March 2015 Letter from the Friends

There’s a lot going on, a lot to see, do, volunteer for. Don’t just read the newsletter, get involved in the parks, recreation, and open lands of Sarasota County – we’ve got it all!
The Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc.
In This Issue
Happenings this month
A few more things
Our Friends
Gulf Coast Gives Hands

Gulf Coast Gives

You’d Be Perfect

SRQ Volunteen


Our Chapters

Join the Friends

Help us keep our parks clean, safe, and a breath of fresh air for all thepeople 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

March 2015
GREETINGS from the Friends

foscp logo

Happenings in the Parks
Yesterday and Tomorrow
Those who made it out to the Modern Pentathlon last week heard something not ordinarily audible in Sarasota’s parks: the chatter of a dozen or more foreign languages.
Nathan Benderson Park was alive with families and athletes from around the world – Japan, Argentina, Poland, Italy, Great Britain and Scandinavia, to name but a few.

An elegantly attired gentleman from France who’d won a Modern Pentathlon 50 years ago explained that the event took its form from the military skills of the early 20th century — the Pre-World War I age when men at arms fenced rather than directed drones. It is a test of survival skills — one swims, runs, rides, fences and shoots to triumph in battle, or safely get away. Or, one did.
The entire experience was both a throwback and a fast forward – to a potential future Sarasota, featured on a celebrated international sports circuit.
Adventures in the Parks

Sunrise walks, garden tours, jazz in the parks, Surrey rides, it’s all going on as we head into spring. Catch up with Spring with Debbie Zeilman’s Parks Events for the Month, on our site.

Free Kayak Tours
Also in March and April, The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program will have five more free kayak tours:
Blind Pass – March 7 and March 21
Philippi Creek – March 29
Lyons & Blackburn Bay – April 4 and April 18
Register in advance and bring your kayak and paddle. More at Bay Wise Kayak.
The Sarasota Bay Estuary people have been busy – check out their newsletter for more of their activities, including their recent air potato event. This volunteer found a tiny one:

Priscilla Brown writes:
Phillippi Estate Park will continue its wildly popular Phillippi Farmhouse Market every Wednesday in March from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the front of Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. The market is ably led by FOSCP volunteers Grace and Fred Whitehouse. 
The market’s mission is to promote local agriculture with fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh locally prepared foods, local artisans, and local musicians.  
Wed. March 11 the market will feature CHILDREN’S DAY AT THE MARKET with educational games, crafts, storytelling, children’s books, hand-made jump ropes and a variety of local arts and crafts for children on spring break from the local public schools. Come join us for a fun day!
Phillippi Estate Park will also have a
Ribs Cook Off on Sat March 14 at the Gazebo from 10 am to 5 pm. The
Sarasota Benevolent Fire Fighters will be raising funds to assist fire fighters families in times of need.  For more information, please call 941-861-5000.
FOSCP at Fire Fest
Sherm Stratton at the Carlton Reserve wrote in to update us on Fire Fest, which we featured in last month’s FOSCPNews.
Sherm said:
One of our members, Jean-Louis Dumaine, was at the event taking photographs which I have placed on our webpage as a gallery.


The Friends of the Carlton and volunteers helped out at the event by:
–helping prepare the venue: trimming trails, tidying up the site, weedwhacking, etc.
–installing signage the day before, taking down afterward
–handling parking for vendors and attendees-no small task since there were 5 separate lots and a shuttle vehicle from a remote overflow area
-contributing $250 toward fans that the County gave out to the public
-providing free beverages in the cabin
–assisting at the food table (food provided by K-9 folks).

Event update: Waterfest

Friends of Waterfest, the Official Volunteer Group for all Waterfest Events, will hold their next meeting on March 9th at 6:00 pm at the Englewood Event Center. Come for an event update and committee break-out sessions. “We need your help to stage this locally produced, charity-focused event showcasing Englewood’s water resources and recreational opportunities.”More here.

Community Chemistry
What’s in a garden
Folks at Culverhouse Community Garden recently launched a new composting project that is producing what they say is an excellent earthy medium for splendid veggies, fruits and herbs.

The project involves the collective efforts of 24 CCG Chapter members plus a network of sources for the raw materials that are baked in a series of bins. It’s a good story about chemistry – both of the soil, and of the community that’s working it. Read all about it on our site — the story is “Culverhouse Chemistry: An organic garden at work.”

A few more things . . .
Time for Bicycling

The Friends of Legacy Trail are also busy, as their newsletter update makes clear. March 22nd is the sixth annual Tour de Parks – you’ll find all the details here. You can download the registration form right here.

Name that Future Famous Agri-Eco-Tourism Destination!
Sarasota County would like your help. They’d like you to come up with a stand-out name for 3,760 acres of the Walton Ranch that were acquired by the County. The land will be used both passively and possibly for active recreation — horseback riding, ecotourism, education and the like.
More details here — there are specific criteria that one must use — bear in mind, the deadline for your entry is March 16th!
What’s My Name?
New Volunteer Facebook Page
County volunteer coordinator Vickie French invites all volunteers to contribute photos and info that would enliven the new Volunteer Sarasota County Facebook Page. Send your news and image contributions directly to Vickie at And Brenda Canales reminds us all:
Keep your Sarasota County volunteer account up-to-date by entering your volunteer hours on-line on a weekly basis.
To update your hours, go to the County’s Volunteer Home Page and log in under “My Account.” If you’re not already registered, remember to do so – you’re covered in case of injury when working on a county volunteer project. And, logging hours plays a key role in establishing the basis for future grants. Contact Vickie or Brenda if you need help getting it set up. Both Vickie and Brenda will be at Springfest this Saturday, March 7, and remember, Keep Sarasota County Beautiful is happening Saturday March 21st.
All that Jazz
Finally, here’s Alex – one of the fine artists who performed Sunday at Phillippi Estate Park as part of the Jazz Club of Sarasota’s 33rd annual Sarasota Jazz Festival. The music continues all week.

That’s it for now. Check us on FacebookTwitter,tumblr and on for updates through the month.

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