Newsletter, Spring 2021
May 1, 2021 | Kensington Park Newsletter
Message From the Board
After one of the most unusual and trying years in memory, the KPCA board is looking to the future with hope and optimism, setting our sights on a few important goals.
Increase Membership & Donations. This perennial task is crucial to accomplishing the goals set forth by our members.
Increase Community Engagement. When more KP residents volunteer their time, sweat, and thoughts, we have more suggestions to develop better ideas and build them faster.
Rebuild Neighborhood Committees. While we do have leaders for the Welcome and Beautification Committees, we are looking to rebuild the Safety Patrol and increase volunteers to help out with all committees.
Entrance Beautification. Now that we have a new Beautification Committee Head, we aim to show the world that KP cares by stepping up the landscaping at our neighborhood entrances.
Develop New Website Tools & Resources. Already this year we have accomplished a long term goal of completely revamping the Kensington Park Website. We will continue to develop our online resources to better server our neighborhood.
Have a great Spring & Summer!
– KPCA Board
Board of Directors, 2021
- John Hackemer, President
- John Heine, 1st Vice President
- Christopher Austin, 2nd Vice President
- Pat Becker, Treasurer
- Dan Nolan, Secretary
The KPCA Membership meeting:
First Tuesday of each month at 7pm.
- January 5th
- February 2nd
- March 2nd
- April 6th
- May 4th
- June 1st
- July 6th
- August 3rd
- September 7th
- October 5th
- November 2nd
- December 7th
KPCA Mailing List
Sign up for Kensington Park Civic Association email updates and receive our newsletter, alerts, event notices, and updates on KP activities.
To The Newsletter
The Kensington Park Newsletter staff is always looking for interesting and engaging content to publish. If you would like to contribute to the newsletter with stories, an upcoming event, a recipe, relevant articles, or information about our neighborhood, please email us at:
Announcements & Updates
New Website Design
This past February saw the launch of the new Kensington Park Civic Association website! Developed by Creative Sarasota, LLC, the new design employs custom photography from around the neighborhood, a new color palette, refined font selections, new iconography, and tasteful visual effects like parallax, sticky navigation, dropdown menus, and image lightbox.
Since we were overhauling the design, we also decided to reorganize the information on the website. We took the copy that was once scattered randomly on various pages and pdfs and put it into a logical, hierarchical, parent-page-child-page structure. That structure is reflected in the main navigation at the top of the website, making it a ton easier to find information on the website.
But wait… there’s more!
The site got more than just reorganized and a coat of new paint. The KPCA website has been modernized. We have added multiple payment options for membership dues and donations, ADA software to make the site easier for neighbors with disabilities, Spanish translation software, easy ways to sign up for the email newsletter, new forms to solicit feedback from our community, and, most important, the site is now FULLY MOBILE FRIENDLY. This means that not only is the site attractive, functional, and useful on a desktop or laptop computer, it also adjusts to work beautifully on tablets and mobile phones.
We have lots of ideas on ways we can use the new site to inform, inspire, and enrich our neighborhood. Please take a moment and see what it has to offer. And if you have an idea on how we can use it to make KP better, let us know!
New Online & Email Newsletter Versions
With the new website comes the opportunity to distribute our KP newsletter digitally. Don’t worry, we’re not getting rid of the print newsletter anytime soon. But now that the website makes it easy to sign up for the email list AND we have a beautiful and well organized website blog section, we can publish in more and better ways. And that’s just what we’re going to start doing.
Everyone will still get the printed newsletter delivered to their door. But with digital publishing options, you can read the newsletter the way you want. Whether you’re a morning-paper-with-your-coffee type of reader (print), or get-it-in-your-inbox techie (email), or I’ll-get-to-it-when-Im-good-and-ready reader (blog), KPCA has got you covered.
Plus, since we will be publishing the newsletter as a blog post in our “Newsletter” blog category, the different editions will always be available. Maybe you want to re-read an article or a recipe, find an old picture from a Yard of the Month, or you’re trying to remember a company that advertised some time ago. Now, it will be easier to search for and find historical newsletter info.
Neighborhood Park Update
On April 6th, 2021 KPCA hosted representatives from Sarasota County’s Planning and Development Services department, Neighborhood Services at the monthly KPCA member meeting. In person was Monet Moore, a Planner for Neighborhood Services and attending remotely was Elma Felix, Manager of Long Range Planning & Neighborhood Services; Megan Barry, Community Outreach Specialist for Neighborhood Services; and Mike Socadeeter, Park Planner for Parks, Recreation & Natural Resources.
The presentation was primarily conducted by Elma. She started with a refresher of the park project including budget process, park location, park plan, and historical meeting notes. Next, she moved on to explain where the project was currently what the next steps are. Finally, Elma opened up the meeting to questions, of which there were many.
