Fire! and other Sarasota Parks Nature Events for December 2013


A monthly e-newsletter sharing our news and events
Welcome to the new Natural Resources e-newsletter!

Sarasota County is an exceptional place to get outside and enjoy all that our community’s natural areas have to offer. The goal of this newsletter is to help you discover a variety of ways to experience our lands and learn about our environment. Please have a wonderful time exploring with your family and friends and let us know your thoughts on how we can make your time on the lands more meaningful.


This new newsletter format will be used to send nature event notifications and share interesting stories for your enjoyment.  You will be able to register for our events by using the link provided to the right.  Please let us know your thoughts on this new tool by emailing Debby Zeilman with any comments.


Happy reading and have fun discovering the natural wonders of our community!


Amy H. Meese

Director, Natural Resources

“Discovering Insects and Their Ways” A guided ID walk 

  Thursday, December 5, 2013

Space for this event is limited to 20.

9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Guide: Dr. Fred Santana, Sarasota County volunteer


Location: Curry Creek Preserve, 1500 Pinebrook Road, Venice


Retired entomologist Dr. Santana will lead participants through pine flatwoods and oak hammocks describing the little known insect denizens of the preserve and introducing them to the insect diversity of nature and the role insects play in our environment.

Birding Diversity at the Carlton Reserve

   Sunday, December 8, 2013

Space for this event is limited to 14.

7:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Guide: Charlie Sample, Sarasota County volunteer


Pre-registration necessary via email to Charlie Sample


Location: T. Mabry Carlton Jr., Memorial Reserve, 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice.


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!

Land Management in an Urban Setting
  Monday, December 9, 2013
  Space for this event is limited to 20.

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Guide: Jeff Weber,  Environmental Specialist


Location: Curry Creek Preserve, 1500 Pinebrook Road, Venice

Join Jeff as he shares tools and techniques used to manage Curry Creek Preserve, an urban natural area site. Participants will get a “behind the scenes” glimpse into the decision making processes involved in developing a comprehensive management strategy for this site. Visitors will see firsthand the results of various management practices that have been successfully used at the preserve.
Explore with Denny and Al at Urfer Family Park

   Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Space for this event is limited to 20.

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Guides: Al Squires & Denny Girard,

Sarasota County volunteers


Location: Urfer Family Park, 4000 Honore Avenue, Sarasota


Explore Urfer Family Park, a unique piece of natural land inside the City of Sarasota. 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.

Calling All Early Birds! See the Geminid Meteor Shower 

   Friday, December 13, 2013   Space for this event is limited to 45.5:15 a.m. to 6:45 a.m.

Guide: Jeff Weber, Environmental Specialist


Location: Red Bug Slough Preserve, 5200 Beneva Road, Sarasota


Sarasota County invites you to join Jeff  for an early morning viewing of the Geminid Meteor Shower during the wee hours. Bring a blanket or a folding chair to enjoy one of nature’s night sky spectaculars. Viewing will be at its peak on this date during this time period until dawn, when participants could see 25+ shooting stars per hour!

Bike the Wild T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve

   Saturday, December 14, 2013

Space for this event is limited to 20.

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Guides: Sarasota County volunteers and

SCORR (Sarasota County Off-Road Riders)


Location: T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve, 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice


Be ready for a challenging bike excursion while enjoying the wild wilderness of a true Sarasota County gem, the beautiful Carlton Reserve.

Family Bike Adventures at the Beautiful ‘Carlton Reserve’

   Sunday, December 15, 2013

Space for this event is limited to 12.

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Guides: David Reynolds and Family,

Sarasota County volunteers


Pre-registration required by calling David Reynolds at 941-412-5575.


Location: T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve, 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice


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!

Woodland Stroll at Pocono Trail Preserve 

   Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Space for this event is limited to 15.

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Guide: Jeff Weber,  Environmental Specialist

Location:  Pocono Trail Preserve, 189 Pocono Trail, Nokomis


Join 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.

A Winter Walk at South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve 

   Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Space for this event is limited to 20.

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Guides: Denny Girard and Al Squires,

Sarasota County volunteers


Location:  South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve,  5472  Kenisco Road, Venice


Join in on this winter walk through scrub, flatwoods, and coastal woodlands bordering Lemon Bay,

Fire in the Landscape! South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve 

   Thursday, December 19, 2013

Space for this event is limited to 20.

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Guides: Jay Bailey,  Fire Mitigation Specialist and

Nancy Edmondson, Environmental Specialist


Location:  South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve, 5472 Kenisco Road, Venice


Fire is a Florida natural occurrence and plays a large part in preserving our native landscape. Join us to hear why fire is important for public safety and environmental health. Historically, spontaneous fires ignited by lightning were frequent. Now fires are primarily ignited by trained staff to improve and protect many plant communities which have become overgrown due to the lack of fire. Come learn more about this essential tool.

Bring your Toddler or Preschooler to Rothenbach Park and Become a Little Naturalist! 

  Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Space for this event is limited to 18.

10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Guides: Sarasota County Park Naturalists


Location:  Rothenbach Park,  8650 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota


Looking for an alternative to the typical playgroup? Then bring your toddler or preschooler to connect with nature in fun, creative ways atSarasota County Government’s exciting youth nature program.


This session is for children ages 2 – 4. 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.

From Gulf Shore to the Lagoon off Lemon Bay   

   Friday, January 3 and Monday, February 17, 2014

Space for this event is limited to 15.

9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Guide: Bruce Dayton, Sarasota County volunteer


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


Location:  To be confirmed at the time of registration


Join 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.

About Us
Sarasota County Government
Natural Resources
1001 Sarasota Center Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34240

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