Nature Events in Sarasota’s Parks for February 2015

Lots of varied activities – from moon walks to bicycling to the Surrey rides on the Trail!

A monthly e-newsletter sharing our nature news and events
This Saturday! FIRE FEST 2015!
  • Prescribed Burn Demos – live!
  • Special guest speakers
  • Fire equipment on display
  • Helicopter water drop demo
  • Guided nature walks
  • Kids games
  • Exhibitors
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 and making families safe for present and future generations. Lots of exhibitors, games, free food and live demonstrations for your family to enjoy. Free festival for the whole family! More info here.
Saturday, January 31, 2015 – 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
Full Moon Walk at Sleeping Turtles Preserve North

 

There are many customs and superstitions about the moon. Learn how Native Americans and other cultures considered the moon while sharing folklore and stories with Sarasota County Park Naturalist Brooke Elias for a trail walk lit by the rising full moon. Let the intrigue of Sleeping Turtles Preserve North come alive in the moonlight while enjoying the preserve’s meandering trails that edge the beautiful Wild and Scenic Myakka River.

Tuesday, February 3, 6:30-8 p.m.
3462 Border Road, Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Brooke Elias, Sarasota County Park Naturalist

 

Register here for this event.

Looking for the Virginia Willow at Curry Creek Preserve

Explore with Sarasota County volunteer guides, amateur botanists and Florida Native Plant Society members, Denny Girard and Al Squires for the small native, deciduous shrub, Itea virginica, commonly known as Virginia willow. Found in swamps, stream banks, wet hammocks, or
floodplain forests, the search just may lead to other discoveries about the botany found along Curry Creek.

 

Wednesday, February 4, 9-11 a.m.   

1500 Pinebrook Rd., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guides: Denny Girard and Al Squires, Sarasota County volunteers
Register here for this event.
Sunrise Bird Walk at Lemon Bay Park

 

Join us in a sunrise birding adventure that will lead you through pine and scrubby flatwoods with wonderful views of Lemon Bay during your hike.Along the way you may encounter native plants and animals, a variety of shore birds (such as anhinga and snowy egret) and birds of prey (like bald eagle and osprey).

Wednesday, February 4, 8-10 a.m.
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Guides: Sarasota County Park Naturalist and Volunteers

 

No registrations necessary.

Be a Florida Scrub-jay Docent

Join a Park Naturalist to learn about our most threatened species, the Florida Scrub-jay, the only species of bird endemic to Florida and one of only 15 species of birds endemic to the United States. Help teach others the importance of protecting them and what we can all do to help.

First Wednesday – monthly until April 2015, 10 a.m.  
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
Meet under the roof of the Nature Center
 
For more information, contact Brooke Elias via emailbelias@scgov.net or call 941-861-5000
Phillippi Farmhouse Market
         Sponsors: Friends of Sarasota County Parks (FOSCP)

 

Local fruits, vegetables, herbs and plants for sale as well as local foods and artisans handicrafts. Live music, free parking, and volunteers ready to assist you. FREE docent guided tours of Edson Keith Mansion:  Meet at 10 a.m. Pets on leash welcome.

Wednesday’s now through April 29
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. 
5500 S. Tamiami Tr.,  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 and Sarasota County’s
     2015 Surrey Ride Program! 
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 volunteers provide the pedal-power. Registrations are necessary.

 

Wednesday’s and Thursday’s, February 4 through March 26
10 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m.
509 Collins Road, Laurel
Guides: Friends of the Legacy Trail Volunteers
 
Register 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 Dona Bay.

 

Thursday, February 5, 9-11 a.m.      

189 Pocono Trail, Nokomis

Space limited to 15.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
 
Register here for this event.

Demonstration Garden Tours

Master gardeners will be in the demonstration garden to give free tours and advice on Florida gardening.

Thursday, February 5, 9 -11 a.m.  
Nature Center central garden
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
No registrations necessary. For information call 941-861-5000

Fitness in the Park: Fit as a Fiddle for Fifty-Plus

 

Get fresh air, meet new people and get healthier and stronger! Enjoy a a gentle workout walk that improves health, balance and overall fitness with a series of exercise equipment along the trail for fitness stops. The goal is to minimize risk of falls, increase your sense of well-being and quality of life. Wear athletic shoes, sun protection, hat, and bring drinking water. Approx.1 mile on paved and relatively even unpaved trails.

 

Friday’s, now through April 24, 2015, 9-10 a.m.        

4000 Honore Ave., Sarasota
Guides: Sarasota County Park staff
 
No registrations necessary.

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 volunteer guide and 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, February 7, 7:15 a.m.-1 p.m.           
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
Space limited to 14.
Guide: Charlie Sample, Sarasota County Volunteer
 

Register here for this event.

Looking for Signs of Spring in the Longleaf Ecosystem

Take a informative journey of discovery, looking for signs of springtime in the longleaf pine flatwoods at Curry Creek Preserve, an urban natural area site. Longleaf pine habitats once covered more than 90 million acres in the southeastern U.S. but have dwindled to less than 5%. Investigate the wonders of this critically imperiled habitat, learn about the life history of the longleaf pine and discover the wide variety of plants and animals characteristic of this unique ecosystem.

