The plan for Cooper Creek Regional Park on the border of Manatee and Sarasota creates a gateway that connects the growing population of the University Parkway corridor to the world-class Nathan Benderson Park Olympic Rowing Facility and the bustling University Town Center mall. The active and passive recreational opportunities the park creates encourage walking, biking, fishing and other forms of exercise, and, in a greater sense, the Olympic ideals of determination, inspiration and friendship.

With 600 acres, including the large Cooper Creek Lake, Cooper Creek Regional Park will allow for low impact solutions for stormwater management, thus causing less negative effects on the environment. The park’s use of water is inspired by the needs of environmental sustainability and social engagement within the confines of rapidly expanding commercial opportunities. A splash park on Cooper Creek Lake is part of a family-friendly activity area that also includes a canoe-kayak launch, play structures and a community garden. A rain garden will collect stormwater and reduce harmful runoff. A waterwall will catch the eye from the nearby Shoppes at University Center and serve as an invitation to the park’s splendor, connectivity and spirit of growth.

Elements like a marketplace and a proposed trolley stop help link the park to the commerce around it. The plan seizes upon the opportunities inherent in the growing connection between Sarasota to the west and Lakewood Ranch to the east to create a community of symbiotic growth