Hike, Bike, Learn, Play in December

A monthly e-newsletter sharing our nature news and events.
Demonstration Garden Tour at Shamrock Park
Join the master gardener volunteers as they provide free demonstration garden tours and advice on Florida gardening.
Meet at the central Demonstration Garden near the Nature Center.
Thursday, December 1, 9 a.m.
Demonstration Garden area
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
 
No registrations are needed.
All welcome!
Fitness in the Park: Fit as a Fiddle for 50-plus
Looking for an opportunity to get a little fresh air, meet new people and get healthier and stronger? Join us for a walk to improve health, balance and overall fitness. Enjoy the exercise stations (especially for walkers 50-plus) along the trail. This is a gentle workout and not for advanced fitness buffs. The goal: to strengthen muscles, help minimize the risk of falls, instill a sense of well-being and quality of life through exercise and companionship. Wear comfortable athletic shoes and sun protection and/or hat and bring water. Be prepared to walk 1 – 2 miles on paved and relatively even unpaved trails.
Friday’s, December 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
8:30 – 9:30 a.m.
4000 Honore Ave., Sarasota
Space unlimited.
Guides: Sarasota County Park Staff
No registrations are needed. 
Birding Diversity at T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve
Calling all birding enthusiasts! Be tantalized and wowed by the vast array of bird species and nature found at the beautiful T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve (Carlton Reserve). Join Sarasota County volunteer guide, Charlie Sample as he leads you on a birding nature journey.  Don’t miss this opportunity to help document the multitude of bird species on the Carlton Reserve. You won’t be disappointed!
 
Saturday, December 3
7:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
Space limited to 14.
Guide: Sarasota County Volunteer
Charlie Sample
Register here for this event. 
Take a Woodland Stroll on the Pocono
Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Jeff Weber, as he leads you on a leisurely stroll through the shady woodlands at Pocono Trail Preserve in Nokomis. Enjoy the beautiful live oak and cabbage palm hammocks, occasional glimpses of wading birds along the shoreline, and learn the history of this interesting area.
Tuesday, December 6, 9 – 11 a.m.
189 Pocono Trail East, Nokomis
Space limited to 15.
Guide: Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Jeff Weber
Register here for this event.
A Walk Around the Lake with Denny and Al
Join Sarasota County volunteer guides, amateur botanists and Florida Native Plant Society members, Denny Girard and Al Squires as you explore the south end of Sleeping Turtles Preserve South. Along the way you will enjoy the preserve’s meandering lake trails canopied by old live oaks and pines.
Wednesday, December 7, 9 – 11 a.m.
3800 N. River Road, Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guides: Sarasota County Volunteers, 
Denny Girard and Al Squires
Register here for this event. 
So We Can’t Burn…Now What?
Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Jeff Weber, to hear about creative and innovative strategies land managers use when the suburbs are our neighbors. You will learn about special management practices and unique challenges involved with managing these sites. Participants will learn about methods used to manage fire dependent habitats, techniques to mitigate wildfire danger and how staff protects rare species and habitats while balancing the needs of public recreation.
Wednesday, December 7, 9 – 11 a.m.
1500 Pinebrook Rd., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Jeff Weber
Register here for this event.
Phillippi Farmhouse Market – 8th Season!
Sponsor: Friends of Sarasota County Parks (FOSCP)

 

Enjoy local fruits, vegetables, herbs and plants for sale as well as local foods and artisan crafts. Experience live music and free parking. Plenty of volunteers ready to assist you. Pets on a leash are always welcome at the market.
Every Wednesday, enjoy a FREE, narrated historical tour of the Edson Keith Mansion at 10 a.m. The tour includes the history of the early beginnings of the Sarasota Community.  Meet at the front porch prior to the start time.
Wednesday’s through April 26, 2017
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
5500 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
All welcome!
 
