The Palmetto Historical Commission Inc dba Palmetto Historical Park
PO BOX 1192
PALMETTO FL 34220-1192
To foster an awareness and appreciation of our heritage and to preserve historical resources.
CEO/Executive Director Amanda Faye Polson
Board Chair Christine Howze
Board Chair Affiliation Volunteer
General Info
Organization DBA
Palmetto Historical Park
Supported Organization Palmetto Historical Park
Tax Exempt Status Exempt-Other
Incorporation Year 1984
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Mar 2018
State Registration Yes Jan 2018
Financial Summary
Note: Revenue includes the value of in-kind contributions/donations
IRS Letter of Determination
IRS Letter of Determination (private Operating)View
Impact Statement
In the last year, The Palmetto Historical Park provided free educational programs to over 20,000 people in our community; programs included Pre-K and elementary age field trips, "traveling trunk" program, Halloween Social, Christmas in the Park, adult tours and workshops, outreach exhibit at Manatee County Fair and special exhibits. The Palmetto Historical Commission also assisted the City of Palmetto in administering a Department of State Historical Preservation Grant, construction is ongoing to fix the leaking windows in our 1914 Carnegie Library.
Needs Statement

  1. Preservation and Education Center- in order for our museum to continue to grow, we need more space in a modern building that can better control climate, humidity etc. This facility would include a place to store and work on the preservation of our collection of historical objects and archives, a workshop for exhibit development, as well as the space to educate about the science of preservation.

  2. Field Trip Sponsors: $50- covers cost of hands-on-materials for one week of programming; $600- covers bus transportation for two classes.

  3. Christmas in the Park Performance Sponsor- $500 will provide for lighting and sound equipment so that schools and other local organizations have the opportunity to perform for the community.

  4. Christmas in the Park Snow Slide Sponsor- $1200 brings snow to Palmetto and lets Florida kids (many of whom have never seen snow) go sledding for free.

  5. Volunteers to help catalog collection, digitize documents in Archive Center, enter data into computer system & make accessible to researchers through useful search terms.

Background Statement
On February 20, 1982, under the leadership of the late Mrs. Murray (Josephine) Harrison, a group of civic-minded individuals organized to save Palmetto’s original post office building (c.1880) from demolition. The post office building was saved and moved to the southwest corner of 10th Avenue and 6th Street West, and was dedicated as Heritage Station while the park was dedicated as Heritage Park. As
the formal organization developed, its members were appointed to the Commission by the Palmetto City Council. The Commission was incorporated under the laws of the State of Florida and acquired
a nonprofit organization exemption under Section 501 {c} (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. In 1985, recognizing the importance of preserving Palmetto’s rich agricultural heritage, which was so well documented by a 1984 historical survey, that under the Historical Commission’s sponsorship, the Manatee County Agricultural Museum
(the old municipal public works building/fire station) was formed and is
independently incorporated with its own board of directors. It houses exhibits on all of the major agricultural commodities in Manatee County, including livestock, vegetables, horticulture, and citrus.
On December 30, 1986, as a result of the same 1984 historical survey, a National Register Historical District was created when the Palmetto Historic District was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior. The Commission, under Chairperson Virginia Smith, acquired Palmetto’s first public kindergarten building and moved it to Heritage Park. It has been restored in the style of a one-room schoolhouse. 
With a matching grant from the Florida State Division of Historic Resources, the restoration of Palmetto’s Carnegie Library was completed in 1990-1991. The core of the exhibits within the Library
is the Alice V. Myers Archives Center, which houses the Commission’s collection of historic documents, photographs, maps, interviews and memorabilia of North Manatee County history. 
Two additional buildings were brought into the Historical Park. One is the Joe Stephens (Palmetto) home, circa 1900, currently named the Cottage, and opened on Sunday, November 15, 1998. Five families who formerly occupied the turn of the century cottage have
advised on its restoration. It houses a collection of items that are pertinent to early 1900s family life.
The second building is the Cypress House Military Museum which came from the Village on Longboat Key, and opened to the public on July 3, 2004. It houses a growing collection of military artifacts, as well as recorded interviews of local WWII Veterans. The Palmetto Historical Park currently operates as a joint venture of the Palmetto
Historical Commission, Inc., the Manatee County Agricultural Museum, Inc., the Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and the City of Palmetto. In October 2007, these groups signed a formal “Interlocal Agreement” to govern the operation of the Park. This collaborative effort outlines each party’s responsibilities and is an outstanding model in cooperation between government and nonprofit entities.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Tertiary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Statement from the CEO/Executive Director
The Palmetto Historical Park is a beautiful collection of historical buildings. The 1914 Carnegie Library, 1880 Post Office, 1920
Schoolhouse, 1900 Cottage, Heritage Chapel and Cypress House Military Museum offer an interesting and enjoyable opportunity to learn about our area’s history.
Through free community events, special exhibits, our very popular school tour program, and the Alice V. Myers Archive Center visitors get a glimpse into the lives of early settlers.

