April in Sarasota’s Parks

A monthly e-newsletter sharing our nature news and events.
Hike for your Heart!
Just another justification to get outdoors…a healthy heart!
Take in the scenery of Sleeping Turtles Preserve North, located along the beautiful ‘Wild and Scenic’ Myakka River, while enjoying some vigorous cardio activity with Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Nancy Edmondson. Join us for this approximately 2 mile moderately paced hike through floodplain swamps, pine flatwoods, upland mixed forests and seasonal wetlands, stopping along the way, pausing to appreciate the natural landscape.
Tuesday, April 59 – 11 a.m.
3462 Border Road, Venice
Spaced limited to 20.
Guide: Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event. 
The Hunt for Ripe, Shiny Blueberries at 
Manasota Scrub Preserve


Enjoy a leisurely walk with Sarasota County volunteers, amateur botanists and Florida Native Plant Society members, Denny Girard and Al Squires at Manasota Scrub Preserve. They will show plant detectives where to find the ripe, shiny blueberries along with enjoying many species thriving within the preserve. You never know what you may discover!
Wednesday, April 6, 9 – 11 a.m.
2695 Bridge Street, Englewood
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Denny Girard and Al Squires, Sarasota County Volunteers
Registration info here for this event.
Phillippi Farmhouse Market
Sponsor: Friends of Sarasota County Parks (FOSCP)
Local fruits, vegetables, herbs and plants for sale as well as local foods and artisan crafts. Enjoy live music and free parking. Plenty of volunteers ready to assist you. Pets on a leash are always welcome at the market.
During market hours, enjoy FREE, narrated historical tours of the Edson Keith Mansion starting at 10 a.m. The tour includes the history of the early beginnings of the Sarasota Community. 
Wednesdays through April 27, 2016 – 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
5500 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
For more information on the PhillippiFarmhouse Market or how to become a vendor: Call 941-275-9397 or emailpresident@gracew11.sg-host.com
Friends of the Legacy Trail
2016 Surrey Ride Program!


The Friends of the Legacy Trail (FLT) Surrey Program offers a way for mobility challenged residents and visitors, who would otherwise be unable to share in The Legacy Trail, to enjoy the experience. You will be able to sit back and enjoy the ride on a 4-passenger, 4-wheeled canopy covered bicycle while FLT volunteers provide the pedal-power.
On-line registrations are necessary.
Wednesdays and Thursdays,
Now through April, 14 
9 a.m.10 a.m.11 a.m., and 12 p.m.
509 Collins Road, Laurel
Guides: Friends of the Legacy Trail Volunteers
Registration info here for this event.
Demonstration Garden Tour at Shamrock Park
Join the master gardener volunteers as they provide free demonstration garden tours and advice on Florida gardening.
Meet at the central garden area near the Nature Center.

Thursday, April 7, 9 a.m.
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
No registrations necessary.
All welcome! For more information call 941-861-5000
Birding Diversity at the Carlton Reserve
Calling all birding enthusiasts! Be tantalized and wowed by the vast array of bird species and nature found at the beautiful Carlton Reserve. Join local birder, Charlie Sample, as he leads you on a birding nature journey. Don’t miss this opportunity to help document the multitude of bird species on the Carlton Reserve outback. You won’t be disappointed!
Saturday, April 9, 7:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.           Wild Turkey at the Carlton
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
Space limited to 14.
Guide: Charlie Sample,
Sarasota County Volunteer
Registration info here for this event.  
Join the Lemon Bay F.I.S.H. Project


Calling all F.I.S.H. – Folks Interested in Submerged Habitats!
Get a little wet, have a little fun and learn a lot!
Join American Littoral Society Biologist, Chuck Idelberger, on a search for marine life in Lemon Bay. Using hand and seine nets, you will search shallow waters and seagrass beds, observing, collecting, and discussing the natural history of some of the many interesting fishes and other animals that inhabit the bay.
Saturday, April 99:30 – 11:30 a.m.    
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Space is unlimited.
Guide:  Chuck Idelberger, American
Littoral Society Biologist
For registration:
Call Chuck Idelberger directly at 941-488-8998to register.
Take a Woodland Stroll on the Pocono


Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Jeff Weber, as he leads you on a leisurely stroll through the shady woodlands at Pocono Trail Preserve in Nokomis. Enjoy the beautiful live oak and cabbage palm hammocks, occasional glimpses of wading birds along the shoreline, and learn about the history of this interesting area.
Tuesday, April 12, 9 – 11 a.m.
189 Pocono Trail East, Nokomis
Space limited to 15.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
What’s that?! Plant and Animal ID Hike at
Red Bug Slough Preserve


Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist and super sleuth, Jeff Weber at Red Bug Slough Preserve, an urban natural area site, as he leads you on an fun, informative journey of discovery through pine flatwoods and oak hammocks, highlighting both native and non-native plants and animals of the preserve.
Friday, April 15, 9 – 11 a.m.
5200 Beneva Rd., Sarasota
Space limited to 15.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.

Monthly Rain Barrel Workshop and Sales


Learn how the use of rain barrels can conserve water, save money by reducing the use of potable water in landscapes (lower utility bills), and reduce stormwater runoff by storing and diverting runoff from impervious surfaces (roofs). Practical tips on the construction and installation will be provided. Rain barrels for sale for $37 each, includes tax and spigot assembly. Cash or check accepted.

SaturdayApril 16, 10 – 11 a.m.
6050 Longwood Run Blvd., Sarasota
Contact: David Pouso, Sarasota CountyEnvironmental Specialist, 941-861-5000


To register for this free class go to Eventbrite.

Family Bike Adventures at the Carlton Reserve
Got bikes? It’s perfect weather to grab the whole family to join guides David Reynolds and Gary Vasbinder for an off-road wilderness bicycle ride through the beautiful Carlton Reserve. Expect to see lots of wildlife! Must be able to ride an off-road type bicycle.
Sunday, April 17, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.      
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
Space limited to 12
Guides: David Reynolds and Gary Vasbinder
For registration: Please call David Reynolds at941-412-5575 or Gary Vasbinder at 941-893-7729directly to register and for meeting place.
What’s a Borrow Pit?
A ‘borrow pit’ is a term used in construction where an area has been dug out for use in another location, leaving a pit. At Sleeping Turtles Preserve South, it created a beautiful lake.
Explore the preserve’s meandering lake trails canopied by old live oaks and pines with Sarasota County volunteers and Florida Native Plant Society members, Al Squires and Denny Girard. It’s early Spring and the trek may find any of the early Spring plants such as beautiful Walter’s Viburnum, pawpaws and both kinds of Lyonia. Who knows what kinds of wild flowers will be blooming for you to identify?
Wednesday, April 20, 9 – 11 a.m.
2800 N. River Road, Venice
Spaced limited to 20.
Guide: Denny Girard and Al Squires, Sarasota County Volunteers
Registration info here for this event. 
Land Management in an Urban Preserve at
Curry Creek Preserve


Join Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, who will identify a number of special challenges facing land managers in charge of managing sensitive, natural habitats in urbanized areas at Curry Creek Preserve, an urban natural area site. Learn about the innovative ways Sarasota County staff manages fire dependent habitats, mitigates wildfire danger, protects rare species, and balances the needs of public recreation.
Wednesday, April 20, 9 – 11 a.m.    
Curry Creek Preserve (East entrance)
1500 Pinebrook Rd., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
What’s Blooming, Buzzing and Hatching at
Shamrock Park?

Ever wonder where wildflowers bloom – and when? How many kinds of butterflies and dragonflies live here? Or which eggs, like the gopher tortoise’s, may be hatching? And when do Florida Scrub-jays learn to fly? Join Park Naturalist, Brooke Elias, on ‘fourth Thursday’s’ thoughMay 26th, on a stroll to explore the annual rhythms and cycles of Shamrock Park and Nature Center.

