January Explorations in our Parks

A monthly nature e-newsletter sharing our nature news and events
Happy New Year to you and yours!
Phillippi Estate Park Archaeological Event
New College Archaeology professor, Dr. Uzi Baram; Sarasota County archaeologists Ryan Murphy and Steve Koski; Florida Public Archaeological Network staff; Time Sifters and USF graduate archaeological students will be probing and possibly excavating the Prodie Shell Midden located on the grounds.
The public is invited to observe.
Monday, January 4 and
Tuesday, January 5
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. 
5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
For more information,
please call 941-316-1309.
Eagle Walk and Talk

 

Learn about our National Symbol, the American Bald Eagle with Sarasota County volunteer Jim Clubb and two of our very own Lemon Bay Eagle Watch Volunteers for an Eagle Walk and Talk. You will learn about Lemon Bay’s Eagles, what to look for when hiking so you can see them easier and why Lemon Bay is such a wonderful place for eagles to raise their young.
Tuesday, January 5, 9:30 – 11 a.m.
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Space limited to 20.
Guide:  Jim Clubb, Sarasota County volunteer and Lemon Bay Eagle Watch volunteers
No registrations necessary. Open to all!
Welcome in 2016 at South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve

 

Join Sarasota County volunteers and Florida Native Plant Society members Al Squires and Denny Girard on a winter New Year’s walk as they guide you through scrub, flatwoods, and coastal woodlands that border beautiful Lemon Bay. Along the way, they will share information about winter native vegetation, searching for Florida scrub-jays that make their home on this preserve as well as keeping an eye out for nesting bald eagles.
Wednesday, January 6, 9-11 a.m.    
5472 Kenisco Rd., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guides:  Al Squires and Denny Girard, Sarasota County volunteers
Registration info here for this event.  
Phillippi Farmhouse Market
Sponsor: Friends of Sarasota County Parks (FOSCP)
Local fruits, vegetables, herbs and plants for sale as well as local foods and artisan crafts. Enjoy live music and free parking. Plenty of volunteers ready to assist you. Pets on a leash are always welcome at the market.
During market hours, enjoy FREE narrated historical tours of the Edson Keith Mansion starting at 10 a.m. The tour includes the history of the early beginnings of the Sarasota Community.  Also, be sure to sneak a peek to see renovations in progress of the Keith Farmhouse, one of the few remaining wood frame structures of the early 1900’s and the first building erected on the property. Once renovated, it will become an Interpretive Center, featuring artifacts, memorabilia and photographs of how the common man lived nearly 100 years ago.
Wednesday’s now through April, 2016 – 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
5500 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
 
For more information on the PhillippiFarmhouse Market or how to become a vendor: Call 941-275-9397 or emailpresident@foscp.org
 
Land Management in an Urban Setting at Red Bug Slough Preserve

 

Join Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, as he identifies and shares a number of special challenges facing land managers who are in charge of managing sensitive, natural habitats atRed Bug Slough Preserve, an urban natural area site. Learn about the innovative ways Sarasota County staff manages fire dependent habitats, mitigate wildfire danger, protect rare species and balance the needs of public recreation.
Thursday, January 7, 9-11 a.m.
5200 Beneva Rd., Sarasota
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
Demonstration Garden Tours at Shamrock Park
 
Join the master gardener volunteers as they provide free demonstration garden tours and advice on Florida gardening.
Meet at the central garden area near the Nature Center.
Thursday, January 7, 9 -10 a.m.
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
 
No registrations necessary.
All welcome! For more information call 941-861-5000. 
Friday Morning Fitness Walks!