Also located with the park, is the Manatee County Agricultural Museum. Our organizations work together to help our community build family memories and appreciate our local history. All of our activities are free-of-charge. As a lifelong resident of Palmetto, I'm very proud to be a part of Palmetto Historical Park.
Description Our school program encourages interactive learning and takes a hands-on approach where students get to live a day in the life of a pioneer child: they write on slates in the schoolhouse, do laundry (with a washboard, tub and line to dry) in our turn of the century cottage and churn and eat their own butter or ice cream. The school tours are coordinated with the Manatee County Agricultural Museum & their programming about agriculture in Manatee County. It is as if the students experience two field trips in one! The trip is free to all schools & we are proud to be able to offer quality educational programming at no cost at a time when school budgets are very tight.
Budget $500
Category Education, General/Other Distance Education
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Infants to Preschool (under age 5) Families
Short Term Success

Each year we quickly fill up our available dates for school tours. We are a popular destination as an enjoyable educational experience for both students & teachers. We only have so many dates available each school year & unfortunately we end up turning classes away. We regularly serve between 1200 - 1500 each year through this program.

Long Term Success Long-term success of the program is now being seen, as we have been conducting educational programming for approximately 12 years. Students who attended a school tour as an elementary student are now coming to volunteer with us as high school students. They remember how much they enjoyed the trip to our site as well as how much they learned while here. They enjoy giving back to a place that holds positive memories. In addition, we have many, many school teachers who reserve their school tour year after year after year, telling us that we are their "favorite field trip."
Program Success Monitoring

Teacher evaluations and feedback; students bringing their families to visit the Palmetto Historical Park after they have been here for a school tour; repeat reservations for classes to experience the Park's program.

Program Success Examples

It is hard to quantify the success of our school program, but the best example is when kids who have come on a field trip bring their parents back to show them the Historical Park. We've had casual volunteers get more involved and become committed members of our organization after witnessing local students giving their families "tours":  the kids tell their parents what it would really be like to attend a one-room schoolhouse or tease their younger siblings that it would have been their chore to empty chamber pots. We take these incidents as examples that students are honestly engaging and using critical thinking on our field trips.

