetlands would help filter and store roughly 9.8 million gallons of stormwater. Wetlands also play an important role in solving climate change. While forests store large amounts of carbon in trees as they grow, the plants that live in wetlands take in carbon and store most of it in the soil. Wetlands are considered carbon sinks because the carbon stored in the soil is not released back into the atmosphere after the plants die so long as the soils are left undisturbed. The 30 acres of wetlands are estimated to store 1,620 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to driving roughly 4 million miles in a passenger vehicle.
Although there is much to still be coordinated, these potential changes would have the ability to enhance the health of Phillippi Creek and our larger environment. Plus, it would provide valuable park amenities, open space, and recreational opportunities for the community.