A Panoply of Walks, Rides and Nature Events for January 2014 – Happy New Year!

A monthly e-newsletter sharing our news and events
Bring your School Age Children to Phillippi Estate Park and Become a Little Naturalist!

Looking for an alternative to the typical playgroup? Then bring your school age child to connect with nature in fun, creative ways at Sarasota County Government’s exciting youth nature program.


This session is for children ages 5-10. The program includes a short guided nature walk, a variety of hands-on nature themed activities, a snack and story. All participating children must be registered and accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.


Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, 10-11 a.m.

Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 S. Tamiami Tr., Sarasota

Space limited to 18.

Guides: Sarasota County Park Naturalists

From Gulf Shore to the Lagoon off Lemon BayJoin these nature walks from the Gulf shore to a lagoon off Lemon Bay at Blind Pass Beach. Learn how water, wind, sand and living things interact to create our beautiful barrier islands (keys as we call them). The biological emphasis will be on habitats (beach, dune, coastal hammock and mangrove). An easy two-hour stroll on beach, boardwalk, and trail.

Friday, Jan. 3 or Monday, Feb. 3, 2014,

9-11 a.m.

Location to be confirmed at time of registration

Space limited to 15.

Guide: Bruce Dayton, Sarasota County volunteer


Pre-registration required by calling Bruce Dayton at 941-493-5087

Lunch and Learn: Our WatershedBring your lunch and meet at the picnic shelter north of the parking lot to join us for a lunchtime learning session about the importance of the Red Bug Slough watershed, factors that impact it and steps being taken to improve water quality within the slough. After lunch, stay for a short walk to the slough to see hydrological restoration work in progress.

Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.Red Bug Slough Preserve5200 Beneva Rd, Sarasota

Space limited to 20.

Guide: Jeff Weber, Environmental Specialist

Plant Detective Nature Walk with Denny and Al

Join Al and Denny as you walk from a wetland boardwalk through a scrub area and pine flatwood while sharing their boundless knowledge of botany. Experience the meandering trails while learning about the natural lands and the plants they support.
Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, 9-11 a.m. 
Red Bug Slough Preserve
5200 Beneva Rd, Sarasota

Space limited to 20.

Guides: Al Squires & Denny Girard, 

Sarasota County volunteers

Land Management Challenges in an Urban Setting 
Join Ray and Jay as they share tools and techniques used to manage Curry Creek Preserve, an urban natural area site. Participants will get a “behind the scenes” glimpse into the processes used with mechanical vegetation reduction, as well as prescribed burns on this site. Visitors will see firsthand the results of various management practices that have been successful.

Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 9-11 a.m.  
Curry Creek Preserve
1500 Pinebrook Rd, Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guides: Ray Vinson,  Environmental Specialist 
and Jay Bailey, Fire Mitigation Specialist
Lunch and Learn: Common Trees and Shrubs
Bring your lunch and join us for a lunchtime learning session on the common trees and shrubs found at the west entrance. After lunch you may stay for a short hike to view many of these species in their natural setting within the forested areas of the site.

Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.  

Curry Creek Preserve
1075 Albee Farm Rd, Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guides: Jeff Weber,  Environmental Specialist 
Birding Diversity at the Carlton Reserve Calling all birding enthusiasts! Be tantalized and wowed by the vast array of bird species and nature. Don’t miss this opportunity to help document the array of birds found at the Carlton. You won’t be disappointed!

Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 7:15 a.m. – 1 p.m.

T. Mabry Carlton Jr., Memorial Reserve,

1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice

Space limited to 14.

Guide: Charlie Sample, Sarasota County volunteer


Pre-registration necessary via email to Charlie Sample atcsample41@verizon.net.

Family Bike Adventures at the Beautiful ‘Carlton Reserve’Got bikes? It’s perfect weather to grab the whole family for an off-road wilderness bicycle ride through the beautiful Carlton Reserve. Expect to see lots of wildlife!

Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve,

1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice 

Space limited to 12.

Guides: David Reynolds and Family, 

Sarasota County volunteers


Pre-registration required by calling David Reynolds at 941-412-5575
Woodland Stroll at Pocono Trail PreserveJoin Jeff as he leads you on a woodland stroll from upland habitats to the shores of Shakett Creek in Nokomis. Along the way, participants will see a variety of plant and animal species including live oaks, eastern red cedars, cabbage palms, bracken ferns, osprey, wading birds and other wildlife common to the area.

Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, 9-11 a.m.

Pocono Trail Preserve

189 Pocono Trail, Nokomis 

Space limited to 15.

Guide: Jeff Weber,  Environmental Specialist

Take a Walk on the West SidePlants, animals? Rosemary scrub? Shiny lyonia? Enjoy a leisurely winter walk with Denny and Al on the west side of Manasota Scrub Preserve exploring regions seldom traveled by the regular visitors. They will show plant detectives where to find the many species thriving. Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, 9-11 a.m.

Manasota Scrub Preserve

2695 Bridge St., Englewood

Space limited to 20.

Guides: Denny Girard and Al Squires, 

Sarasota County volunteers

Rising from the Ashes – Rebirth and Renewal after FireJoin us on a nature walk at recently burned habitats to learn about techniques used to manage scrub habitat for gopher tortoises and other fire-dependent species found on site. You will see post-burn results in areas treated with prescribed fire.

Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, 9-11 a.m.
Old Miakka Preserve
251 Myakka Rd, Sarasota

Space limited to 15.

Guides: Jeff Weber, Environmental Specialist and Jay Bailey, Fire Mitigation Specialist

Beginning Birding for Families Calling all birding families! Bring your family to join in on a birding nature journey into the wild. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from expert birders how to indentify and document the vast array of birds on site. You won’t be disappointed!

Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, 9-11 a.m.
T. Mabry Carlton, Jr., Memorial Reserve,
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice

Space limited to 16.

Guides: Venice Area Audubon/Sarasota County volunteers

What’s that? Plant and Wildlife Identification WalkJoin Jeff as he leads participants on a nature hike through pine flatwoods and oak hammocks describing the plants and wildlife of Red Bug Slough Preserve.

Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, 9-11 a.m.

Red Bug Slough Preserve
5200 Beneva Rd, Sarasota

Space limited to 20.

Guide:  Jeff Weber, Environmental Specialist

What’s that? Plant and Wildlife Identification WalkJoin Jeff as he leads you on a nature hike from upland habitats to the shores of Shakett Creek.  Along the way, you will discover a variety of plant and animal species including live oaks, eastern red cedars, cabbage palms, bracken ferns, osprey, wading birds and other wildlife common to the area.

Monday, Jan. 31, 2014, 9-11 a.m.

Pocono Trail Preserve
189 Pocono Trail, Nokomis

Space limited to 15.

Guide:  Jeff Weber, Environmental Specialist

About Us
Sarasota County Government
Natural Resources
1001 Sarasota Center Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34240
941-861-5000, dzeilman@scgov.net

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