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Welcome To Nathan Benderson Park

About Us

Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc.

at Nathan Benderson Park

About NBP

Located in Sarasota, Fla., Nathan Benderson Park (NBP) is a unique 600-acre community park that includes North America’s premier 2,000-meter sprint rowing course and a regatta center.

One of a handful of sites in the United States identified as having all of the natural attributes that make up a world-class rowing and recreational facility, Nathan Benderson Park began hosting organized regatta competitions in 2009.

Top 10 rated rowing facility in the entire North American Continent – Rowing News

More than $40 million has been committed to the facility’s development, including nine 2,000-meter racing lanes and straight shorelines, coaching lanes, wave attenuation, a multi-function boathouse and athlete training center, starting huts and finish towers, grand stands and a state-of-the-art-boat maintenance and testing facility.

As a result, the community park offers the perfect destination for a range of championship and recreational events, vendor opportunities, team training and development trips, and so much more.

The Vision

SANCA’s vision of Nathan Benderson Park is to serve as a global, innovative, and premier destination that welcomes and connects people, while fostering a healthy, sustainable and safe environment.

Located on

The Beautiful Gulf coast of Florida

come and see what the area has to offer!

Acres

Meter Rowing Course

Mile Exercise Trail

Areas to rent for events

Sanca

Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc.

Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc. (SANCA) is a not-for-profit 501c3 business created to manage Nathan Benderson Park, a community/public asset and world class, multi-use sports venue. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for our community and be an economic generator for our region. SANCA’s primary purpose is to develop and promote Nathan Benderson Park as a world-class event center, team training site and Sarasota County park, while providing outreach programs through recreation, safety training, education and volunteering as a service to our community.

Staff

STEPHEN V. RODRIGUEZ

STEPHEN V. RODRIGUEZ

Interim CEO & Chief Operating Officer

Facility & Operations

MICHAEL WASHINGTON

MICHAEL WASHINGTON

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS & FACILITIES

BOB BERRY

BOB BERRY

FACILITIES & OPERATIONS MANAGER

BOB STEM

BOB STEM

FACILITY & OPERATIONS ASSISTANT

BOB BOUCHARD

BOB BOUCHARD

FACILITIES & OPERATIONS ASSISTANT

Programming

Miriam Ward

Miriam Ward

Program Coordinator and Master’s Rowing Coach

 

EVENTS

SARAH KUPIEC

SARAH KUPIEC

DIRECTOR OF EVENTS & EVENT SERVICES

 

AMANDA SWEET

AMANDA SWEET

EVENT COORDINATOR

PADDLING

ANGELA LONG

ANGELA LONG

HEAD PADDLING COACH

Support

Sandy Sacks

Sandy Sacks

SUPPORT ASSISTANT

Marketing

Douglas Jessmer

Douglas Jessmer

MEDIA AND COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

Board of Directors

Ronald Shapo, J.D.

Ronald Shapo, J.D.

Chairman

Joanne Fava, D.C.

Joanne Fava, D.C.

Secretary

Ron Cutsinger

Ron Cutsinger

Director

Lawrence U. Haspel, D.O.

Lawrence U. Haspel, D.O.

Director

Curtis Jordan

Curtis Jordan

Past Chairman

Randy Mallitz

Randy Mallitz

Director

Jerry Marlar

Jerry Marlar

Director

Andrew Minor

Andrew Minor

Director

Michael Taaffe, J.D.

Michael Taaffe, J.D.

Director

The Mission

To manage and promote Nathan Benderson Park by providing recreational opportunities and facilities for people to enjoy and engage in activities that promote health and enhance the quality of life and environment, and to generate economic impact for our region.

Core Values

EXCEED EXPECTATIONS: To go from ordinary to extraordinary.

EMBRACE CHANGE: Unlimited thinking creates unlimited possibilities.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: It is all about you.

VARIETY OF OPPORTUNITIES: Something for everyone.

HEALTH & WELLNESS: Provide and promote healthy lifestyle opportunities for our staff and community.

INTEGRITY: Do everything personally and professionally with the highest sense of ethical values.

VALUE PEOPLE: Enable individuals to learn their value to the community through recreational opportunities.  Our staff is our greatest resource and investment for success.

EDUCATE: Help the members of our community learn the importance of living a healthy lifestyle through the assistance of recreational programs. 

Park History

Situated just west of Interstate 75 in tropically beautiful Sarasota, Fla., Nathan Benderson Park is a unique 600-acre community park providing the public access to a picturesque 400-acre lake and an exciting world of recreational pursuits.

NBP is situated west of Interstate 75 and east of The Meadows residential community. In the early 1990s, Sarasota County purchased the site, which was an active shell excavation pit for road construction fill.

Cooper Creek enters the east side of the large lake and exits at the northwest corner. The newly constructed Cattlemen Road extension allows access to the park from Fruitville Road and University Parkway.

Nathan Benderson Park is one of only a handful of sites in North America identified as having all of the natural attributes that make up a premiere rowing facility. The park began hosting organized regatta competitions in 2009.

Athletes look forward to rowing on the park’s world-class, permanent, FISA Class A 2,000-meter sprint rowing and training course — the only such course in North America — while families and visitors can get on the water in a kayak, rowboat or stand up paddleboard, find a scenic spot to enjoy an afternoon picnic, or walk, run or bike our peaceful, neatly manicured trails encircling the shimmering lake. The choices are virtually endless and every moment takes place amid the sights and sounds of Florida’s pristine natural beauty – with the possibility of seeing an osprey, splashing fish or blooming flowers along the way.

Nathan Benderson Park is home to a range of international championships as well as a host of recreational activities for anyone who enjoys the outdoors – from dragon boat, canoe and kayak races to triathlon and cross-country events, 5- and 10k runs, corporate training events and more. The community park is also conveniently located immediately adjacent to University Town Center – Southwest Florida’s newest shopping, dining and entertainment destination.

Whether you’re an athlete in training or just looking for fun things to do outdoors, come spend some time with us at Nathan Benderson Park – the perfect backdrop for any recreational outing.

Park History

  • Sarasota County purchased the site in the early 1990s
  • In 2007, the Benderson Family donated $1 million to Sarasota County to transform Cooper Creek Park into a health and wellness destination
  • Subsequently, the county renamed the park after the late Nathan Benderson
  • Nathan Benderson, founder of Benderson Development, envisioned a community park where local residents could walk, bike and fish
  • In 2009, the park held its first successful regatta
  • In 2010, Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc. (SANCA) was created
  • Construction at the park began in 2011 and is currently two-thirds complete
  • Final phases include construction of a finish tower, a proposed boathouse and additional park infrastructure and amenities

PARK OPERATIONS

Nathan Benderson Park is open to the public and offers year-round recreational opportunities for all ages. Challenge your stamina with a walk, jog, or ride on our neatly manicured trails. Take to the water with a canoe, rowboat, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard. Enjoy an afternoon picnic with a picturesque backdrop of pristine natural beauty. Or become a spectator to a thrilling international championship event.

  • Boat ramp for small, non-motor watercraft, rowboats and kayaks
  • Running/biking trail encircling the picturesque 400-acre lake
  • A full calendar of championship events, community causes and more
  • Ample parking
  • Picnic areas
  • World class facilities
  • Pet friendly