 

Join Sarasota County Park Naturalist Angela Kaiser for Friday morning fitness walks at Lemon Bay Park! You will take a brisk walk every Friday along the 2 mile loop trail through Lemon Bay’s beautiful and picturesque pine flatwoods. Walks will leave from the Arbor at the end of the parking lot promptly at 9 a.m. This fitness walk will be every Friday until May 27 Be sure to join us for exercise, fresh air and fun!
(Please Note: No walk on Jan.1).
Friday’s, January 8, 15, 22, and 29,
9 a.m.
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Space limited to 20.
Guide:  Angela Kaiser,
Sarasota County Park Naturalist 
No registrations necessary. Just show up and join us!
“Blazing Trails” – Prescriptions for Fire

 

Be an explorer and hike the trails with Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Nancy Edmondson to experience firsthand the importance of fire in our natural landscapes. What are the benefits and how do we execute safe fire in our preserves? See and compare recent burns to areas burned a few years ago and to the unburned landscape. Understand the what, why, when, who and especially, the how we use fire as a tool on our preserves.
Friday, January 8 and Tuesday, January 19
9-10:30 a.m.    
5472 Kenisco Rd., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide:  Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info 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, January 9, 9:30-11:30 a.m.    
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Space is unlimited.
Guide:  Chuck Idelberger, American Littoral Society Biologist

To register for this event, please call Chuck Idelberger directly at 941-488-8998.

“What’s that?” Plant and Animal ID Hike at Curry Creek Preserve

 

Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist and super sleuth, Jeff Weber, at Curry Creek Preserve, an urban natural area site. He will lead you on a fun informative journey of discovery through pine flatwoods and oak hammocks highlighting both native and non-native plants and animals of the preserve.
Tuesday, January 12, 9-11 a.m.      
Curry Creek Preserve (East entrance)
1500 Pinebrook Rd., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
Florida Native Plant Society (Mangrove Chapter)Public Speaker Series

 

“Managing Local Wetland Areas in Our Communities”
Speaker: Russ Hoffman of Beautiful Ponds
Learn how selective removal of invasive exotics and use of native and other beneficial plants significantly increase biodiversity and improves wildlife habitat, bringing more birds, frogs and dragon flies.  Other points of interest include algae and weed control, littoral zones, use of aquatic plants, water quality issues, biological plant control and erosion control.
Tuesday, January 12, 7-9 p.m.    
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Free and open to the public.
 
For more information about Mangrove Chapter activities and events, visit Mangrove.fnpschapters.org or emailfnpsmangrovechapter@yahoo.com .
Friends of the Legacy Trail
2016 Surrey Ride Program!

 

The Friends of the Legacy Trail (FLT) Surrey Program offers a way for mobility challenged residents and visitors who would otherwise be unable to share in The Legacy Trail to enjoy the experience. You will be able to sit back and enjoy the ride on a 4-passenger, 4-wheeled canopy covered bicycle while FLT volunteers provide the pedal-power. On-line registrations are open now.
Wednesday’s and Thursday’s,
January 13 through April, 14 
9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and 12 p.m.
509 Collins Road, Laurel
Guides: Friends of the Legacy Trail Volunteers
Registration info here for this event.
Hike for Your Heart!
Just another justification to get outdoors…a healthy heart!
Take in the scenery of Sleeping Turtles Preserve South, located along the beautiful Myakka River, while enjoying some vigorous cardio activity with Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Nancy Edmondson. Join us for this approximately 2 mile moderately paced hike through pine flatwoods and hammocks, stopping along the way pausing to appreciate the natural landscape.
Wednesday, January 13, 9-11 a.m.
2800 N. River Road, Venice
Spaced limited to 20.
Guide: Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event. 
A Wild Gem in a Suburban Jungle

 

Nestled in the heart of suburban Sarasota, Red Bug Slough Preserve is our very own version of a mini Central Park. Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Jeff Weber for a hike and discover the wonders of this suburban oasis. Participants will explore shady oak hammocks and pine flatwoods and learn about the preserve’s interesting plants and wildlife.

Thursday, January 14, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
5200 Beneva Rd., Sarasota
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
For more information and to register, email

(NOTE: A ‘Discover Sarasota Meet Up’ Event)
Florida Friendly Basics: Florida’s Snakes:
Backyard Friend or Foe?

