Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility
Kimley-Horn has served as Sarasota County’s consultant for the Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility (CFRSF). We analyzed, planned, and developed the Celery Fields Integrated Water Resources Plan, and continued to serve the County through design and implementation of Plan components.
Once a sawgrass marsh drained in the 1920s and planted with celery, the land was purchased by the Sarasota County Stormwater Environmental Utility to address downstream flood damage and stormwater quality. The 300-acre Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility now provides flood protection for stormwater runoff to thousands of area residents.
Creating a Destination
Kimley-Horn conducted flood protection enhancement alternative development, hydrologic/hydraulic modeling, analysis design and permitting; investigated and evaluated stormwater reuse opportunities for alternative water supply and water quality benefits; and conducted planning and preliminary design of alternative recreational facilities associated with and located at the CFRSF. Through multiple creative engineering enhancements, the site has evolved from a traditional stormwater management facility into a multifaceted recreational, historical, and eco-friendly watershed park.
In addition to flood protection, more than 100 acres of wetlands replaced drained farmland, transforming the property into a vibrant wildlife habitat. The wetlands are a haven for wildlife, especially marsh and water birds such as herons, egrets, and limpkins. Bird enthusiasts can now enjoy viewing more than 200 identified bird species. More than 20,000 aquatic plants and trees have been added, including plants to improve water quality. And an interpretive signage system honors the area’s natural history by highlighting fossil sites and Native American artifacts.
Project expectations were exceeded because challenges were turned into enhancements for the benefit of the citizens of Sarasota County. Because of proactive asset management by the consulting firm and leveraging of County assets, the project evolved into a watershed park that provides enhanced flood protection, a haven for nature lovers, and a park that offers multiple recreational opportunities. The Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility is now a hiking, biking, environmental, and birding destination unlike any in the southwest Florida area.
| Project Manager, Celery Fields Regional Stormwater Facility
- 2014 Honor Award; Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers