March in our Parks

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A monthly nature e-newsletter sharing our nature news and events

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. 
Wednesday’s now through April, 2016 – 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
5500 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
 
For more information on the Phillippi Farmhouse Market or how to become a vendor: Call 941-275-9397 or email president@foscp.org
 
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 necessary.
Wednesday’s and Thursday’s,
Now 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.
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, March 3, 9 a.m.
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
 
No registrations necessary.
All welcome! For more information call 941-861-5000
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, March 4 and 119 – 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.  
Land Management in an Urban Preserve at Curry Creek Preserve

 

Join Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, who will identify a number of special challenges facing land managers in charge of managing sensitive, natural habitats in urbanized areas at Curry Creek Preserve, an urban natural area site. Learn about the innovative ways Sarasota County staff manages fire dependent habitats, mitigates wildfire danger, protects rare species and balances the needs of public recreation.
Friday, March 4, 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.
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 about the history of this interesting area.
Tuesday, March 8, 9 – 11 a.m.
189 Pocono Trail East, Nokomis
Space limited to 15.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
A Walk Around the Lake with Denny and Al

 

Scherer Thaxton Preserve is tucked on the edge of an urban location providing opportunities for outdoor recreation and beauty with habitats that include: pine flatwoods, depressional wetlands, and mesic hammocks. Join Denny Girard and Al Squires as they lead you on a walk around the lake. You may encounter birds of prey; like a bald eagle or swallow tail kites soaring overhead and blooming native plants.
Wednesday, March 9, 9 – 11 a.m.    
13125 Honore Ave., Nokomis
Space limited to 20.
Guides:  Denny Girard and Al Squires, Sarasota County Volunteers
Registration info here for this event.  
Mangrove Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society Public Speaker Series and Events

 

Tuesday, March 8, 7 p.m.
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Florida Native Milkweeds in the Garden workshop: Key Speaker, Chris Parisi, Tarpon Springs Restless Natives Nursery owner, will speak on the Monarch Butterfly and other pollinators.
Saturday, March 12, 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
2300 Placida Rd, Englewood, FL
14th Annual “Plant Native” Day. Theme: “Choose Alter-natives.”

Speaker, Laurel Schiller, Florida Native Plants Nursery & Landscaping owner, speaks “Alter-natives in the landscape.” Also, native plants for sale, garden tour and trail walk.
Saturday, March 26, 9 a.m.
15801 Tamiami Trail, Punta Gorda
Free Native Plant Walk: Enjoy a slow stroll on a 487 acre park full of mature pine and hydric pine flatwoods, marsh wetlands, dry prairie, and fresh water ponds  Excellent birding along with many wildflowers.
For info, call Denny Girard at 941-474-1492, or email him at dennyg29@msn.com.
 
For more information about future Mangrove Chapter activities and events, visitmangrove.fnpschapters.org or email fnpsmangrovechapter@yahoo.comOur meetings, field trips and special events are free and open to the public.
Hike for Your Heart at Manasota Scrub Preserve

 

Just another justification to get outdoors…a healthy heart!
Take in the scenery of Manasota Scrub Preserve, located in beautiful Englewood, while enjoying some vigorous cardio activity with Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Nancy Edmondson. Approximately 2-mile moderately paced hike through pine flatwoods to the maple swamp, seeing scrubby flatwoods and other kinds of wetlands, and stopping along the way, pausing to appreciate the natural landscape.
Thursday, March 109 – 11 a.m.
2695 Bridge Street, Englewood
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
Birding at Sleeping Turtles Preserve North

Mid-March is often a good time to observe birds migrating through Florida on their way to northern nesting grounds. The magnificent oaks often provide coverage for an assortment of wood warblers while the open sky over water provides a background for larger aerial navigators. Walk along Sleeping Turtles Preserve North’s woodland trails as you search for a myriad of bird species with Sarasota County’s Environmental Specialist, Nancy Edmondson. 

Tuesday, March 15, 8 – 10 a.m.
3462 Border Road, Venice
Spaced limited to 20.
Guide: Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event. 
Spring Break Time!
Florida Archaeology Workshop for All Ages
Bring the whole family to enjoy a show and tell presentation of Manasota period shell hammers, pottery shards, and assorted artifacts from 500 BC through 800 AD. The show and tell will be led by archaeology students from USF. The workshop is geared for children although appropriate for adults.
Wednesday, March 16,
10 a.m.  to 1 p.m.
Proddie Shell Midden
5500 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
 
For more workshop information, contact 941-316-1309.
Springtime in the Hammocks

Get ready for the first day of spring! Join Sarasota County Park Naturalist, Brooke Elias on a stroll through shady hammock habitats, learning about their wildlife and plants. Pausing at the Myakka River, we’ll reflect on the celestial and meteorological aspects of the vernal equinox, springtime customs and traditions from around the world, and your favorite springtime places, flowers, interests and foods. Bring your memories and a snack or lunch, if you’d like to end by picnicking on the river.

