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PRESERVING A WAY OF LIFE Amish and Mennonite residents enjoy sports in Pinecraft Park, one of Sarasota County's most heav- ily used parks, according to county staff. Photo by John McCarthy/Sarasota County PINECRAFT COMMUNITY WORKING WITH SARASOTA COUNTY STAFF ON A LONG-RANGE PLAN By Rachel Brown Hackney Editor Sarasota County staff has been working with the residents of the Pinecraft community on a long-range plan that will have national signif- icance, the County Commission heard during its regular meeting on Sept. 26. The goal of the plan is to preserve the culture and quality of life of the Amish and Mennonite members of that community, explained Teresa Mast, the business relations coordinator in the county's Economic Development Office. Community residents have committed them- selves to paying for a consultant who can de- velop the plan, Mast said, but county staff will be providing planning and technical resourc- es. Community residents will be holding a variety of events, including barbecues, she said, to raise funds with the hope of having the con- sultant on board by January. The core of the planning work would take place in the winter of 2013 and the spring of 2014, she said. Pinecraft residents are hoping to hire Norm Kauffman, the former dean of students at Gos- hen College in Indiana, Tom Polk, the county's general manager for planning services, told the commission.

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