Nathan Benderson Park, previously known as North Metro Park and then Cooper Creek Park, is a 600 acre park that incorporates a 400 acre artificial lake in Sarasota, Florida, USA. The lake was excavated to provide fill for the construction of Interstate 75. The lake is a rowing venue and is currently hosting the 2017 World Rowing Championships.HistoryThe area was originally used as pasture land. The land was excavated for Interstate 75, which runs to the east of the lake. The section of Interstate 75 between U.S. Route 301 north of the lake, to River Road near Venice further south opened in 1981. Cooper Creek flows through the lake and drains in Braden River further north. In 1995, the land changed ownership from APAC-Florida Incorporated to Sarasota County for US$2.2 million. Sarasota County named the area North Metro Park. At the time, access was by dirt road only from The Meadows, a community immediately to the west, and recreational use apart from motor boats was permitted.In 2003, the Benderson Development Company moved to an area immediately north of the park. A year later, the park's name was changed to Cooper Creek Park. From 2005 onwards, Benderson Development Co. leased the northernmost 101 acres of the park. The company then donated US$1 million to Sarasota County and was given naming rights in return, and the name changed to Nathan Benderson Park on November 20, 2007, after the company's founder. Benderson Development Co. was then given approval to develop 276 acres adjacent to the park, and in return was required to develop a master plan for the park, management plan, and construction plan for further development. The concept plan was approved in 2010, and the development plan the following year. Also in 2010, a non-profit organization was set up for the management of the park – Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates Inc. (SANCA). North Cattlemen Road was realigned in 2012 so that a regatta course meeting the requirements of the International Rowing Federation (FISA) could be established. In 2013, the lake was lengthened and deepened, and an island created to reduce wave action. Nathan Benderson Park officially opened to the public in 2014. North Cattlemen Road provides the main access to the venue. See less

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