Looking forward to it!
If you are in the area, please join us on Tuesday evening for a catfish dinner at Pinecraft Park. We'll have information about the project, the Board members will introduce themselves, and we'll be available to answer any questions or hear ideas.
Looking forward to it!
We've been working hard this past week between meeting with different committees & individuals and recently finishing a first draft of the Masterplan. The Pinecraft Board will review it this week and we hope to be able to share it soon. We have appreciated all of the feedback that we have received over the past few weeks as its important that we are representing the voice of the entire community.
Stay tuned for a more complete update, but in the meantime we hope you enjoy some photos from the past week. We'd like to thank Katie Troyer, a resident of Pinecraft, for her contribution to our project. Katie has been helping us document our meetings and provided us with some of her photos that she took during our public meeting at the park on Monday. The other photos show how we have been spending some of our free time here in the south!
Thanks for checking in with us & we hope you stay warm.
We're beginning to develop a bit of a routine here in Pinecraft, although meetings often pop up here and there, keeping us busy and in tune with neighborhood life. Not only did we have a great meting with the combined Sarasota county and Pinecraft Board, we also have helped the Board divide into sub-committees to work out ideas for different categories involved in the Plan. If you're staying updated with our meeting minutes you will see the areas that we are currently working with, which include issues from zoning code & regulations to safety in the side streets. We've been required to learn many steps involved in community planning & development and it's been exciting to help foster new strategies and ideas for this place.
This past week we had a visit from Jim Brenneman, president of Goshen College. We gave him a tour of Pinecraft and spent some time sharing our progress with him, using an enlarged map to help him see all of the areas of our work.
This afternoon we spent an hour holding a public Q&A session at the Pinecraft Park. This was the first time that we have gone public with any of the details from our meetings, and it was very encouraging to see how supportive community members are of this project-- knowing that so many people are benefiting from this project really solidifies our drive to work here.
While our meetings are fairly frequent, no need to be too concerned. We have found plenty of time to explore the beaches around the area, and have been frequenting a quiet area on Lido Beach. The cold weather seems to have passed & we're enjoying 70-80 degree days. Some trips to several garden centers resulted in each of us becoming gardeners this week, as it's fun to experiment with tropical plants in this weather. An Amish neighbor is even giving us a banana tree!
We're feeling lucky to be in such a beautiful area, surrounded by some incredibly friendly neighbors. The longer we live here the easier it is for us to understand just how important this neighborhood is to so many people & now to us as well. The fact that the county is willing to work so closely with us in this is a huge gift. We can now agree with the community members that this is a place worth preserving.
Greetings from Florida!
The three of us are settled in here in our new neighborhood. We have not only been enjoying the weather (seems a bit warmer than what we see recorded up north) but also becoming familiar with the area. After traveling through the night and into the next day, we arrived on Thursday evening feeling exhausted but ready to go. Over a meal at a small Chinese restaurant that night we got our first sense of the close community, as we overheard the table next to us in conversation about the roads in Goshen. We're clearly in Mennonite territory!
We're living right in the heart of Pinecraft-- Hans and Niles are in an apartment that is owned by a conservative Mennonite woman and Emma is just across the street in an apartment owned by Todd Emrich of Yoder's Restaurant.
After a night of rest we decided to eat at Der Dutchman, one of the two restaurants we were given meal vouchers to use twice a day, every day for the next three months. If you're curious about anything on the menu at either Yoder's or Der Dutchman, we'll most likely be able to give you a full run down by the end of our time here!
The first few days were full of orientation as we drove with Norm Kauffmann around the neighborhood, met as a team, and had our first meeting with both the Pinecraft board and one with the Sarasota county. One highlight was a beautiful afternoon spent at Siesta Key Beach. On Sunday one of the men on the board, Fred Hershberger, invited us to attend the Amish church down the road. Hans and Niles sat with Fred and Emma with Fred's wife and though the service was 3 hours long and we were limited by the language barrier, we were with great hosts and were able to meet many people outside after the service.
Tomorrow we'll have our first combined meeting with both the Pinecarft board and the county and will discuss our progress on designating items to include in the Masterplan. We'll be posting our meeting minutes on a regular basis, so be sure to check out that portion of our website if you are interested. For now, we'll enjoy the sun!
- Emma, Niles, and Hans