FOSCPNews for October – Parks Events, News and Useful Info for Sarasota Parks Lovers

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The Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc.
In This Issue
Starting Up
Trails as Tendrils
Archery and IFAS
Petanque Tourney
Our Friends
Gulf Coast Gives Hands

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Gulf Coast Gives

You’d Be Perfect

SRQ Volunteen


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Let it Rain…up to a point
For those who either missed or are strangely nostalgic for Sarasota’s rains of September, here’s what Culverhouse Community Garden looked like a few days ago:

Master Gardener Catherine Dente writes:

Community gardeners at the new Culverhouse Community Garden were happily planting vegetable seeds and seedlings in Sept this year, their first fall planting since the garden opened.  And then heavy rain fell for a week. It looks like raised beds will be desired by many gardeners as this community garden develops. But in a week’s time, the ground will have absorbed the rain, the gardeners will be replanting, and the weather will be ideal for county residents to visit the 82-acre Culverhouse Nature Park off McIntosh Rd. in Palmer Ranch. Sit at one of the picnic benches at the park, observe the birds and abundant wildlife, and take pleasure in another park gem in Sarasota County.

Starting Up
The sun is rapidly drying out the excess moisture — and just in time. The first week of October brings a series of events and openings to our parks.

Tuesday Oct. 1 is the 30th Anniversary of the National Night Out Against Crime. This year it’s at the Englewood Sports Complex,5-7 pm. Free food and entertainment are promised, 861-5000.

Wednesday Oct. 2 brings the return of Phillippi Farmhouse Market for its fifth season. Puppet storytelling, the Ted Stevens Trio, 45 vendors and much more, 9 am – 2 pm.

Thursday Oct. 3 opens the third season of the Englewood Farmers Market, 9 am-2 pmThursdays. They’ll have postcards on sale, all made from images of the market, along with lots of fresh produce and goodies.

Friday Oct. 4 brings us the first guided talk of the fall season: “Purely for Plant Lovers” will highlight fall wildflowers at the Manasota Scrub Preserve. The walk led by Environmentalist Nancy Edmonson is limited to 20, so register at theCounty Calendar.

Nancy’s walk is just the first of quite a few parks events kicking off the Fall season. Check out Debbie Zeilman’s “What Kind of Wild Are You?” for a complete list, carried on the Friends’ site, Among October’s nature events are birding walks, “little naturalists” events for kids, and a special “Ghost Stories in the Dark” event at Red Bug Slough.

Many events require pre-registration. As you’re reading the list, click anywhere on the list to go to the County Calendar to sign up.

Thursday, Oct. 31. The Halloween moon will be appropriately dark for a special event atPocono Trail Preserve — a 75-minute “ghastly guided walk” with Jeff Weber through shadowy oak hammocks where you’ll investigate the haunts of spiders, snakes, bats, owls and more, 6 – 7:15 pm. (Pre-register).

Trails as Tendrils
At the September FOSCP Board meeting, Mike Gippert and Joel Calabrese of the Friends of the Legacy Trail made a strong presentation.

In brief: if Sarasota were to use the existing eight-mile CSX rail right of way from the FLT trail head at Culverhouse Park to Payne Park in downtown Sarasota, the potential impacts on health and the local economy could be big, they said.

Similar projects brought a resurgence of business and traffic to towns including Winter Garden and St. Petersburg, where the Pinellas Trail played a transformative role. Forty-five schools are within two miles of the proposed extension, which would lie within easy reach of 75% of the city of Sarasota, they noted.

Once the trail is in place, bicyclists will be able to ride over to Longboat Key and up to Anna Maria Island. Other branches could connect with Nathan Benderson Park, and perhaps eventually to the Celery Fields and Rothenbach Park.

The big picture: A continuous bikeable course from Casperson Beach to Anna Maria, not unlike the system of Kayaking and Canoe trails already in place.

bicycling FLT

And why stop there? Paths could extend north from Manatee County and south from Venice to North Port and beyond.

tour de north port
Speaking of which: On October 20thPeople for Trees is sponsoring the Tour de North Port, a 15, 35 or 65-mile on-road bicycle tour that begins with a continental breakfast and ends with lunch. People for Trees has all the info here.

Archery and IFAS Classes

The Lekatchka Archers Chapter of the Friends is starting Fall archery classes for children and Adults in October.
The club is based on a 50-acre site at Knights Trail Park, off Laurel Road in Venice. They offer free introductory lessons, regular 3-D shoots and welcome aspiring Robin Hoods. Email Don Jackson at if interested.

  For another kind of learning, IFAS classes are set through December. You can find a list right below theOctober Nature Events, or explore and register through their searchable calendar.

IFAS is also holding its Annual Plant Sale onThursday, Oct. 12, 8 am-1 pm at Twin Lakes Park.Details here on their site.

National Petanque Tourney in Sarasota 

Sarasota will host the 2017 World Rowing Championships at Nathan Benderson Park, and hopes to hold the 2016 Olympic trials as well. before those events take place, however, another world championship qualifier is coming to Sarasota: The National Men’s Triples of Pétanque, which will be played at Lakeview Park on Nov. 2nd and 3rd.

The match will be hosted by the Sarasota Club de Petanque who’ve been active in the area for over 15 years. Pétanque is a form of lawn bowling, or boules, which has been played in one form or another (like bocce) since at least ancient Rome. This particular form of the game was created in southern France in 1907, and has grown into a worldwide sport. The U.S. team that wins the Men’s Triples in November could go to the Championships in Tahiti in 2014. For more about Pétanque and its remarkable rise in popularity, see our interview with Brenda Green,president of the lively Sarasota Club, which counts a few master chefs among its members. Below,Michel Le Borgne was sharpening his skills on a recent Sunday.

 Thank You
As always, thanks for all you do. Don’t forget tosend us your Chapter updates, news, and special events.

Quick notes . . .

  • The County’s Volunteer Page seeks several volunteers for positions at Phillippi Farmhouse Market. The positions will also be posted to You’d Be Perfect. Also, after clicking on Volunteer Now, registered volunteers can search by venue using the left button. Folks can use the right button to find a specific event.

 Russ Johnson
Live music, food trucks, raffle prizes, Dragon Boat Races, expert speakers, Art Zone with unique gifts for sale, photo contest, kid stuff, boat displays, and exhibits promoting water recreation, wildlife protection, photography and bay stewardship.


May your October be cool and dry — flooded only with the light of ghostly moons.

Tom M.



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Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc.
234 E. Nippino Trail, Unit 101
Nokomis, FL  34275
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