Florida is home to fifty species of snakes and forty-five subspecies, only six of which are venomous. Join us to learn about the most common snakes you will find in Sarasota County, how best to identify them and their benefit for the local environment. Be prepared to see live examples of non-venomous native snake species.

Friday, January 15, 3-4 p.m.     
Classroom
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
 
For more information, contact
941-861-9900 or emailsarasota@ifas.ufl.edu.
Registration at EventBrite here for this event. 
Birding Diversity at the Carlton Reserve
Calling all birding enthusiasts! Be tantalized and wowed by the vast array of bird species and nature found at the beautiful Carlton Reserve. Join local birder, 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 outback. You won’t be disappointed!
Saturday, January 16, 7:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.           
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
Space limited to 14.
Guide: Charlie Sample,
Sarasota County Volunteer
Registration info here for this event.  

Monthly Rain Barrel Workshop and 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 for sale for $37 each, includes tax and spigot assembly. Cash or check accepted.

Saturday, January 16, 10-11 a.m.    
UF-IFAS Extension Services Building
Green Room Conference Room
6700 Clark Road, Sarasota
Contact: David Pouso, Sarasota CountyEnvironmental Specialist, 941-861-5000

To register for this free class go to Eventbrite.

Family Bike Adventures at the Carlton Reserve
Got bikes? It’s perfect weather to grab the whole family to join guides David Reynolds and Gary Vasbinder for an off-road wilderness bicycle ride through the beautiful Carlton Reserve. Expect to see lots of wildlife! Must be able to ride an off-road type bicycle.
Sunday, January 17, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.           
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
Space limited to 12
Guides: David Reynolds and Gary Vasbinder
 
Please call David Reynolds at 941-412-5575 or Gary Vasbinder at 941-893-7729 directly for registration and meeting place.
A Walk through the Mangroves

 

Enjoy a walk on Blind Pass Beach through mangrove forests and a mangrove fringe with wonderful views of Lemon Bay.  Sarasota County volunteers, Denny Girard and Al Squires, will be your guides.  Along your way, you also may encounter native plants and animals including; a variety of shore birds, such as snowy egret; and birds of prey such as bald eagle and osprey.
Wednesday, January 20, 9-11 a.m.  
6725 Manasota Key Road, Englewood
Space limited to 20.
Guides: Al Squires and Denny Girard, Sarasota County Volunteers
Registration info here for this event.
What’s that?!? Plant and Animal ID Hike

 

Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist and super sleuth, Jeff Weber, as he leads you on an informative, fun journey of discovery through oak hammocks highlighting both native and non-native plants and animals of the preserve. Enjoy your hike through the preserve (once the site of the famed Pollyanna Inn in 1922), catching glimpses of eastern red cedars, cabbage palms, Boston ferns and views of beautiful Dona Bay.
Wednesday, January 20, 9-11 a.m. 
East entrance
189 Pocono Trail East, Nokomis
Space limited to 15.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
Let’s Take a Look at Plant Communities

 

Do you wonder what are flatwoods, hammocks and scrub? What’s the difference between a swamp and a marsh? Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Nancy Edmondson as we walk discussing plant communities in Manasota Beach Preserve. For instance, what influences whether a flatwoods is mesic or xeric or something else? We’ll look at how the different plant communities integrate with each other to form the tapestry of our natural landscapes, as well as taking a closer look at the different plant species in each community we visit.
Friday, January 22, 9-11 a.m. 
2695 Bridge Street, Englewood
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
Full Moon Walk at Red Bug Slough Preserve 

 

Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Jeff Weber, on a special moonlit hike to experience the mystery and intrigue of our natural areas after dark. Look and listen for twilight sights and sounds and learn about customs, superstitions and natural phenomena related to the moon. Please be sure to bring a flashlight and insect repellent.
Note: Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Saturday, January 23, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
5200 Beneva Rd., Sarasota
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
Native Wildlife Plants: Walk and Talk

 