Description Each year, the Palmetto Historical Park hosts 5-10 large community events. Last year these event brought more than 10,000 visitors. Events are always free to the public, family-friendly and educational. Our annual events (Palmetto's Christmas in the Park, the Halloween Social, and Heritage Festival) have become community favorites. These are some of the other event types in recent years: Palm View Elementary Art Show Reception (student artwork was on display in Park and families were invited to see it), 1st Responders Day (learn about & celebrate our local firefighters, EMTs, & law enforcement), Hands-On History Day (activities to give kids a day-in-the-life of a pioneer), Florida Highwaymen Art Show (painting demonstration, art sale), etc.
Budget $2,800
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Families Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Adults
Short Term Success People love coming to our events and appreciate that everything is REALLY free (instead of events with free admission, bust costs for parking and any activities).
Long Term Success The main goal of these events is to have our community enjoy the historical park. We want kids to remember this as a fun place where they were able to explore our local history in an engaging, exciting way. These events are about community building and gaining the public's trust as a custodian of our local heritage.
Program Success Monitoring The success of these events is measured by attendance and community feedback. We know that they are achieving our goals by the steady growth in numbers as well as the multiple thank you notes we receive.
Program Success Examples Our annual Halloween Social was started about 10 years ago and at first we ere happy to have a hundred people attend. Our biggest challenges in the recent past are keeping this event safe and fun (without long lines for each activity) now that we have about 4000 attendees.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Amanda Faye Polson
CEO Term Start May 2001
CEO/Executive Director Email
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 2
Part Time Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 150
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
The Palmetto Historical Park is operated under a unique Interlocal Agreement which partners the Palmetto Historical Commission, Manatee County Clerk of Court’s Department of Historical Resources, the City of Palmetto, and the Manatee County Agricultural Museum. All groups put in time and money to run the park and enable the many free community events that occur in the Park each year. In addition, we
are big believers in partnering with those in our community. Many local service clubs including Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions Club, FFA, Key Club and Student Government participate in our annual events. Other collaborations in recent years include but are not limited to: exhibits, programming & workshops with Palmetto Art Center, Academy of Botanical Art, Florida Highwaymen's Association, Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society, & Tampa Bay Carnival Glass Club. We were recently honored to be a community partner with Patterson Foundation's Legacy of Valor campaign & executed several events/programs/exhibits as part of this collaboration.
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Fundraising Plan Yes
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan No
Strategic Plan Years
Strategic Plan Adopted 0
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Foundation The Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court provides employees at Palmetto Historical Park through the Historical Resources Department. The staff is two full time and one part time employees. There is no one on the staff with the title of chief executive – my title is supervisor and would be equivalent to chief executive or museum director. Richard Pack is the Treasurer of the board of directors for the Palmetto Historical Commission which is the Park’s nonprofit organization. Mandy.
Multi-Media Comments by Organization
Board Chair
Board Chair Christine Howze
Company Affiliation Volunteer
Board Term Apr 2016 to Apr 2018
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Jordan Chancey Community volunteer
Christine Howze Community volunteer
Robert Marble Community volunteer
Scott Mattson Community Volunteer
Debbie Meier Volunteer
Punkin Olmstead Community Volunteer
Richard Pack Community volunteer
Cis Paulsen Community volunteer
Ron Schneider Community Volunteer
John Wright WrightCo Enterprises, LLC
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 10
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 6
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 9
Board Meeting Attendance % 75
Board Self-Evaluation No
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 81
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 90
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Current Year Projections
Tax Year Start Month May
Tax Year Start Day 01
Tax Year Begins 2017
Tax Year End Month Apr
Tax Year End Day 30
Tax Year Ends 2018
Projected Revenue $16,300.00
Projected Expenses $16,300.00
Total Projected Revenue includes "in-kind" contributions/ donations No
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
Currently In a Capital Campaign Yes
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? No
Campaign Purpose A new Preservation & Education Center would provide storage and workshop space to better care for our collection of historical objects and archives in a modern building where climate and humidity can be controlled.
Campaign Goal $150,000.00
Campaign Dates July 2016 to July 2020
Amount Raised To Date 0 as of July 2016
Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$11,507$20,957$9,063
Administration Expense$3,095$830$3,531
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses2.500.911.36
Program Expense/Total Expenses79%81%73%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$205,909$184,021$186,413
Current Assets$205,377$183,135$184,936
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$205,909$184,021$186,413
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $32,582Contributions, gifts, grants $18,953Contributions, gifts, grants $12,931
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountProgram Service Revenue $2,352Gross Rents $3,195Gross Rents $2,530
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountInvestment Income $843Investment Income $707Investment Income $695
CEO/Executive Director Compensation $0 - $50,000
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization The Palmetto Historical Commission operates the Palmetto Historical Park with financial assistance from:

*Manatee County Clerk of Court’s Department of Historical Resources pays the salaries of staff and provides a small operating budget which helps defray the costs of office, technology, exhibit & programming supplies & maintenance.
* The City of Palmetto owns the park. They support the park in many ways, including paying the costs of electricity, phone, water, lawn and building maintenance.

The specific income/expenditures which are covered through the Clerk and City of Palmetto budgets are not included in our projected income & expense projections. Those projections are specific to our non-profit funds. When the Museum has special projects that need funding or specific non-profit needs crop up, financial resources are sought through grants, foundations, donations & fundraising efforts on the part of the Palmetto Historical Commission, Inc.
Financial Comments by Foundation
Financial information was taken from the organization's Federal 990-PF and compilations.  Contributions include foundation and corporate support. 
Nonprofit The Palmetto Historical Commission Inc dba Palmetto Historical Park
Address PO BOX 1192
PALMETTO , FL 34221 1192
Phone 941 723-4991