Manatee County Government Administrative Center Commission Chambers, First Floor 9:00 a.m. - March 7, 2017
REVISED March 7, 2017 - Regular Meeting
Agenda Item #62

10:00 A.M. TIME CERTAIN: Rotary Playgrounds Partnership


Contact and/or Presenter Information

Charlie Hunsicker / Director / x 6001

Danny Hopkins / Recreation Division Manager / x 6005

Action Requested
Conceptual approval and direction to work with the not-for-profit group formed by the Rotary and to approve a preliminary scope of responsibilities that will include agreement elements to be used in developing all associated legal agreements and stipulations for accepting donated playgrounds.

Enabling/Regulating Authority
FS 125

Background Discussion

Although the Parks and Natural Resources Department has long recognized that ADA requirements are limited in their ability to address the wide range of needed disability accommodations, funding has previously not been available to increase the inclusiveness of Manatee County's playground facilities.

We recognize the need to offer enhanced facilities and programming for disabled individuals beyond the traditional ages for which playground equipment has been designed and to support returning veterans under programs such as the Wounded Warrior Program and others.  We also understand the national increase in the aging population and the need to provide public access to fitness equipment and programming that will enhance longevity with functional capacity.

Perhaps the most valuable functions of all-inclusive play spaces are that multigenerational play spaces bring a community together in many social ways, as well as provide shared recreational experiences within families - especially for care givers who can improve their own health with helping their loved ones.

The department has been approached about the possibility of providing a more inclusive playground for children at GT Bray Park in partnership with the Manatee area Rotarians.  Over the past year, the Rotary Club of West Bradenton began their initial planning and collaboration with other local Rotary Clubs to begin fundraising with the intent to develop an accessible playground there.  This initial concept grew into a wide reaching Public/Private partnership between Manatee County Government and a not-for-profit group formed by all seven local Rotary Clubs.  In this partnership the County will provide the property location and, upon construction, the donated playground would be maintained by the County.

The Rotary Clubs have now created a conceptual template for three themed destination playgrounds with an estimated cost of $500,000 donated by the Rotary Clubs, with a match of $250,000 per site provided by Manatee County, starting with G.T. Bray Park, then Bennett and Buffalo Creek Parks.

"Destination Theming", by definition, is intended to be unique and location specific.

  • We should optimize every opportunity for educational learning about our area's habitat, cultural and environmental history that can be extended through self-directed programming over time, out of school group programs, special rental events (e.g. birthday themed parties and other revenue opportunities), etc.  "Sense of Place" is significant for community building and we have the expertise to contribute great resources.
  • Encouraging beneficial behaviors in natural, archaeological, and environmentally sensitive areas can be seamlessly woven into the designs, which will pay off through a more Eco literate public.
  • Unique features can stimulate sponsorships and memorials from a wide variety of sources.

All of these increase the revenue potential for the campaign by expanding the target pool of fundraising donors with diverse interests, as well as adding draw for media coverage.

"All-inclusive" refers to both accessibility and diversity of ages and abilities.  It is the department's desire to embrace the inclusiveness county-wide and, through a partnership with the Rotary Clubs, the County would include an outdoor fitness equipment element with each of the playgrounds.

Draft contract elements:

Project Scope - Rotary (form a not-for-profit entity) and the County agree to work together to make available fully accessible playgrounds along with multi-generational wellness equipment at three park locations to include G.T. Bray, Bennett, and Buffalo Creek Parks. 

Playground Design - Rotary representatives and County staff will work together in developing three mutually agreed upon playground designs and associated site plans.

Funding - Rotary will be responsible for fundraising and will strive to raise $1.5M with the sole purpose of purchase and installation of three full accessible playgrounds, with an estimated cost of $500,000 each.  It is anticipated that additional funding to complete the project will be provided by the County through half-cent sales tax revenues and impact fees.

Purchase and Installation - Once site plan cost estimates are finalized, the Rotary Club will be responsible for the purchase and installation of said playground equipment.  All products and installations must meet all warranty stipulations, federal, state, and local building and safety regulations.

Site Prep and Coordination - The County will assist in site preparation along with coordinating design and installation of additional multi-generational wellness equipment and shade structures to be constructed by the County as appropriate.  Cost of this portion of the project will be borne by the County.

Transfer of Playground Equipment - Once the fully accessible playground equipment is transferred to the County, the County will assume all responsibilities for ongoing operation and maintenance of that equipment.

Staff recommends the conceptual approval to work with the not-for-profit group formed by the Rotary and to approve the preliminary scope of responsibilities.

County Attorney Review
Not Reviewed (No apparent legal issues)

Explanation of Other

Reviewing Attorney

Instructions to Board Records
Please provide a copy of approved agenda item to cynthia.gray@mymanatee.org.

Cost and Funds Source Account Number and Name
$750,000 combination of Half-cent Sales Tax and Impact Fees

Amount and Frequency of Recurring Costs

Attachment:  Rotary Playground Project Letter.pdf
Attachment:  Rotary Playground Projects PowerPoint.pdf