Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership

 
                     

 

About Us

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Mill Site Park

Shipyard Park

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Annual Successes

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Vision Documents

 

 

 

 

ANNUAL SUCCESSES                                          

The Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership, Inc. continues to succeed in its pursuit of community planning and improvement.  Our members recognize the importance of community planning and acknowledge that if we, those who invest our time, money and lives in Bagdad, don't define our community's future someone else will.  We believe that we don't need a lot of money to make a difference, and that everyone has a stake in helping our community remain a better place to live.

The following is a summary of our successes during 2009.  See below to view successes from previous years.

    One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade.
                                      – Chinese Proverb

Throughout history, community groups have proven there is strength in small numbers. That is certainly true for the Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership, Inc. (Partnership). With no more than 50 members, the last year has offered remarkable achievements for the Partnership and the community of Bagdad. We have enjoyed the company of new members and continue to celebrate our many accomplishments as we enter the New Year.

The Partnership’s sole mission is to implement the goals set forth by the community during the 2006 visioning process. That year the community developed a vision plan that identified what residents want to accomplish with regard to community improvements that focus on public access to the waterfront, hazard mitigation, cultural and environmental protection, and economic revitalization. As we enter our third year as an organization, we want to reassure you that your donations to us go to worthwhile causes. In fact, every penny of your donation goes right back into the community. All the money we bring in does not benefit one particular group or an individual; it goes to benefit all the present and future residents of Bagdad.

Your membership this year has helped us accomplish so much.

• We were able to facilitate the creation of the Bagdad Mill Site Park Master Plan in partnership with Santa Rosa County by hiring a landscape architect to develop a site plan based on the park’s management requirements and what the community identified as its desires for the park during the visioning process in 2006. The park, when open, will be a passive use park that will showcase the natural beauty of Bagdad’s waterfront as well as highlight the important events that took place on that site for more than 100 years during the lumber mill’s operation. The park will span the waterfront from the Pond Creek Bridge, along Blackwater River, eventually connecting with the Oyster Shell Pile Boat Landing.

• With the help of more than 40 volunteers, we were able to plant 81 large native trees and install an irrigation system at the Bagdad Mill Site Park. The trees were planted along the future pathway of the Bagdad Heritage Trail that will line the Blackwater River and Pond Creek throughout the park. The Bagdad Heritage Trail will one day connect to the Blackwater Heritage Trail in Milton. During 2009 more volunteer hours were invested at the Bagdad Mill Site Park than any other Florida Office of Greenways and Trails’ park in the state.


• We advocated funding approval for sidewalk construction that will connect Bagdad and Milton along Forsyth and Henry Streets. The sidewalk project will also include Main Street and Old Bagdad Highway, the pathway of the future Bagdad Heritage Trail. The funding and the project was approved by the Santa Rosa Tourist Development Council and the Santa Rosa County Commission. Construction should begin within 24 months.

• Through donations, we funded the Bagdad Street Lighting Program in areas of the community that have experienced continual crime. This project is solely funded with donations from a small group of our members and remains our number one expense. We are working on a fundraising strategy that can help us continue this worthwhile cause.

• We hosted a statewide meeting of the State of Florida’s Waterfronts Florida Partnership Program and the Florida Main Street Program. Nearly 60 redevelopment professionals and community members from throughout Florida visited Bagdad to discuss community redevelopment issues and to learn about our successes and challenges.

• We continue our efforts to sustain the Bagdad Neighborhood Watch Program. We hope to start next year with a campaign on community and individual safety.

• We were awarded a $25,000 grant from the Department of Environmental Protection to create the Bagdad Transportation and Open Space Master Plan, which is currently underway. With the help of our members, a local organization, and professional assistance from consultants we are matching this grant dollar-for-dollar. All residents will be invited to participate in this plan’s development. This will help Santa Rosa County identify what improvements are community priorities and how those projects can be funded.

• In October, the Santa Rosa County Board of County Commissioners entered into a grant proposal with us that will fund an Economic Development Study for Bagdad. This study will identify areas in the community that have business opportunity, considering our close connection with downtown Milton. We will find out whether or not we receive this grant in a few months.

We close this year with great excitement and with hopes that you will continue to support us with an annual membership contribution. In the coming year we have just as many activities planned as we did in 2009. We plan to finish the Transportation and Open Space Master Plan, celebrate the Art Stroll, continue developing the Bagdad Mill Site Park, (hopefully) begin the Economic Development Study, continue seeking funding strategies for community improvements, and continue serving as an advocate for participatory planning processes related with Bagdad.

Having you as a member reassures us – and the community – that there remains strength in small numbers. We want you to know that your contribution and participation is making a difference. As always, your donation is tax-deductible.

Thank you for being a member. We wouldn't be complete without you.

2008

Significant accomplishments in 2008 included the first annual St. Patrick’s Day Party, the creation of the Bagdad Lighting Program, the opening of the Ollinger & Bruce Shipyard Park, the Mill Site Park Master Planning process, the third annual Front Porch Art Stroll, and the expansion of the Neighborhood Watch Program.

 

The next twelve months hold a tremendous amount of activity and initiative for improvements needed in Bagdad. Two grants were submitted in October to support Bagdad’s ongoing planning efforts and to further its vision goals.  The

The Bagdad Waterfronts Partnership was awarded a $25,000 grant to create a master plan for the whole waterfront district and to fund a manager to organize planning efforts. 

 

To view 2006-2007 successes, click here.

 

For More Information:                             

Bagdad Waterfronts Florida Partnership, Inc. BagdadWaterfronts@gmail.com
P.O. Box 801, Bagdad, FL 32530
(850) 981-9915

 

 

   

 

Waterfronts Florida Partnership Program

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Community Case Studies

Booklet (2009)

Entire Publication (PDF)

Bagdad Article (PDF)