 

Sunday, February 8 & 15, 2-4 p.m.   
1500 Pinebrook Rd., Venice
Space limited to 15.
Guide: Bill Lewis, Sarasota County volunteer
Register here for this event.
Archaeological Walking Tour

Be a part of this free, informative history walk. Archaeologist Ryan Murphy will discuss the Phillippi Flake Scatter and the Prodie Shell Midden as you stroll the estate and learn about the interesting pre-history of the area. From 5,000 B.C. to 2,000 B.C., the native population sharpened and produced stone tools on site. The Prodie Shell Midden dates approximately between 400 A.D. and 800 A.D. and represents the Manasota encampment.

Wednesday, February 11, 11:30 a.m.
Approx. 45 minutes
5500 S. Tamiami Tr.,  Sarasota
Guide: Ryan Murphy, Sarasota County
History Center’s Archaeologist
 
Meet at the Keith Farmhouse next to the Edson Keith Mansion.

No registrations necessary. For more information call 941-316-1309.

Walk and Talk:

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 for a leisurely walk and discover fascinating facts about the plants that grow there.

 

Friday, February 13 & 27, 9-11 a.m.     

5472 Kenisco Road., Venice

Space limited to 20.
Guide: Tina Sebastian, Sarasota County volunteer
 
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 us 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, February 14, 9:30 -11:30 a.m.
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Guide: Chuck Idelberger, American Littoral Society Biologist

 

To register for this event: Please call Chuck Idelberger at 941-488-8998 or Kenya Leonard at 941-915-1244 for details. 

Family Bike Adventures at the Carlton Reserve

 

Got bikes? It’s perfect weather to grab the whole family to join Carlton Reserve volunteer guide 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, February 15, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.           
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
Space limited to 12
Guides: David Reynolds and Gary Vasbinder
 

To register for this event: 

Please call David Reynolds directly at 941-412-5575 or Gary Vasbinder at 941-893-7729 for specific requirements.

Exotic Plants – the Bad and the Ugly

 

What are nuisance, exotic plants and why do we care about them? Join Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist to learn about out-of-control, non-native plants and what impacts they cause in our natural areas. This will be an informal talk, with plant samples displayed on picnic tables at the Carlton Reserve pavilion.

Tuesday, February 17, 9-10 a.m.           
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
 

Register here for this event.

A Walk along the Myakka River with Denny and Al

 

Explore meandering canopied river trails with Al Squires and Denny Girard. Enjoy this pleasant walk along the Wild and Scenic Myakka River awaiting surprises that come as warm winter eases into spring. Notice the Pepper grass, Lawn Orchids and even a few Bitterweeds which have been seen hurrying the season, while a myriad of small flowers grow right beneath your feet. Turtles and alligators are getting spring fever and should be on the move as well as many species of birds.

Wednesday, February 18, 9-11 a.m.
3462 Border Road, Venice
Guides: Denny Girard and Al Squires, Sarasota County volunteers

 

Register here for this event.

Exotic Plants – the Bad and the Ugly

 

What are nuisance, exotic plants and why do we care about them? Join Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist to learn about out-of-control, non-native plants and what impacts they cause in our natural areas. This will be an informal talk, with plant samples displayed on picnic tables near the parking area.

Thursday, February 19, 9-10 a.m.           

2300 N. River Road, Venice

Space limited to 20.

Guide: Nancy Edmondson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
 

Register here for this event.

Land Management in an Urban Setting

Join Jeff Weber as he shares tools and techniques used to manage an urban natural area site. You will get a “behind the scenes” glimpse into the decision making processes involved in developing a comprehensive management strategy. Visitors will see firsthand the results of various management practices that have been successfully used at the preserve.

 

Friday, February 20, 9-11 a.m.   

1500 Pinebrook Rd., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Register here for this event.

Monthly Rain Barrel Workshop and Sales 

 

Saturday, February 21, 10-11 a.m.    
3951 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice
Contact: David Pouso, Environmental Specialist

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.

To register for this free class: Please use the IFAS link on the right hand column of this newsletter.

Woodland Stoll on the Pocono

 

Join Jeff Weber as he leads you on a woodland stroll from upland habitats to the shores of Shakett Creek at Pocono Trail Preserve in Nokomis. Along the way, participants may see a variety of plant and animal species including live oaks, eastern red cedars, cabbage palms, bracken ferns, osprey, wading birds and other wildlife common to the area.

Wednesday, February 25, 9-11 a.m.      

189 Pocono Trail, Nokomis

Space limited to 15.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
 
Register here for this event.

Trail Safety Day

 

Sarasota County Parks and Recreation, the Sheriff’s Department and The Friends of the Legacy Trail are working together on a continuing awareness program to promote safe and courteous use of our non- motorized multiple use trails. Activities will include safety displays, discussions and materials. Refreshments and helmet fitting will be provided. Free bike helmets will be given to children pledging to follow safety and courtesy guidelines. More info here.

 

Saturday, February 28, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.      

935 E. Bay Street, Osprey

 

Free event for the whole family! 

Registration Process for Nature Events 

Attached here are directions to set up an account and to sign up for a free nature walk.

 

About Us
Sarasota County
Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources
1660 Ringling Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34236

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