Busy People: Seven Updates from the Friends of Carlton Reserve



[clearboth]1. The Friends of the Carlton Reserve are supporting Fire Fest, a public education event sponsored by Sarasota County Natural Resources, Feb. 1, 2014.  Volunteers have been helping “spruce up” the public area and adjacent trails for the event. Friends of the Carlton will provide free coffee, tea, hot chocolate and bottled water in the visitors cabin, present a video and assist with parking. Here is a link to a flyer (downloadable) on our website.

2. The Friends of the Carlton received word that they will be receiving a $200+ grant from Microsoft. Microsoft recognizes with matching grants, employee time that is donated to “not for profits” and public entities.  Friends of the Carlton worked with Drew Shell and Julie Scherer who regularly visit the Carlton Reserve and other public lands to inventory plant species as well as locate invasive species. Last year’s efforts were rewarded with the first Microsoft grant amounting to over $500.

3. The Friends of the Carlton donated another set of 3 cameras, memory cards, cabled lockboxes and batteries ($500) to help monitor wildlife in the Carlton. This brings to eight the number of cameras currently deployed. Besides the 5,200-record database already accumulated since 2003, the Friends recently redeployed cameras,  hoping to catch a photo of another panther which had been sighted recently by the superintendent in Myakka River State Park as well as by a contractor in the Carlton Reserve. This would be the third panther sighting in the Reserve since 2001. Here is a link to the panthers previously confirmed in the Reserve.


4. The Friends of the Carlton are purchasing straw for the hay wagon so that Sarasota County trained volunteers can resume hay rides this season.  The frame was previously donated by The Friends of the Carlton to SC parks and Recreation which actually built the wagon’s floor and sides. A custom bimini top was later added, thanks to a donation by Fred Starling.

5. The Friends of the Carlton shared in the cost ($350) of building a new kiosk that guides visitors on a new hiking/biking trail constructed by a newly formed group of bicyclists, SCORR–Sarasota County Off Road Riders. Their counter on this popular trail is tallying a record number of visitors to the Carlton Reserve.


6. The Friends of the Carlton have been offered space at the Kiwanis Venice Expo to be held on Feb. 28 and March 1 at the Venice Community Center.
They will be sharing the space with Friends of Legacy Trail and providing maps and information about the Reserve in person and in videos.


7. Friends of the Carlton Reserve led a group of 34 members of the Garden Club of Pelican Pointe on a two-hour tour of the Reserve,  Jan. 22, 2014, which included a guided hike around the blue trail and a presentation in the cabin that included maps, history, information about natural habitats, flora, fauna, trails and activities.


Sherm Stratton