Manna-Mission Inc. in New Port Richey needs help developing 10 acres off Midvale Avenue.
Manna, led by Moon Lake Christian Fellowship Church pastor Lad Dubovsky, received the land from Pasco County in 2010.
After the clearing of trees and some minor changes, the property is ready for the next phase, Dubovsky said. A children's memorial garden, honoring children killed by dog attacks, a fatal fire and traffic wrecks in Moon Lake, is in place. A bike trail is being developed, and there are plans for a nature-inspired community building.
This year, Manna has hosted several events on the acreage, including a community Easter celebration, Mother's Day and Father's Day picnics, and a July 4 extravaganza.
The property presents an opportunity to better the Moon Lake community, which is known more for negative events than positive ones, Dubovsky said.
"Moon Lake has had a bad name," he said. "It's been known for bad things that happen, gangs and shots fired. But the area is improving. It's gotten a lot better since we moved here in 2003."
Dubovsky and his wife, Marie Tuller, came to New Port Richey from Livingston Manor, N.Y. Up North, they founded Manna-Mission and started a youth church and worked with at-risk families in the mountains. They came to Florida to help people here.
Dubovsky is a licensed mental health counselor and social worker. He counsels children as young as 4 years old. Tuller works as a hospice nurse.
To turn the Moon Lake land into the home of an official community outreach center, a few needs remain, Dubovsky said.
The project still needs a site engineer. There is a lot more paperwork. And donations would be appreciated.
"We want this to be a place where the kids can come play, where they can learn about the outdoors," Dubovsky said. "This isn't just for the church. This is for Moon Lake."
Moon Lake Christian Fellowship Church is at 10936 Moon Lake Road. The church distributes free food and clothing from 9 a.m. to noon each Saturday. For more information about the church and Manna-Mission, or to help with the recreation project, visit moonlakechurch.org.