Our Journey

The City purchased the farm in 2017. The previous owners maintained horse stables and operated a non-profit equestrian therapy program, the Suncoast Trailblazers, at the property between 1999-2010.  The co-founder of that program, Therese Christian Bailey, died in 2011. Her father, John "Jack" Bailey passed in 2015, leading to the sale of the property.

Former Councilwoman Patti Johnson was as avid horsewoman and saw the potential of a City-run farm. She lobbied for the City to acquire the property. Funding for the farm’s purchase and redevelopment was provided in part by Penny for Pinellas and City parkland dedication fees.  Sadly, Councilwoman Johnson passed away in 2020, though her daughter, Patti Reed, was elected to fill her council seat and  shares her mother's passion for horses and farming. She has picked up the torch for the farm project.

The farm was renamed in Patti Johnson's memory in 2022. We are grateful for her forethought and vision and are working hard to cultivate the seed she planted to bring it to bloom. Though it took some time for a plan to take shape, the physical transformation of the farm has begun.  

Fiscal Year 2022 (October - September):

  • Concrete concession stand shell was relocated from David Field and renovated as public restroom
  • Modular unit was re-located from Fire Station 36 to provide staff office space and storage
  • Dedicated staff positions created, September 2022

Fiscal Year 2023 (October - September): 

  • City Capital Improvement Funds used for new well, irrigation piping, and construction of weather-proof animal pens
  • Partial underground drainage to minimize water in animal pen areas and to feed the pond
  • Deeping of Pond
  • Completion of irrigation system to support ground plantings

Fiscal Year 2024 (October - September): 

  • Improved walkways to be planned, implemented where related groundwork has been completed
  • Demo, site prep, infrastructure and construction of new feed storage and barn/pavilion structures

In February 2023, The Police and Kids Foundation generously donated $100,000  toward the construction of a new barn structure where school groups can gather for educational workshops. The City has proposed additional Capital Improvement Funds to ensure that required infrastructure can be in place to support improved physical structures that can better accommodate any-weather school field trips, 4-H activities, and other community learning opportunities. 

Daily operations fall under the Leisure Services Department and maintained using General Fund dollars.   In addition, many community residents generously stepped up  to donate their time as volunteers.