Learn about the native plants in our Florida ecosystems on this walk and talk. We will discuss the many ways that native plants provide benefits to our local wildlife. Be prepared to walk for the majority of the time. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat and water.
Saturday, January 23, 9-11:30 a.m.    
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Free and open to the public.
Registration required. 
For questions or further information, please contact UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County at 941-861-9900 or email sarasota@ifas.ufl.edu or register on EventBrite here.
The Importance of Fire in Florida Ecosystems 

 

Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Jeff Weber, for a guided hike during ‘Prescribed Fire Awareness Week’ at this rural eastern Sarasota County site. You will learn the history of fire in Florida and how Sarasota County uses prescribed burning to manage many of our natural area parks and preserves. Explore recently-burned areas at Old Miakka Preserve and learn about how fire-dependent habitats and wildlife species have evolved to depend on periodic fires and how they respond and thrive after an area is burned.
Wednesday, January 27, 9-11 a.m.
251 Myakka Road, Sarasota
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
What’s Blooming, Buzzing and Hatching
at Shamrock Park?

Ever wonder where wildflowers bloom – and when? How many kinds of butterflies and dragonflies live here? Or which eggs, like the gopher tortoise’s, may be hatching? And when do Florida Scrub-jays learn to fly? Join Park Naturalist, Brooke Elias on ‘fourth Thursday’s’ though May 26th, on a stroll to explore the annual rhythms and cycles of Shamrock Park and Nature Center.

Thursday, January 28, 9 -11 a.m.     
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
Guide: Brooke Elias, Sarasota County Park Naturalist
Registration info here for this event. 
Fun, Fascinating Facts about Plants!

 

Did you know that sea purslane has been used to clean stagnant waters? Have you heard the legend that inspired the name of Spanish moss? Join Florida Master Naturalist, Tina Sebastian and Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Nancy Edmondson, for a leisurely walk and discover fascinating facts about the plants that grow there.
Friday, January 29, 9-11 a.m.    
5472 Kenisco Rd., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guides:  Tina Sebastian, Sarasota County volunteer and Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.  
What’s that?!? Plant and Animal ID Hike

 

Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist and super sleuth, Jeff Weber, at Red Bug Slough Preserve, an urban natural area site, as he leads participants on an fun informative journey of discovery. Your trek will take you through pine flatwoods and oak hammocks highlighting both native and non-native plants and animals of the preserve.
Friday, January 29, 9-11 a.m. 
5200 Beneva Rd., Sarasota
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
Fire Fest! 2016
Bring the family to see a first-hand look at how prescribed burns protect our communities and property from wildfires, maintaining Florida’s natural ecosystems for present and future generations. Lots of exhibitors, live animals and demonstrations for your family to enjoy.
Free Event for the whole family!
  • Prescribed Burn Demos – Live!
  • Special guest speaker
  • Fire equipment on display
  • Helicopter water drops
  • Guided nature walks
  • Kids games
  • Free food and more!

Saturday, January 30, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
 
No registrations necessary. Fun for all!
 
Photographers: Do you have a beautiful bird photo to share?   The Herald Tribune is seeking beautiful bird photographs to share on their on-line gallery.

Send your best pictures to:
The Herald Tribune staff just may include
your photo in this wonderful on-line bird gallery.
Registration Process for Nature Events

Look for ‘View Activities’ (if you already have an account), orSIGN UP HERE (if you need to open up a new household account).   Attached here are directions to help you set up an account to sign up for a free nature event.

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. Thank you for caring.

 

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

About Us
Sarasota County
Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources
1660 Ringling Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34236
941-861-5000, dzeilman@scgov.net 
 
You are receiving this email based on having previously requested to be included on our e-list for nature events. Please note, we do not share your information or email. Should you want to opt out from receiving this newsletter, just click the “Instant Removal” link at the bottom of the page and your name will be permanently removed from the list. 
Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital status, familial status, religion, or genetic information.  Persons with disabilities who require assistance or alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), or who wish to file a complaint, should contact: Sarasota County ADA/ Civil Rights Coordinator, 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34236, Phone: 941-861-5000, TTY: 7-1-1 or 1-800-955-8771, Email: adacoordinator@scgov.net