Nature Events, Walks, Talks, Tours and More for February 2014 in Sarasota

A monthly e-newsletter sharing our news and events
Sarasota County has planned a festival to coincide with the state’s “Prescribed Fire Awareness Week”. The focus of the event will be to promote and educate those in attendance on the benefits and role that prescribed fire plays in public safety and the health of Florida’s natural systems. Live prescribed burn demonstrations, guided nature walks, guest speakers, exhibitors, youth activities and free food are planned for the event.

Saturday, Feb. 1, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

T. Mabry Carlton Jr., Memorial Reserve,1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, VeniceClick here for more info.
As winter turns to spring…signs of seasonal change
Explore the diverse array of upland habitats as you are led on an informative nature journey searching for signs of seasonal change as winter slowly gives way to spring. February is a crossroads of two seasons as some plants are still in winter dormancy while laurel oaks and Carolina willows are beginning to leaf out. Longleaf pines are producing their “white candle” terminal buds.

Wednesday, Feb. 5, 9-11 a.m.  
Curry Creek Preserve
1500 Pinebrook Road, Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Jeff Weber,  Environmental Specialist 
Sunrise bird walk at Lemon Bay Park
Join us in a sunrise birding adventure that will lead participants 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, Feb. 5, 8-10 a.m.  
Lemon Bay Park and Environmental Center
570 Bay Park Blvd., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guides: Sarasota Park Naturalists and Sarasota volunteers
Birding diversity with Charlie SampleCalling all birding enthusiasts! Be tantalized and wowed by the vast array of bird species and nature. Don’t miss this opportunity to help document the array of birds found at the Carlton. You won’t be disappointed!

Saturday, Feb. 8, 7:15 a.m. – 1 p.m.

T. Mabry Carlton Jr., Memorial Reserve

1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice

Space limited to 14.

Guide: Charlie Sample, Sarasota County volunteer


Pre-registration necessary via email to Charlie Sample

Bike the wild Carlton Join Sarasota County volunteer guides and SCORR (Sarasota County Off-Road Riders) members for a challenging bike excursion while enjoying the wild wilderness of a true Sarasota County gem. For the whole family!

Saturday, Feb. 8, 9-11 a.m.

T. Mabry Carlton Jr., Memorial Reserve

1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice

Space limited to 20.

Guides: Randy Hurley and Steve Christian, Sarasota County volunteers

Join the Bird Key Park 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 Sarasota Bay. Using hand and seine nets, you will search shallow waters and sea grass beds, observing, collecting, and discussing the natural history of some of the many interesting fishes and other animals that inhabit the bay.

Saturday, Feb. 8, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Bird Key Park

200 John Ringling Causeway, Sarasota

Space limited to 15.

Guide: Chuck Idelberger, Sarasota County volunteer

In search of blossoms and wildlife with Denny and Al

Join us as you walk through scrub, flatwoods, and coastal woodlands bordering Lemon Bay, as you learn about native vegetation (like flowering sky-blue lupine) and wildlife (like Florida scrub-jay, gopher tortoise and American Bald Eagle).
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 9-11 a.m. 
South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve
Intersection of Ocelot Road and Phorus Road

Space limited to 20.

Guides: Denny Girard and Al Squires,

Sarasota County volunteers

What’s that? Plant and wildlife identification walkJoin us as we lead you on a nature hike from upland habitats to the shores of Shakett Creek in Nokomis. Along the way, you will discover 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.

Thursday, Feb. 13, 9-11 a.m.

Pocono Trail Preserve

189 Pocono Trail, Nokomis 

Space limited to 15.

Guide: Jeff Weber,  Environmental Specialist

Monthly Rain Barrel Workshop and sales 

Saturday, Feb. 15, 10-11:30 a.m.   

Woodmere Park

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 of rain barrels will be provided.


After the class, rain barrels are available for sale for $37 each, including tax and spigot assembly.  Payment can be made by cash or check.  To register for the free class, please use the IFAS link on the right hand side of this newsletter.


Family bike adventuresGot bikes? It’s perfect weather to grab the whole family for an off-road wilderness bicycle ride through the beautiful Carlton Reserve. Expect to see lots of wildlife!

Sunday, Feb. 16, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve

1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice 

Space limited to 12.

Guides: David Reynolds and family, 

Sarasota County volunteers


Pre-registration required by calling David Reynolds at 941-412-5575
Explore flatwoods to the tidal marsh
Experience a guided hike introducing you to a wide variety of plants, animals and habitats as you take a leisurely stroll along 1.5 miles of trails that wind through the preserve.

Friday, Feb. 21, 9-11 a.m.  
Curry Creek Preserve
1500 Pinebrook Road, Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Jeff Weber,  Environmental Specialist 
Beginning birding for families Calling all birding families! Bring your family to join in on a birding nature journey into the wild. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from expert birders how to identify and document the vast array of birds on site. You won’t be disappointed!Sunday, Feb. 23, 8:30-10:30 a.m.

T. Mabry Carlton, Jr., Memorial Reserve
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice

Space limited to 14.

Guides: Venice Area Audubon and

Sarasota County volunteers

In search of early blossoms with Denny and Al
Has Spring sprung? Join Denny and Al in a seach for early blooming spring flowers. This easy trek has paths that are paved and handicap accessible.

Wednesday, Feb. 26, 9-11 a.m.  
Shamrock Park and Nature Center
3900 Shamrock Drive, Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guides: Denny Girard and Al Squires, 
Sarasota County volunteers
Discover Blind Pass Beach to Bay WalkLearn how water, wind, sand and living things interact to create our beautiful barrier islands (keys as we call them). The biological emphasis will be on habitats (beach, dune, coastal hammock and mangrove). An easy two-hour stroll on beach, boardwalk, and trail.

Saturday, March 29, 9-11 a.m.
Location to be confirmed at time of registration

Space limited to 15.

Guides: Jim Clubb and Bruce Dayton,

Sarasota County volunteers


Pre-registration required by signing up with ‘Guided Walks Greater Sarasota’ a free group or email Jim Clubb

Lemon Bay Conservancy nature walks at Wildflower PreserveThe Lemon Bay Conservancy is sponsoring a series of nature walks at Wildflower Preserve during the next three months. Please check the website’s calendar for available dates.

All walks start in the parking lot located at 3120 Gasparilla Pines Blvd., south of Englewood, east of Placida Road
For further information call 276-233-6364 or
About Us
Sarasota County Government
Natural Resources
1001 Sarasota Center Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34240

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