For more information on the Phillippi Farmhouse Market or how to become a vendor: Call 941-275-9397 or emailpresident@foscp.org
 
Englewood Farmer’s Market
on Historic Dearborn Street
LOCAL & ORGANIC PRODUCE – FRESH SEAFOOD – HONEY FRESH BREAD – NEW YORK BAGELS – GLUTEN FREE BAKERY – EXOTIC PLANTS – BONSAI TREES – FRESH PASTA – FRESH HERBS – HOMEMADE GRANOLA – BEEF JERKY – HOMEMADE JAMS – ORCHIDS – FLORIDA CITRUS – HOMEMADE SALSA & GUACAMOLE – KETTLE CORN – ARTISAN CHEESES – BBQ – SPANISH PAELLA   LIVE MUSIC AND MUCH MUCH MORE!!!
Thursday’s
9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Historic Dearborn Street Englewood
All welcome!
 
For more information call
(941)548-7843
Sponsors: Friends of Sarasota County Parks (FOSCP), Englewood Community Hospital and The Englewood Community Redevelopment Area (CRA)
Seasons and Serendipity Stroll at Shamrock Park
Florida does have seasons, not just for hurricanes and warm vs. hotter weather. Join Sarasota County Volunteer Master Naturalists and Shamrock Park Staff to stroll the trails, relying on changing seasons to bring us new flowers and birds’ nests, insects and animal activity. A little serendipity will find things in unexpected places!
Friday, December 9, 9 – 11 a.m.
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guides: Sarasota County Volunteers and Park Naturalist
Register here for this event. 
Mangroves and Coastal Landscapes ID: Walk and Talk
Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Alyssa Vinson at Lemon Bay Park for a discussion about our native mangrove ecosystems. You will learn how to identify the three mangroves in Florida, discuss identification, ecological significance and trimming regulations. Be prepared to walk for the majority of the time.
Friday, December 9, 9 – 11 a.m.    
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Space limited to 20.
Guide:  Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Alyssa Vinson
 
Register here for this event. 
Join the Lemon Bay F.I.S.H. Project
Calling all F.I.S.H. – Folks Interested in Submerged Habitats!
Get a little wet, have a little fun and learn a lot!
Join American Littoral Society Biologist, Chuck Idelberger, on a search for marine life in Lemon Bay. Using hand and seine nets, you will search shallow waters and seagrass beds, observing, collecting, and discussing the natural history of some of the many interesting fishes and other animals that inhabit the bay.
Saturday, December 10, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.    
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Space is unlimited.
Guide:  Chuck Idelberger, American
Littoral Society Biologist
For registration, please call Chuck Idelberger directly at 941-488-8998.

Rain Barrel Workshop and Rain Barrel Sales

 

Learn how the use of rain barrels can conserve water, save money by reducing the use of potable water in landscapes (lower utility bills), and reduce stormwater runoff by storing and diverting runoff from impervious surfaces (roofs). Practical tips on the construction and installation will be provided. Rain barrels will be for sale for $37 each, includes tax and spigot assembly. Cash or check accepted.

 

Saturday, December 10, 10 – 11 a.m.

1300 S. River Road, Englewood 

Contact: David Pouso, Sarasota County

Environmental Specialist, 941-861-5000

To register for this free class go to Eventbrite.

Full Moon Walk at Pocono Trail Preserve
Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Jeff Weber, on a special twilight hike to experience the mystery and intrigue of our natural areas after dark. Look and listen for the sights and sounds of early evening critters and learn about interesting legends and tales surrounding the full moon and other fascinating lunar phenomena. Please be sure to bring a flashlight and insect spray. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Wednesday, December 14, 6 – 7:30 p.m. 
189 Pocono Trail East, Nokomis
Space limited to 20.
Guides: Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Jeff Weber
 
Register here for this event. 
Youth Fishing Derby at Red Bug Slough Preserve

Join us for a family-friendly, fun and educational morning of fishing at Red Bug Slough Preserve.

