SARASOTA COUNTY — Three area communities were among the 18 recipients of neighborhood grant awards totaling $97,000 that were recently awarded by the Sarasota County Commission. The commission awarded the grant funds that were matched with cash, donations of materials and/or volunteer hours. Countywide, neighborhoods contributed just over $52,000 in cash, donated over $15,000 in material gave over 52,000 volunteer hours toward their respective projects. The projects the grants will be used for include disaster preparedness, storm water pond enhancements, Florida friendly landscaping, entrance signage, invasive exotic plant removal and community gardens.
Village at Riverwalk, a manufactured home park in unincorporated Sarasota County near North Port, received a grant for $4,800 that go will toward the removal of pepper trees along Tamiami Trail. By continuing to remove the pepper trees and other exotic nuisance vegetation, Riverwalk is reducing the potential spread of vegetation to neighboring communities, including Lazy River, Harbor Isles, Harbor Cove and La Casa manufactured home parks. The organization hopes their efforts will make more communities aware of the benefits to ecosystem and natural habitat. The entire project will cost $9,600, with the neighborhood contributing half the cost. Cypress Falls at the Woodlands in eastern North Port received a grant of $849.50 to go toward the purchase of a heart defibrillator that will be used by the community’s emergency response team. Cypress Falls officials hope that having the new machine will further enhance the safety of their residents as they attempt to implement their own CPR program. Englewood Community Garden received a grant of $5,104 that will go toward installing additional rain barrels and a one-time delivery of top soil. According to information supplied by Sarasota County, the group is educating gardeners and the general public about growing vegetables using organic principles, water conservation and recycling.
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