New Directions for FOSCP: January 2014 News from the Friends

The Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc.
In This Issue
New Directions
Chapter Talk
Our Friends
Gulf Coast Gives Hands

We are a founding member of
Gulf Coast Gives

You’d Be Perfect

SRQ Volunteen


Our Chapters

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2014 Greetings from the Friends

New Directions
“The umbrella organization is here to serve you. Let us help make you successful.”
That was Friends President Terry Redman at the Chapters meeting held on Dec. 16th at Twin Lakes Park. The gathering marked the 10th year of the Friends’ work in Sarasota’s parks. It also signaled a new beginning in our efforts to do good things for parks.
Chapters Meeting 
Stay tuned. You’ll soon be hearing about new initiatives this year, from grants and marketing efforts to fostering synergies among chapters that will enable more people to do even more good things for our parks.
Also, Congrats to Debbie and Mike Gippert of the Friends of the Legacy TrailThe couple was named Sarasota County’s 2013 Volunteers of the Year award for their work with the Legacy Trail Initiative.
 Read on –
Chapter Talk

…where Chapters share new or ongoing projects… 
Farmers’ Markets Open

Both the Phillippi and Englewood Markets are open for their usual hours this week and on through the Spring.
Lekatchka Archers
Don Jackson writes:
2013 ended with a bang. The weather threatened to cancel last Sunday’s shoot, but with rain all around us, we stayed dry and had a great day. Over thirty 3-D shooters and fifteen new archers showed up to enjoy the final shoot of the year. I really want to thank Geri Caplinger, who, with little notice put together a great lunch  — thanks a lot Geri!
Our free Introduction to Archery sessionshave become so popular we are moving the program to every Saturday at 10 am. The first free lesson will bethis Saturday, January 4th.
 Our regular family 3D shoots will be on two Sundays,January 12th and 26th, from 9 am to 2 pm. Check out the Lekatchka Archers site for more details. Bow and arrow rentals will be available.
Also on January 12th, we will be holding a swap/sell meet to get rid of archery equipment you don’t need anymore. And there’s a general meeting at noon where you can ask the board of Directors questions or offer suggestions.
Family members can bring up to 5 guests to any shoot, who will enjoy the same privileges your membership provides.
For more information on Introduction to Archery,call me at 941-587-9427 or email me at lekatchkavenice@gmail.comThanks again for all your support in 2013 and have a Happy New Year.
Legacy Trail Extension

Bruce Dillon reports that the FLT raised $3,100 for theLegacy Trail Extension at its two Fish Fries at Capt. Eddie’s in December. That’s part of nearly $17,000 raised overall in the past few months. Bruce’s full report is here.
The Extension would connect the current trail that runs from Venice to Clark Road with a new trail to downtown Sarasota, which in turn could connect with trails north (along Longboat Key) and possibly East toNathan Benderson Park.
Paw Parks
Sue Nielsen writes:

Friends of the Paw Parks is a new chapter of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks. We are dedicated to the five paw parks in Sarasota & Venice. We have just received a $1000 donation from the Friends parent organization and are working to sign up new members now. We currently are meeting with all the park managers to develop a common understanding of the needs and wants of the community. We will be doing some park clean up days in the following months and will be planning a fundraiser to raise more money for the paw parks. is hosting our online information as well as the most comprehensive information regarding paw parks and dog friendly parks in Sarasota County. Go to the website and click on the upper bar called “Paw Parks” to see an overview and specific information about each park. We also have a long list of dog friendly parks where you can take a dog on leash for a walk in our natural environment. Sarasota has a great park system and we encourage walking your dog for the health and well-being of both human and canine companion!!!

Please JOIN us via the Friends of Sarasota County Parks website, and specify the Paw Parks as your chapter. We need dedicated dog lovers to help us make our paw parks great!
Culverhouse Rumor
culverhouse plots


Word is that folks atCulverhouse Community Garden are working on a handbook. As resource-fulas they are, we can’t wait to see what it contains…
Got Tools?

Tools are available for the use of Chapters of the Friends. Send a message to reserve tools for as long as needed. Terry will make arrangements to pick them up.

new friends logo

Volunteers, Grants and More
There’s a volunteer fair on Jan. 17 at Ringing College. In previous years, 100 students have signed on for projects in the parks at this event. Here’s a bunch of Ringling folk from last year who helped at the Hermitage and at Casperson and Manasota beaches:
Ringling student volunteers
Developing Ideas
At the December Chapters meeting, some discussion centered around streamlining the volunteer process. All regular members of the Friends should be registered with the County. It’s mutually good: The County gets a better sense of who’s at work, at what, and for how much time. You get insurance if injured while at work. TheCounty’s Volunteer Page is the place to start.
Another key item: Many parks aren’t getting attention because they don’t have a Chapter. How can we change that? Here’s where marketing, communications, and grant writing come in.

What if the Friends were successful at getting a few hundred thousand dollars in grants? Some ideas and projects are already waiting for funding, such as installing a kayak launch at Deer Prairie Creek Preserve (It’s a lovely place to kayak – if you’ve not been, you can see a virtual tour here).


Other suggestions possible at a number of parks include:

  • Park security systems
  • Playground equipment
  • Outdoor lighting

Got more ideas? Of course you have. Please share.

Quick Notes
Nature Events are Up
The January 2014 List of Nature Events in the parks is up on the Friends’ home page — guides will be doing walks, lunches, birding expeditions and much more.
Even more events can be found on the County Calendar, and don’t forget the calendar of IFAS classes for January through March at Sarasota’s IFAS.
What can we do to better serve you? That was Terry’s question at the Chapters meeting, followed by: Do you have ideas of where you could spend money as the Friends group, if you had grants? 

Let us know! And, you know –

Tom M.



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Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc.
234 E. Nippino Trail, Unit 101
Nokomis, FL  34275
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