Plovers and Dragon Boats: The Friends’ July Newsletter

The July Newsletter of the Friends of the Parks brings off-road bicycling, nature events, dragon boat races, a Keep Sarasota County Beautiful Beach Cleanup and much more.

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The Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc.
In This Issue
Diving In
Welcome Jodi
Chapter Notes
Helping Hands & Fish
Worthy Cause
A few more things
Our Friends
Gulf Coast Gives Hands

Gulf Coast Gives

You’d Be Perfect

SRQ Volunteen


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Diving in
Not surprisingly, intense things are happening at the beaches and on the coastal waters in July.
There’s the Suncoast Offshore Festival – nine days of fun in the sun –
In the middle of that, on July 5th, actually, there’s the Keep Sarasota’s Beaches Beautiful Cleanup at Lido, Nokomis, