Friends’ News: February 2015 Edition

The Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc.
In This Issue
FireFest Fun
Happenings this month
A few more things

Help us keep our parks clean, safe, and a breath of fresh air for all the people of Sarasota.
Quick Links
Follow us on TwitterLike us on FacebookVisit our blog

Join Our Mailing List

Clicking on the images below will bring you to more about our programs and

Paw Parks of Sarasota

A Worthy Store
Check out the Worthy Cause Store – great items, great prices, and a portion of your purchase goes to the Friends!
Join Our Mailing List

February 2015
GREETINGS from the Friends

foscp logo

FireFest Fun
That’s FOSCP boardmember Russ Johnson, left, and Sherm Stratton of the Friends of the Carlton Reserve at the Reserve’s cabin last Saturday.
The cabin, with its cosy mantel, was one of the featured attractions at the Reserve forFireFest. The event offered demos and information about the care and handling of fire in the wild.

The sole firefighting copter owned by the County uses a giant bag to scoop up 216 gallons of water from any nearby source, which it then can place on or in front of a fire that threatens homes. It can drop the water and return in 90 seconds with more.

Judging from the looks of things, everyone seemed to have a very good time.

The demos and free burgers and hot dogs were a treat!

Wise birds say: Next Year, take a kid and go!

FireFest was hosted by Sarasota County Parks at the very nicely cared-for Carlton Reserve.

Happenings in the Parks
We’re in Florida, on the Gulf Coast. Yes, it’s a tad chilly some days. . . .
But that’s when it’s great to get out to the parks. And there’s a good deal to do – walks, talks, bicycling expeditions, archaeological explorations, plant analyses, fitness, botany, birding, fitness, Farmers Markets. We’ve put the County’s list of some of the

Get out and enjoy nature — the recreation will keep you warm — and more active than some of these manatees we caught at Three Sisters Spring (at Crystal River) recently:
One recent day those manatees were so happy to get there some 300 of them converged, causing the park to close!
Volunteer for Pentathlon World Cup #1 
Also this month, John Krotec at Benderson Park islining up volunteers for the Modern Pentathlon.There’s still time to pitch in – it’s a large event involving 190 “pentathletes” from over 40 countries.
This competition (Feb. 16-23) challenges athletes who compete in five sports: equestrian show-jumping, swimming, running, pistol shooting, and fencing.
More about it here and here.
Our Common Ground . . .

Volunteers for the Friends keep finding out that registering with the County to help the parks opens the way to many good things.


Logging your hours means that the Friends, the Parks Department, and the Community know you care. The new volunteer systemenables volunteers to share not just their hours, but their stories via interaction online. Folks are telling their stories about who they are and what they’re passionate about.



County Volunteer Coordinator Vickie Frenchsays:


We have such a generous and engaged community-people from all backgrounds, economic means, political and religious affiliations, etc. . . . Let’s share that story. Volunteering is our common ground! 


Photos of our registered volunteers can be seen on the County’s Volunteer page.

A few more things . . .
FireFest wasn’t the only recent happening at the Carlton. Sherm shared a page he created to celebratea Day in the Life of the Reserve, including photos of an off-road bicycle trip and a Frost poem. It’s a lovely place.

And of course the Phillippi Farmhouse Market and theEnglewood Farmers Market are bustling on Wednesdays and Thursdays respectively.

Priscilla Brown wrote to tell us about what’s going on at Phillippi on Feb. 25th and later that same week:

On Wednesday February 25 the market welcomes the Light Chasers (Sarasota’s Plein Air Painters) to a Quick Draw Painting Contest.  At 10 a.m. the air horn signals the start of the painting in the market and all over the park.  Come watch the painters create an original oil painting in just two hours when the air horn signals the end of the painting.
edson keith mansionThen Bill Farnsworth, Master Artist from Venice, will judge the paintings and award prizes. You can buy the paintings right off the easel or attend one of the art shows and sales at the Edson Keith Mansion on Friday, Feb 27 – 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.(Gala Opening Night – $25.00/ticket) or come Sat Feb 28, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. FREE, or Sunday, March 1 – noon – 5:00 p.m. FREE.
Along with Sunday’s art show and sale will be Jazz in the Park, a free jazz concert from noon – 5:00 p.m. at the Gazebo, sponsored by the Jazz Club and the kickoff to Jazz Week in Sarasota. The Quick Draw Contest and art shows and sales in the Edson Keith Mansion will raise funds for the restoration of the Keith Farmhouse in the Park.  This was the original building erected on the estate in 1916 – 99 years ago. The Phillippi Farmhouse Market, under the direction of Friends of Sarasota County Parks, has already donated $60,767.10 to the restoration of the interior of the Farmhouse.

Air Potato Raid

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) will pursue nefarious air potatoes at North Water Tower Park on Saturday starting at 9 am. Contact Sara Kane at to learn more about the project or to get involved as a Bay Guardian volunteer.
The Bay Guardians will be oyster bagging at Robinson Preserve on Saturday, Feb. 21st. All the info is here, but if you were wondering, here’s what that looks like:
That’s it for now. Check us on FacebookTwitter,tumblr and on for updates through the month.
And enjoy a tree.

The parks are better for your care!

Tom M.

The Newsletter of the
Friends of
Sarasota County Parks
                                 Follow us on Twitter   Visit our blog   Like us on Facebook