$2 Million Matching Grant for The Bay Announced by Gulf Coast


Our Board of Directors approved a $1 million grant that has been doubled by anonymous Gulf Coast donors, to make a total of $2 million in matching dollars available for The Bay Park in downtown Sarasota, FL. The significant milestone funding will be used to support the design and development of a new Resilient Shoreline as well as free park programming. This is a challenge match opportunity to the community to raise a total of $4 million for The Bay by December 31, 2024. Donations can be made via The Bay’s website here.

Children run along Sarasota Bay at The Bay Park with green plants and the sunset among them.
The Bay Park is a space for families to treasure along Sarasota Bay.

“This significant funding reflects Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s catalytic support of The Bay from the beginning. We are honored that enthusiastic friends of The Bay, Gulf Coast philanthropists, chose to co-invest in this incredible opportunity for building community and continual expansion of The Bay Park. The Bay is fully aligned with Gulf Coast’s priority areas of water quality and access to green spaces, and there is also substantial research that proves the positive impact of access to green space on our mental health, which is another top priority of Gulf Coast Community Foundation,” says Gulf Coast’s President | CEO Phillip Lanham. “Please join us in support of The Bay, our ‘one park for all’ that is open and accessible, free and welcoming for everyone to enjoy.”

“This important challenge match from Gulf Coast demonstrates the importance of The Bay and its growing positive impact – on the environment and on people. Creating and providing access to more, sustainable green space and more high-quality free programming enables the park to continue to be a delightful place that is open and accessible, free and welcoming to the full and rich diversity of the community -- now, and for future generations,” says AG Lafley, Founding CEO Bay Park Conservancy.

Since opening in October 2022, more than 400,000 people have visited The Bay, and more than 50,000 people have participated in free events and programs offered in the park. Immersion in nature helps improve happiness, well-being, and mental focus by reducing anxiety and stress.

We have already made many important contributions to The Bay, including support of Common Ground, a centerpiece in the first phase of the park, which has become a beloved, sustainable outdoor gathering space for everyone in the community to enjoy.

Extending the Resilient Shoreline as part of Phase 2 will build on the continual environmental restoration efforts throughout the park and will treat millions of gallons of polluted stormwater before it enters Sarasota Bay.


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$2 Million Matching Grant for The Bay Announced by Gulf Coast

Published: Together, Gulf Coast and The Bay have provided transformational environmental opportunities for our region. Read how a $2 million match is announced for philanthropists and the community to co-invest in support for The Bay Park.