A Quick Review
Kensington Park used to have a water treatment facility on the corner of 27th Parkway and Monica Parkway. Long decommissioned, the lot sat unused for years. An initiative to turn the lot into a park started and in 2019 the old water treatment buildings were razed and the lot was prepared for a neighborhood park to be built. Then the Covid-19 pandemic hit and many government projects were put on hold, including our park.
In early 2021, the KPCA board reached out to the county to see if we could get an update and restart the project. The county was enthusiastic about getting this going again and helped to organize the meeting on April 6th.
The approximate completion time frame for the park is sometime in 2023. Here are the general tasks that need to be accomplished.
The county parks team has been working on rezoning the area to allow for the park, while also working on the park plan. This, they anticipate will be completed by the fall of 2021.
After the rezoning is completed, the team begins the process of getting permits to build the park. This is a long process that takes 6 to 9 months.
Next, they have to find a contractor to build the park and that takes about 3 months.
Finally, for a park this size they estimate it will take 3 to 6 months for construction.
That would put us somewhere in the middle of 2023 before the park is done. As we get more information, we’ll be sure to post on the website and upcoming newsletters.
Questions and Answers
At the end of the county’s presentation, Elma opened the floor up for some questions from attendees in the room and those attending online. Some of those questions and answers include:
- Q. Will there be trash cans and regular trash maintenance?
- Q. Will there be a fitness trail?
A. No, the park is too small for a fitness trail.
- Q. Can Kensington Park Civic Assoc. host events at the park?
A. It was suggested that we work with Elma or Monet, but that temporary use permit would be required. It was also suggested that we could work out a circumstance for repeating, annual events.
- Q. How does the county deal with smaller, spontaneous events like birthdays or family events?
A. No permits are needed for these types of events.
- Q. Who is liable if someone gets hurt at the park? Sarasota County or Kensington Park Civic Assoc?
A. Sarasota County.
- Q. How does the community address circumstances where someone is violating park usage?
A. As with all county violations, call the Sheriff’s Department.
- Q. Are dogs allowed?
A. Yes, but they must be on leashes.
- Q. Will there be a dog bag dispenser for humans to cleanup after their dogs?
A. The county can incorporate that into the park plan.
It’s Hurricane Season
If you’ve been in Florida for any amount of time, you’ve become familiar with hurricanes. After a bit more time, maybe you’ve even become comfortable with the idea that hurricane season is on its way. But don’t let that comfort evolve into complacency. Remember that “Luck Favors the Prepared”, and we want everyone in Kensington Park to be as lucky as possible in the event of a hurricane.
To that end, we’ve culled information from numerous disaster preparedness authorities to produce the following information. We encourage everyone to read these articles and websites and address as many of these items as you can BEFORE a hurricane is on its way.
Hurricane Planning Resources:
Tampa Bay Prepares
Florida Division of Emergency Mgt.
This website has a helpful planning application. It asks for your specific family details and produces a disaster plan tailored to your circumstances.
Family Disaster Plan Generator
Disaster Supply Checklist
Sarasota County Gov
Go to this website and use their search bar to search for “Hurricane”. There are many helpful results.
Hurricane Kit Checklist
As the saying goes, “you don’t know what you got til it’s gone”. When a hurricane hits, you could be without many things you take for granted. That’s why we suggest you download the following checklist and go through it at the beginning of each hurricane season. Locate or buy those things that can be stored and put them in a convenient location. When a hurricane is spotted, don’t wait. Go through the list and gather everything together.
A Well Stocked First Aid Kit
If you don’t have a first aid kit, you need to either buy one or build one. If you buy one, the Red Cross has a wide assortment of kits randing from $20 to $280.
DIY First Aid Checklist
If you’re compiling your own kit, here are the items that the Red Cross suggest you have:
- 2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches)
- 25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
- 1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
- 5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
- 5 antiseptic wipe packets
- 2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
- 1 emergency blanket
- 1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
- 1 instant cold compress
- 2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
- 2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
- 1 3 in. gauze roll (roller) bandage
- 1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
- 5 3 in. x 3 in. sterile gauze pads
- 5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
- Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
- 2 triangular bandages
When preparing your hurricane kit, you always want to have enough non-perishable food for at least 7 days. Here is a list of foods you can buy and store in advance of a hurricane.
- Canned Soup
- Canned or Bottled Juice
- Beans, Canned or Dry
- Nut Butters
- Dried Fruits
- Nuts and Seeds
- Dried Rice
- Granola and Protein Bars
Remember: if you buy things like uncooked rice, beans, pasta, ramen, etc, you will also need a way to cook them. Pack a small camp stove and mini propane tank.
It is always advisable to adhere to the expiration dates printed on a product’s package.
Yards of the Month
KPCA revived the Yard of the Month recognition this year, but we missed the first 2 months (oops). So, here are the yards for March and April. More images can be viewed on the Yard of the Month page at:
winners, left to right:
March: Dudley Pl.
