Gulf Coast Community Foundation provides $50,000 grant for installation of shade structures at Englewood Sports Complex

Remainder of funding to come out of park impact fees

This is an Englewood Sports Complex baseball field shade structure. Photo courtesy of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation

The board of directors of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (Gulf Coast) has approved a $50,000 grant to help pay for the installation of shade structures at the Englewood Sports Complex, the Foundation has announced.

The complex stands at 1300 S. River Road.

The funding will make possible the addition of shade structures for four youth baseball fields and two youth softball fields at the 136-acre sports complex, a news release explains.

The investment is expected to increase attendance “by people of all ages and reduce the harmful effects of intense sun exposure,” the release points out. Parents and grandparents will be able to enjoy watching younger family members play sports as they sit in cooler, more comfortable spaces, the release adds.

“We are honored to support the Englewood Sports Complex in this partnership with Sarasota County Government,” Phillip Lanham, president and CEO of Gulf Coast, said in the release. “Englewood experienced significant impacts from Hurricane Ian in 2022, and increased recreation with a respite from the sun holds significant value for both youth and adults,” Lanham pointed out in the release. “These improvements will help generations of families to enjoy the fields safely.”

“We are grateful for this partnership with Gulf Coast Community Foundation,” said Nicole Rissler, director of the Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Department, in the release. “The new shade structures will enhance the functionality and enjoyment of the youth ballfields where the Englewood Area Youth Baseball and Miss Englewood Fastpitch leagues play,” Rissler added.

The remaining expense associated with this project, $95,400, will come out of park impact fee revenue, the release notes.

“Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources has been a strong partner in Gulf Coast’s priority projects,” including The Legacy Trail extension and field renovations at Wellfield Park, the release adds.