Friday, March 18, 10 – 11 a.m.         
2300 N. River Road, Venice
Guide: Brooke Elias, Sarasota County Park Naturalist
Registration info here for this event. 
‘Crayola Critters’ – A Little Naturalist Event

Bring your pre-school child (ages 3-5 years) to connect with nature in fun, creative ways at Sarasota County’s youth nature program, the Little Naturalist. A new ‘Crayola Critters’ series is starting at Shamrock Park this spring.

Join Sarasota County Volunteer and Master Naturalist, Eileen Teel, for the first Crayola Critters! Many brightly colored butterflies live at Shamrock Park and Nature Center. Little Naturalists will learn about insects and the butterfly life cycle, do a caterpillar craft and visit the butterfly garden to see live specimens feeding on nectar. If you like, bring a snack to enjoy afterwards.
Friday, March 18, 2 – 3 p.m.     
Nature Center
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
Guide: Eileen Teal, Sarasota County Volunteer
Advance registration is required – Call Park Naturalist, Brooke Elias at(941) 404-6336 to register.
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, March 199:30 – 11:30 a.m.    
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Space is unlimited.
Guide:  Chuck Idelberger, American
Littoral Society Biologist

For registration: Call Chuck Idelberger directly at 941-488-8998 to register.

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.

SaturdayMarch 19, 10 – 11 a.m.
6700 Clark Road, Sarasota
Contact: David Pouso, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, 941-861-5000

 

To register for this free class go to Eventbrite.

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!
Sunday, March 20, 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.  
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, March 20, 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.
2016 Tour de Parks!

 

A bicycle ride to support the Legacy Trail – Enjoy a 20, 35, or 65-mile scenic, fun ride going through or near 12 beautiful parks! The start and finish will be at the historic Venice Train Depot. Help out the Legacy Trail.Ride includes breakfast, lunch, rest-stop snacks, SAG support, and t-shirts for 1st 500 registrants. Fee.

 
Sunday, March 20
6:30 a.m. Registration opens
6:30 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Catered lunch
303 E. Venice Ave., Venice
Fee
 
Registration info here for this event.
Invasive Exotic Plants – ID and Management Walk at Red Bug Slough Preserve

 

Join UF/IFAS Extension Agent and Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, for a walk and talk to discover the wicked invasive weeds of Sarasota County. Along the way, participants will learn how to identify some of the most common invasive plant species, learn how these species are managed and find out about innovative research concerning biological control of invasive species.
Monday, March 21, 9 – 11 a.m.
5200 Beneva Rd., Sarasota
Space limited to 20.
Guide: UF/IFAS Extension Agent and Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
The Search for Blue Lupin at South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve

 

Join Sarasota County volunteer guides, amateur botanists and Florida Native Plant Society members, Denny Girard and Al Squires on a search for the beautiful blooms of sky blue Lupin, a deer and swallowtail butterflies favorite! During your walk on South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve, Kenisco Road entrance, they will share information about native wild flowers and vegetation, and Florida scrub-jays that make their home on this preserve.
Wednesday, March 23, 9 – 11 a.m.
5472 Kenisco Road, Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guides:  Denny Girard and Al Squires, Sarasota County Volunteers
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, March 249 – 11 a.m.          
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
Guide: Brooke Elias, Sarasota County Park Naturalist
Registration info here for this event. 
Birding at Sleeping Turtles Preserve South

Mid-March is often a good time to observe birds migrating through Florida on their way to northern nesting grounds. The magnificent oaks often provide coverage for an assortment of wood warblers while the open sky over water provides a background for larger aerial navigators. Walk along Sleeping Turtles Preserve South’s woodland trails as you search for a myriad of bird species with Sarasota County’s Environmental Specialist, Nancy Edmondson. 

Thursday, March 24, 8 – 10 a.m.
2800 N. River Road, Venice
Spaced limited to 20.
Guide: Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event. 
Full Moon Walk at Curry Creek Preserve

 

Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist and super sleuth, Jeff Weber, on a special moonlit hike at Curry Creek Preserve 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 spray. Note: Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Thursday, March 24, 8:30 – 9:30 p.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.
What’s that?! Plant and Animal ID Hike at Pocono Trail Preserve

 

Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist and super sleuth, Jeff Weber, at Nokomis’s Pocono Trail Preserve as he leads participants 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 Dona Bay.
Wednesday, March 309 – 11 a.m.    
189 Pocono Trail East, Nokomis
Space limited to 15
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.


Late afternoon Stroll at the Preserve

 

Enjoy the late afternoon light and emerging wildlife as the sun goes down on a late afternoon stroll through Manasota Scrub Preserve in beautiful Englewood with Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Nancy Edmondson as your guide. Take in the preserve’s diverse landscape of pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods and various wetlands.
Thursday, March 31, 5 – 6:30 p.m. 
2695 Bridge Street, Englewood
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist