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Date of Issue: January 10, 2008

Parks committee survey adopted sites

The Holmes Beach Parks and Beautification Committee is beginning 2008 with a survey of the city’s adopted greenspaces.

Committee chairman John Molyneux, during a meeting Jan. 2 at city hall, said the review would provide an assessment of those caring for greenspaces and roads as well as identify opportunities for others to become involved.

Committee members said they hoped the review would help bring more people, businesses and groups into the “adopt-a-road” program overseen by Keep Manatee Beautiful and the “adopt-a-site” effort run by the city of Holmes Beach.

Adopt-a-road involves pledging to clean up a stretch of road and adopt-a-site involves taking care of a public greenspace, in most cases, a traffic island.

“We need to look into both adopt-a-road and adopt-a-site,” Molyneux said. “And start soliciting potential adopters. I think there are businesses or people who would be prepared to help.”

In other business:

  • Commiteee members plan to meet with representatives of the North American Butterfly Association’s Manasota Chapter to talk over planned improvements to the Anna Maria Island Butterfly Park to the south of Holmes Beach City Hall.

The park’s memorial bricks were damaged earlier this year, apparently during a city-approved tree-trimming process, and later were taken up by volunteers. Now city officials and butterfly association representatives are discussing how to improve the park, but prevent future damage to the bricks.

  • The committee recommended the placement of shelters at three trolley stops — two shelters on East Bay Drive near Gulf Drive for northbound and southbound stops and a third shelter at Gulf Drive and 30th Street.

The stop at Marina Drive and 63rd Street would be an alternate location if a shelter cannot be placed under a seagrape tree at Gulf and 30th.

Molyneux said the sites were among the most-used stops in the city based on data from the Manatee County Area Transit.

  • Committee members expressed concern for appearances at Kingfish Boat Ramp, the county-operated property at the west end of the Anna Maria Island Bridge and near the entrance to Holmes Beach.

Last year, the county removed invasive, non-native trees in the area of the boat ramp in preparation for improvements to the site.

Parks and beautification committee members expressed concern that vegetation was removed, but no improvements have been made.

“My concern is that this is the first impression that anyone gets,” Molyneux said. “And it’s a pretty poor impression.”

“It looks terrible,” agreed committee member Pam Leckie.

But Holmes Beach City Commissioner David Zaccagnino said committee members might not see much change in the next year. County officials, he said, are concerned about budget constraints as well as the impact of upcoming AMI Bridge work on the boat ramp.

  • Committee members recommended the city work with Keep Manatee Beautiful on the planting of one or two trees during Florida’s Arbor Day celebration Jan. 18. A program will take place at 2 p.m. at a site to be determined.
  • The committee agreed to hold an educational seminar at 7 p.m. March 12 at Holmes Beach City Hall.

Committee members will continue to work out details on speakers and a title, but the forum will likely cover irrigation and fertilizer use.

The committee’s next meeting will be at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at Holmes Beach City Hall, 5801 Marina Drive.