FOSCPNews for December 2013: Calling All Chapters

The Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc.
In This Issue
Calling All Chapters
A New Chapter
A Lot of News
Our Friends
Gulf Coast Gives Hands

We are a founding member of
Gulf Coast Gives

You’d Be Perfect

SRQ Volunteen


Our Chapters

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Calling All Chapters
Now that Thanksgiving is fading into dietary history, and before all our thoughts turn to the holidays, Friends’ President Terry Redman is calling on all Chapters to put their attention on new directions, new initiatives, and new ideas.
In Terry’s own words:
Come one, come all to our next Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc. Chapter leaders meeting. Please write us down for
Monday, Dec. 16th at 4 PM 
We will be discussing Chapter issues, our new part-time coordinator position, insurance, new volunteer recording procedures, new memorial procedures, opportunities on Gulf Coast Gives, use of tools/van, new MOU* with the County, our new strategic plan for the next 10 years, and more. You do not want to miss this meeting. We will have light food/drinks. We have to be out of the building by 6 PM. If you have a list of items please let me know so I can add it to the agenda.
*memorandum of understanding
Much is happening just now. One major thing is an effort to connect the strategic and fundraising efforts of the Board with the goals and needs of the Chapters. This could have broad and lasting impacts on the work of our volunteers around the county.
Terry adds:
Please let me know if you will be in attendance so we can make sure there is enough food/drinks. Call me at 941-468-2222 if you have any questions. And, don’t forget to join us at the County Commissioners’ meeting (South County Admin Center) at 9 AM on Dec. 10 to honor Debbie and Mike Gippert as our 2013 Volunteer of the Year award recipients. – TR
Way to go Debbie and Mike! Read on for more news from Chapters, and about a new Chapter just forming.

A Barking New Chapter
Meet Dr. Sue Nielsen
Dr. Nielsen and Rico
Dr. Sue Nielsen came to the Friends with a proposal for a new Chapter. The Board quickly approved, andFriends of the Paw Parkswill take under its, er, wing not one, but five parks in the County — the Paw Parks.
Sue is a physician who has given a lot of thought to dogs and to the parks they play in. She seeks other dog lovers who will help brainstorm ways and means to make Sarasota’s five fine dog parkseven better. She’s got plenty of ideas, and, given the devotion to Humans’ Best Friends around here, the Paw Parks will soon be safer, cleaner, dog-friendlier, and a whole lot more fun.
Read more about Dr. Nielsen and her ideas for our dog parks here. Some canines (and their owners) are here. Click to like the brand new Paw Parks Facebook page here.
A Lot of Chapter News

A number of Chapters have new or ongoing projects and wrote to update us.
Potter Park Improvements

Fred Falkner sent news of Potter Park:

The Friends of Potter Park have been steadily working since last August to restore the landscape beds and the playground area of Potter Park to their former pristine conditions. The weeds have been removed from the landscape beds to reveal the ground cover, palmettos have been cut and removed to restore line-of-sight vision over the entire playground area, and native pine needle mulch has been collected and spread around trees and areas where grass does not grow. In addition, we are discussing other projects. For instance, we will propose new signage for the park to identify trails and mark distances along the trails. Anyone interested in joining us should contact Fred Falkner
Potter Park



Solar-Powered Well in Englewood


Lou Taft writes:

Englewood Community Garden and Orange Blossom Community Garden are the fortunate recipients of solar-powered well systems. This feature is a welcomed addition to Englewood Community Garden! In the past, the water supply for vegetable crops has come exclusively from rain barrels and cisterns, used for harvesting storm water. However, the cisterns have occasionally been emptied during times of drought, leaving garden members without necessary irrigation. Members have had to bring water from home. The new well ensures sufficient water, while incorporating solar energy to power the pumps. The grant also includes funds for compost bins for multiple gardens to allow for proper recycling of vegetative debris. Congratulations to Englewood and all Community Garden Members on these great improvements!

Englewood Community Garden
By the way, did you know that WebMD saysgardening is good for you? In case you were wondering, there’s a map of all the community gardens in the county. It’s here



FLT at the Tiki Bar

From Bruce Dillon:

Two fundraisers are coming up for the
Legacy Trail Extension — bringing the trail into downtown Sarasota: Both at Capt. Eddie’s Tiki Bar, Friday Dec. 13, and Sunday Dec. 15:



LSS in Sarasota Time Capsule


On December 14, items representing life in Sarasota County will be placed in a time capsuleat Historic Spanish Point on December 14.


Friends of Little Salt Spring presented two green stone pendants, replicas of the semi-precious stone originals discovered in Little Salt Spring in 2005 and 2006. The originals date to about 8,000 years ago, and represent a trade network that extended at least 600 miles from Little Salt Spring.

Can You Come?

Ceremony: 10 a.m. Dec 14, 

Spanish Point, Osprey.

FOSCP Board in action! 
Asphalt gardeners at Ainger
Board member Russell Johnson and Terry Redman have been working on establishing a school garden on top of an asphalt basketball court. Overcoming numerous challenges, the students at L. A. Ainger are learning about gardening in urban settings — rooftops, sidewalks, streets, etc. Most of the credit goes to the talented STEM teacher, Natalia Shea.
Shea and gardeners
Culverhouse Wins Award
Congratulations to the Friends of Culverhouse Community Garden, who were chosen as one of the winners of Keep Sarasota County Beautiful in November. You’ll find all the winners here.

Got Tools?

Got a project? Tools are now available for the use of Chapters of the Friends. Send a message to reserve tools for as

long as needed. Terry will make arrangements to pick them up.


new friends logo
Quick Notes
Looking Ahead
At the November Board Meeting of the Friends, consultant John Ramsey made a salient point:

“Marketing, communications, PR are our weakness. The Friends has passion and solid record of getting things done.”


boardFOSCP also has naming rights that can be used for certain events and locations. The Board is also working with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation to explore obtaining Grants totaling upwards of $500,000 next year. This is where the Chapters come in. The Board needs your input, your ideas about what our parks need — security systems? clean water? outdoor lighting? — and your help to meet those needs.

The Board is seeking an effective fundraiser. If you think you might fit the bill, get in touch with Terry. Most important, come to Twin Lakes at 4 pm on Dec. 16th and help every Chapter and the communities they serve develop great ideas.

December Events


North Port has two holiday events coming up:



When the December list of events in the parks arrives, we’ll post it to the home page of Meantime check out the County Calendar, and don’t forget the upcoming Arts and Crafts Shows in Englewood and Venice, along with the Sandy Claws Beach Run, the 2014 Fun Run, and the farmers’ markets in Englewoodand Phillippi where you’re likely to find cabbage, carrots and cauliflower, lettuce and strawberries, citrus and squash, sweet corn and radishes, eggplant and heirloom tomatoes. (What is an heirloom tomato, ask you?)

And then . . .

Happy holidays from the Friends.


Tom M.



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