Outdoor Hospitality News

For owners, operators, team members, and anyone else interested in camping, glamping, or the RV industry.

North Port Considers Selling Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park to Sarasota County

The city of North Port in Florida is considering selling the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park to Sarasota County, a decision that has sparked debate among city commissioners and residents alike. 

The 163-plus-acre park is one of three planned end points of the Legacy Trail within the city and has become a focal point in discussions about the future of ecotourism in the region.

Located at 6968 Reisterstown Road, the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park is a natural resource conservation and outdoor recreation area with 2.5 miles of loop trails and one restroom facility. 

Hiking, horseback riding, and biking are allowed uses, and the park already connects to the T. Mabry Carlton Jr. Memorial Reserve via the Myakkahatchee Creek Connector Bridge and the unimproved South Powerline Trail. The park is owned by the city of North Port but is operated and maintained by Sarasota County.

Interim City Manager Jason Yarborough has held discussions with County Administrator Jonathan Lewis about the possibility of selling the park since last summer. 

Yarborough said the county is still interested in acquiring the park, which has an annual maintenance cost of between $14,000 and $15,000. However, any additional improvements at the park would result in increased maintenance costs.

The potential sale has implications for private campground owners and operators in the nearby area. 

With the development of the Legacy Trail, there may be economic opportunities for these businesses to capitalize on the environmental park as a North Port asset, attracting visitors and boosting local ecotourism.

During a recent meeting, City Commissioner Alice White expressed her support for exploring the sale, but only if Sarasota County would develop the park further. 

Mayor Jill Luke suggested that the Myakkahatchee Creek Connector Bridge should be included in the deal, as the city is currently responsible for its maintenance.

However, City Commissioner Barbara Langdon opposed selling the park to the county, arguing that the upcoming economic development feasibility study includes potential impacts of ecotourism. She believes that the city should retain the park as a North Port asset.

The city commission voted 4-1 in favor of authorizing Yarborough to negotiate with the county and to obtain a third-party appraisal of the park land’s value. Langdon was the sole dissenting vote.

The North Port City Commission also made other decisions during the meeting, including accepting a check for $501,161.10 from Sarasota County Commissioner Ron Cutsinger, which represented 55% of the proceeds generated by the sale of escheated lots in the city of North Port. 

Additionally, they approved an agreement with the Kiwanis Club of North Port for a May 15, 2021 event at the Garden of Five Senses and a posthumous presentation of a Key to the City to longtime utilities director Rick Newkirk.

As the negotiations between North Port and Sarasota County continue, the potential sale of Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park could have significant implications for the city, the county, and local businesses. 

The outcome of these discussions will shape the future of ecotourism and the role of private campgrounds in the region. 


Send this to a friend
Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: North Port Considers Selling Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park to Sarasota County! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/florida/north-port-considers-selling-myakkahatchee-creek-environmental-park-to-sarasota-county/