Florida’s Salinas Park Completion Celebrated with Ribbon Cutting
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection recently hosted a ribbon cutting to celebrate completion of the Salinas Park Addition project in Gulf County, Florida. The $3.2 million Deepwater Horizon restoration project includes a newly acquired seven acre parcel with 1,000 feet fronting the St. Joseph Bay Aquatic Preserve.
New recreational amenities include an elevated, tree-top boardwalk and platforms that provide stunning views of both St. Joseph Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Other facilities include trail connections with rest stops along the adjacent eight-mile paved Loggerhead Run Bike Path and a nature path connection to the original Salinas Park. A bike repair station, a drinking water and misting station, and nature resource informational signage have also been built.
The Salinas Park’s expansion and amenities were gifted to Gulf County through a partnership with The Trust for Public Land and the Department of Environmental Protection, on behalf of the Florida Trustee Implementation Group.
New amenities constructed on the original park parcel include parking that meets American Disabilities Act standards, a unique playground structure for kids, and two courts for pickleball enthusiasts.
“The addition to Salinas Park Bayside is truly an asset that will be utilized by locals and visitors through all seasons,” said Sandy Quinn, Chairman of the Board of Gulf County Commissioners, “It has truly enhanced our park system.”
The $3.2 million funding for the land acquisition, park improvements, and 10 years of operation and maintenance costs, was provided by an agreement with BP that allowed the Trustees to implement early restoration projects to partially address injuries resulting from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
The project was approved in early 2018 in the Phase V.2, Florida Coastal Access Project, Final Restoration Plan and Supplemental Environmental Assessment. The project enhances and increases the public’s use and enjoyment of the natural resources that were severely impacted by the April 20, 2010 oil spill.