Wellen Park announces new nature trail, community garden and fishing pier, part of larger sustainability efforts

VENICE, Fla. (Aug. 1, 2023) – Wellen Park’s newest outdoor destinations offer even more ways to enjoy the health and wellness benefits of time spent in nature and the community connections created by shared experiences. The Landing Fishing Pier, Oakheart Nature Trail and Harvest Community Garden will each enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors alike, fostering a sense of community, well-being and environmental stewardship.

“Research consistently demonstrates the healing properties of nature and water, its abilities to, ease stress, enhance wellbeing and inspire positive thinking,” said Rick Severance, president of Wellen Park. “Our community is dedicated to providing residents with engaging and unique active and leisure opportunities within the natural environment. We look forward to introducing these incredible new outdoor experiences which will complement Wellen Park’s 30 miles of multimodal trails, parks and downtown’s incredible recreation options.”

Opening Aug. 15, The Landing Fishing Pier, which is nestled along the shoreline across from Solis Hall, is soon to become a favorite fishing hole with a shade structure and pier extending into the Grand Lake, stocked with largemouth bass, channel catfish, redear sunfish, bluegill and threadfin shad. Fishing tackle and bait for rent or sale is available onsite at Kind Vibes Outfitters, and anglers can also preview the lake’s offerings by scanning the QR code at a red marker near downtown’s floating dock. Part of the new Wander at Wellen experience, the smartphone connection details and animates the lake’s variety of fish species. With the opening of The Landing Fishing Pier, outdoor enthusiasts can make a complete 3-mile loop on the trail encircling the Grand Lake.

The two-acre resident-only Harvest Community Garden will offer 85 raised irrigated garden plots, event lawn, covered picnic area, composting area, restrooms, parking and a fruit tree orchard providing an intimate destination for small gatherings and events. Harvest Community Garden will also host local schools for educational opportunities. Centrally located near CoolToday Park, the garden is expected to debut later this year, just in time for Florida’s fall-to-winter growing season.

“The garden is envisioned as a communal farm-to-table experience, a connection to the land and educational opportunities,” said Severance. “We plan to curate and layer in the produce grown in the garden into our weekly farmers market, encouraging sustainable practices within the community.”

The future Oakheart Nature Trail in the Playmore District bordering Wellen Park’s new EVERLY and Lakespur neighborhoods meanders along a 50-acre lake, wetlands and preserves, connecting outdoor recreation enthusiasts to the community’s growing trail system, Downtown Wellen and Atlanta Braves spring training and year-round events at CoolToday Park. Spanning roughly four miles, out and back, the trail stretches north across East River Road to Playmore Road, and also provides convenient walkable access to Sarasota County Schools’ new K-8 and high school campuses opening 2025.

Wellen Park takes an intentional approach to champion sustainability and celebrate its environmental assets. As part of its Heritage Tree Program, Wellen Park relocated more than 25 healthy live oak trees from various locations within the community to Downtown Wellen. The nearly $1-million effort to relocate mature trees not only saved these well-established trees but also helped create an immediate sense of authenticity and scale for Downtown Wellen. Each year, the development team and resident volunteers plant hundreds of saplings around the masterplan to provide more shade areas, offer habitat to wildlife and increase the state’s pine population.

Multimodal trails and pathways encourage walking and biking as alternate ways of transportation, decreasing reliance on cars. Trails are also developed with crushed shell material instead of concrete when near wetland areas and along lakes. Throughout the community, no wetland mitigation has been needed to offset development.


About Downtown Wellen

Downtown Wellen is the region’s newest social and gathering spot, offering restaurants, boutiques, beauty services, and medical and professional offices. The downtown’s thoughtfully designed spaces create unique outdoor experiences – from intimate parks, a natural playground and a living room shaded by a decades-old relocated live oak tree to larger gathering spaces like the Great Lawn for community festivals, markets, celebrations and events, and the lakefront fountain and splashpad. Solis Hall features an outdoor stage, a lakefront patio and an easy flow from inside spaces to neighboring alfresco areas.

The pedestrian-friendly downtown emphasizes heartfelt connections to community and nature and celebrates a waterfront vibe with the 80-acre Grand Lake providing a scenic backdrop and opportunities for fishing and paddle sports. Visitors can enjoy time on the water and along downtown’s 3-mile lakefront trail with on-site bicycle, e-bike, kayak and paddleboard rentals at Kind Vibes Outfitters.

Also open is The Yard, offering a playful outdoor environment with a dining area, games and activities, and ultra-casual food and beverage choices served counter style from retrofitted shipping containers. The Yard features gourmet ballpark favorites from Atlanta Braves-affiliated Pop Dawgs and New England-style seafood at Claw & Co.

Located at 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice, Downtown Wellen can be accessed directly from Preto Boulevard and U.S. 41, just west of South River Road. A future downtown entry directly from U.S. 41 and Wellen Park Boulevard is currently under construction.

Learn more about Downtown Wellen and access a complete list of businesses at


About Wellen Park

Consistently ranked among the U.S.’s top-selling communities annually by prominent real estate consulting firms RCLCO and John Burns, Wellen Park offers a mix of single-family and multifamily residential, commercial and recreational options. The community currently has approximately 9,500 residents, and at full buildout will have more than 50,000 residents and 22,500 homes within its three distinct districts: West Villages, Downtown Wellen and Playmore.

Wellen Park’s expanding residential choices include new-construction single-family homes in picturesque neighborhoods, a dynamic new lifestyle concept for active adults 55+, paired and attached villas, coach homes and condominiums for a low-maintenance lifestyle.

Rental options in Wellen Park range from one- to three-bedroom luxury apartments and single-family homes to an apartment community for adults 55 and older, and world-class independent, assisted living and memory care.

Wellen Park is close to top-ranked beaches and the area’s many attractions.

To learn more about living at Wellen Park, call 941-960-7805, go to or visit the Welcome Center at 12275 Mercado Drive in Venice, Fla. The Welcome Center is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.



Jennifer Hamilton, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758, [email protected]

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