Thursday, April 28, 9 – 11 a.m.          
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
Guide: Brooke Elias, Sarasota County Park Naturalist
Registration info here for this event. 
What’s that?! Plant and Animal ID Hike at
Pocono Trail Preserve


Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist and super sleuth, Jeff Weber, at Nokomis’s Pocono Trail Preserve as he leads participants on an informative fun journey of discovery through oak hammocks. He will highlight both native and non-native plants and animals of the preserve. Enjoy your hike through the preserve (once the site of the famed Pollyanna Inn in 1922), catching glimpses of eastern red cedars, cabbage palms, Boston ferns and views of Dona Bay.
Thursday, April 289 – 11 a.m.    
189 Pocono Trail East, Nokomis
Space limited to 15
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.

‘Crayola Critters’ – A Little Naturalist Event

Bring your pre-school child (ages 3-5 years) to connect with nature in fun, creative ways at Sarasota County’s youth nature program, the Little Naturalist.

Join Sarasota County Volunteer and Master Naturalist, Eileen Teel, for Crayola Critters at Shamrock Park and Nature Center. Home to many colorful birds, learn about what makes a bird a bird, color a bird picture to take home, and go on a hike to look for “scarlet” cardinals and “cerulean” scrub jays. If you like, bring a snack to enjoy afterwards.
An additional Crayola Critter event will be on May 20.
Friday, April 2910 – 11 a.m.              
Nature Center
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
Guide: Eileen Teal, Sarasota County Volunteer
Advance registration is required – Call Park Naturalist, Brooke Elias at (941) 404-6336 to register.
2016 Seagrass Survey and Seagrass Fest


Sarasota County & Sarasota Bay Estuary Program are teaming up to bring you this free, fun, 2-in-1 event.
The Seagrass Survey (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.provides the public with an opportunity to learn about seagrass habitat. Volunteers will take to the waters in and around Sarasota Bay to count and identify seagrass species. The Seagrass Survey is open to the public: Boaters, both motorized and human-powered and kayakers & paddle boarders are welcome, along with snorkelers. Volunteers must register by April 25at:  http://2016SeagrassSurvey.Eventbrite.com.
The 1st Annual SeagrassFest  (10 a.m. – 4 p.m.will celebrate all-things seagrass. The public is invited. Enjoy hands-on activities, educational exhibits, live music, food, games, and more! For more information about the SeagrassFest, visit: http://sarasotabay.org/2016/01/save-date-for-first-annual-seagrassfest/.
Saturday, April 30
1700 Ken Thompson Parkway, Lido Key, Sarasota 
For more information: Contact Ashley Melton, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist: by phone 941-275-6118 or by email atamelton@scgov.net.
For more nature based events for you and your family, please be sure to visit the links on the right column of this newsletter.

Go outside

and play!

Photographers:Do you have a beautiful

bird photo to share?


The Herald Tribune is seeking

beautiful bird photographs

to share on their on-line gallery.


Send your best pictures to:
The Herald Tribune staff just may include
your photo in this wonderful on-line bird gallery.
Registration Process for Nature Events

Look for ‘View Activities’ (if you already have an account), orSIGN UP HERE (if you need to open up a

new household account).


Attached here are directions to help you set up an account to sign up for a free nature event.

Please remember the 3 R’s.
Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle, when visiting your parks and environmental lands!

Please use appropriate containers for recycles and trash.

When visiting a preserve or environmental land where there are limited trash receptacles, please remember to ‘Pack it in. Pack it out.’  Leave nothing but your footprints. Thank you for caring.


For more information on the three R’s for your home and business, visitSarasota County Solid Waste for useful information.

About Us
Sarasota County
Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources
1660 Ringling Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34236

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