News from the Friends for March 2014: Great American Cleanup, Tour de Parks, much more

The Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc.
In This Issue
You never know
From Mary Brown
Signs of recognition
Chapter Talk
Our Friends
Gulf Coast Gives Hands

Gulf Coast Gives

You’d Be Perfect

SRQ Volunteen


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Greetings from the Friends



You never know


never know what volunteering in parks might lead to. Recently, the Friends of the Carlton Reserve wanted to remove an old trailer that had been sitting there unused for a very long time. It wasn’t much to look at.
With a tip from Kendra at the County, they discovered  they had a true collectible on their hands. And that led to a most interesting solution to their problem. This is kind of how it is when one works and plays in parks. Read about the Spartan Mansion on

From Friends Coordinator Mary Brown

This month Mary has some advance info about the 2014 Giving Challenge:

“This is a great opportunity for the Friends to raise funds to support our parks and to raise awareness about the wonderful work being done by all of our Chapters.

“The Friends of Sarasota County Parks makes it possible for talented, passionate individuals in our community to come together in support of a common cause or to fill a need. From adding new playground equipment to a favorite park, building a community garden, recruiting volunteers to clean our beaches, creating new dog parks, or building butterfly gardens, the Friends and its Chapters make Sarasota a better place to live and play. Keep an eye out for more information on how to make this year’sGiving Challenge a huge success by donating to the Friends of Sarasota County Parks during the 24-hour online fundraising campaign on May 6 and 7!”

The Giving Challenge is a local campaign produced by Sarasota’s Giving Partner.


Signs of Recognition
As many know, parks lovers can purchase pavers, benches and, soon, stainless steel plaques at the North Jetty to warmly remember and acknowledge friends and loved ones.
What’s new is, these will no longer be known as Memorials, but rather as Recognition pavers, benches, and plaques.
New red pavers will be available at Siesta Key Beach — here’s the info, with a special early bird rate.



Honor a loved one or memory

$200 installed if ordered

 before May 1, 2014

Call 941-275-9397 for

an order form or go to

Rumor has it that the North Jetty, under construction, could re-open around March 15.
Chapter Talk

…Chapters sharing new or ongoing projects… 

Tour de Parks March 23

The fifth anniversary Legacy Trail Tour de Parks takes on special significance this year, as it brings attention to the goal of raising $75,000 for the feasibility study to extend the Trail to downtown Sarasota.Read about the extension here.

Businessman and trail extension backer Jesse Biter says:

You can see that we’ve raised 13% of the total needed to get this project started. We still need $65,430 more. 
I’m not asking you to donate again but please consider forwarding this email to all of your friends. Also, please considering sharing the link above on your Facebook page. Of course, if you’d like to donate again, go right ahead 😉 
Remind everyone that you’ve done your part and now it’s time for them to do theirs. We need to raise this money and get the Legacy Trail extended. Thank you!


Archery for March from Lekatchka

  • 3D Shoots 3D shoots on Sundays, March 9th & 23rd, 9 am.
  • Volunteers needed on Saturday mornings, 9am March 8th and March 22 to help set up the targets for the Sunday shoots.
  • Free ” Introduction to Archery” lessons every Saturday morning at 9:30 am.
  • Any questions please contact Suzi at
2014 Great American Cleanup
Keep Sarasota County Beautiful is seeking

Volunteers from 2013 GACU

volunteers to join forces with friends and neighbors for the 2014 Great American Cleanup, 8 a.m.-noon, Saturday, March 22, at sites throughout Sarasota County.

The Friends will have more than 20 volunteers at Casperson that day. Rain date is Saturday, March 29. More than 25 sites around the County are involved. Volunteer Guide here.

Coordinator Wendi Crisp adds:

“Volunteer pre-event registration for all venues will be accepted through Friday, March 14, 2014. Volunteers who pre-register by then will pick up their supply kits (t-shirt, gloves and bags) at either the Chemical Collection Center, 8750 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota (7a-4p) or the Central County Landfill, 4000 Knights Trail Road, Nokomis (8a-4p) during the week of March 17-21. 
After March 14, 2014, volunteers still need to register but will only be able to select from a limited number of venues. These volunteers will report to the site captains on the day of the event to complete the waiver form, obtain cleaning supplies and report forms.”

 heart of the community

Culverhouse & Cabbage at Springfest

Catherine Dente writes:

Friends of Culverhouse Community Garden shared a booth at Springfest with a couple of very enthusiasticSarasota Master Gardeners.  In the photo, Marcia Freeman, our community garden manager, is holding a huge head of organic cabbage that we raffled off.  FCCG members answered questions about Culverhouse Nature Park and our Friends group. The Master Gardeners answered citizens’ questions about plant problems. Springfest is great fun for exhibitors and visitors!  There were aisles and aisles of booths, races, live music, great food, and so much more.  

Gardeners at Springfest


Kudos to Board Members
Friends’ Board Members Terry Redman, Marcello Paolini and Russ Johnson won praise fromIFAS for their help in coordinating a sustainability effort for area community gardens. More here.
Got Tools?
Tools are available for the use of Chapters of the Friends. Send a message to Terry to reserve, and he’ll arrange to pick them up.
new friends logo
A few more things
Happening in Parks
March is florescent with walks, rides, talks markets, fests, birding expeditions and a general sense that Spring is in the air. Get out and explore – start with the County’s
Speaking of birding, Sarasota Audubon has released the2014 edition of Hot Spots, a guide to the best places to see the coolest birds in Sarasota.

March 8-9 marks the second annual Sarasota-Bradenon ITU Triathlon at Nathan Benderson Park. The link takes you to a volunteer page, but even if you can’t volunteer, you might want to go.
Curious about the bay? TheBay Wise Kayak program offers free kayak tours in March and April.
The Tour de Parks is March 23
***Bella Primavera***
Tom M.



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