Red Bug Slough Preserve is home to a number of species of freshwater fish, including largemouth bass, bluegill and channel catfish. This catch and release event is being co-sponsored by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who will provide rods, reels bait and tackle for  50 young anglers (Ages: 5 – 15 years old, accompanied by an adult). Adults are requested to bring their own fishing gear and bait if they’d like to participate. Free light snacks and drinks will be available to all in attendance. Prizes will be awarded in several categories during the event.
Saturday, December 17, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
5200 Beneva Road, Sarasota
NOTE: Parking available inside the Ashton Road entrance off of Lockwood Ridge Road
Space limited to 50 children.
Guides: Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Jeff Weber
 
Register here for this event. 
Family Bike Adventures at the Beautiful Carlton Reserve
Got bikes? It’s perfect weather to grab the whole family to join us for an off-road wilderness bicycle ride through the beautiful T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve (Carlton Reserve) for approximately 1 to 2 hours. Expect to see lots of wildlife!
 
Sunday, December 18, 10 – 11 a.m. 
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
Space limited to 12.
Guides: Sarasota County and Carlton Reserve volunteer guides, David Reynolds and Gary Vasbinder
 
Register by calling David Reynolds at 941-412-5575 or Gary Vasbinder at 941-893-7729 and to receive the meeting location. 
What’s that?! Plant and Animal ID Hike at Curry Creek Preserve
Join super sleuth, Jeff Weber, at Curry Creek Preserve, an urban natural area site, as he leads you on an explorative journey of discovery through pine flatwoods and oak hammocks highlighting both native and non-native plants and animals of the preserve. No matter what the season, there is always something beautiful in bloom or the potential to see interesting wildlife.
Tuesday, December 20, 9 – 11 a.m.
1500 Pinebrook Rd., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Jeff Weber
Register here for this event.
Urfer Family Park Walk with Denny and Al
Explore Urfer Family Park, Sarasota’s first Gold Leed Certified Park, with Sarasota County volunteers, amateur botanists and Florida Native Plant Society members, Denny Girard and Al Squires. Enjoy the meandering trails from a wetland boardwalk through a scrub and pine flatwoods area, while sharing their boundless knowledge of botany.
Wednesday, December 21, 9 – 11 a.m.
4000 Honore Ave., Sarasota
Space unlimited.
Guides: Sarasota County Park Staff
Register here for this event.  
Ethnobotany of SW Florida: Walk and Talk
Join a Sarasota County Environmental Specialist to learn about past and present uses of our native plants. Participants will learn how some of the region’s common native plants have been used for food, herbal remedies and for shelter, with a focus on native Floridians and early settlers.
Thursday, December 29, 9 – 11 a.m. 
5200 Beneva Road, Sarasota
Space limited to 20.
Guides: Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
 
Register here for this event. 
For more nature based events for you and your family, please be sure to visit the links on the right column of this newsletter.

Go outside

and play!

 

Please remember the 3 R’s.
Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle, when visiting your parks and environmental lands!

Please use appropriate containers for recycles and trash.

When visiting a preserve or environmental land where there are limited trash receptacles, please remember to ‘Pack it in. Pack it out.’

Leave nothing but your footprints and thank you for caring.

For more information on the three R’s for your home and business, visit Sarasota County Solid Waste for useful information.

About Us
Sarasota County
Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources
1660 Ringling Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34236
941-861-5000, pthistle@scgov.net
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Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at www.scgov.net/ADA.Persons with disabilities, who require assistance or wish to file a complaint, should contact the Sarasota County ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator by mail at 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34236 or by phone at 941-861-5000.
December 2016
 
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Shamrock Park trail
Enjoy multi-use trails at Shamrock Park and Nature Center located at 3900 Shamrock Drive, Venice
Be sure to check out more activities by visiting the links below:
 
University of Florida/IFAS Extension Sarasota County
Education Schedule