April: 3456 24th Prkwy.
Lifelines Yard Tour
On April 18th, Kensington Park Civic Association teamed up with KP resident Pamela Callender to host an educational talk and yard tour of Pam’s property. Her yard acts as a living example of her new creation called Lifelines. Lifelines is an Eco Art project that designs and builds landscapes comprised of flora and fauna indigenous to the area.
Pam’s landscapes are more than just beautiful. They are planned and created to serve necessary ecological functions. In addition to eradicating invasive plants, preventing monocultures, and updating landscape maintenance practices, they also provide habitats for local wildlife, including the all-important pollinators like bees and butterflies.
Forging relationships with Sarasota County, Kensington Park Civic Association, The Meadows, and other area organizations, Lifelines seeks to map out and transform neglected ecosystems into thriving habitats that connect both human and wildlife populations.
If you would like to learn more about Lifelines, Eco Art, or landscaping with native plants, reach out to Pam via email, phone, or website.
Here are a few images from the yard tour.
Peperomia (Peperomia humillis) A low growing ground cover, similar to a succulent in appearance. Must live in shade, minimal moisture. Can also grow well in pots and in the home.
Lakeside Twinflower (Dyschoriste humistrata) A very low growing, mounding plant used best as a border and where moisture collects. This plant has a tiny purple flower that attract pollinators and is a host plant for the Common Buckeye butterfly.
Silver Buttonwood (Conocarpus erectus sericeus) A small coastal tree with flowers and berries to attract both birds and butterflies. Prefers full sun, dry soil conditions.
Blanketflower (Gaillardia puchella) Another prolific grower in any conditions. The mass bouquet will eventually die back, however it will leave another to grow in its place. This species just announced non-native, is Florida friendly.
Tea Bush (Melochia tomentosa) A 6-8’ bush with striking silvery leaf and purple flowers year-round. The weeping branches are deep purple after a rain. This plant attracts hundreds of native bees on a daily basis.
Building a Cleaner & Safer
Civic Associations & Code Enforcement
Kensington Park Civic Association is just that: a Civic Association. This means that we don’t have things like deed restrictions, Homeowner Association (HOA) rules, or mandatory fees. Thus, our neighborhood is governed only by the codes and ordinances set forth by Sarasota County and, of course, Florida state law. As a result, Kensington Park has fewer restrictions pertaining to property and community maintenance compared to HOA neighborhoods. While our County codes are law and must be followed, they are much more than that. They are important guidelines that make your neighborhood safer and cleaner, help maintain higher property standards and values, and preserve and enhance the character of Kensington Park.
KPCA would like to say THANK YOU to our neighbors who are doing their part and more to help keep Kensington Park a great place to live!
Common Code Mistakes
We have noticed that there are a few common code mistakes that residents make. These include overgrown grass, unlicensed or inoperative vehicles on property, loose trash for pickup, and construction materials in yards.
Sarasota County Code Information
There are many resources available to learn about the Sarasota County codes and ordinances. Here are some people, departments, websites, and phone numbers you can use if you have questions, concerns, or service requests.
Sarasota County Call Center: 941-861-5000
The county has provided a call center for all neighbors to report issues including broken signs, potholes, trees/ branches, street lights, anything blocking the right of way, or any one of the other issues mentioned in this article.
Code Enforcement Officer: 941-650-3502
Tom Palumbo drives the neighborhood regularly and addresses issues. He is very happy to answer your calls about the above violations.
Waste Management: 941-493-4100
Use this number to schedule pickups for large items also, such as TVs, furniture, or appliances. Requests for pick-ups must be made 48 hours prior to collection day. This service is free. This number should also be called if you have a problem or complaint with routine waste pickup.
Animal Services: 941-861-9500
stray (feral/homeless), loose, sick or injured animals
Non-emergency police: 941-316-1201
non life threatening situations
The Kensington Park Civic Association Board can provide printed information, respond to questions or concerns, or help out neighbors whenever possible. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As the saying goes, “It takes a village”. With over 1100 homes in Kensington Park we have a pretty big village. If we all pull together we will continue to make our neighborhood a cleaner, safer, and better place for everyone to live.
More Neighborhood Resources
Home Repair Loans
Does your house need repairs? If you own your home and qualify as low-income, you may be eligible for a 0% deferred-payment loan for home repairs: new roof; air conditioner; plumbing; electrical; shower grab bars; door ramps.
Call the Office of Housing and Community Development to get more information on this loan program.
See, Click, Fix
Sarasota County provides a phone app allowing residents to submit photos of situations or damage directly to the County Public Works. Report issues with potholes, sidewalks, curbs, trash, street signs, etc.
Search for “Sarasota county” in the Google Play Store or Apple Store.
You can also call or Visit their Website.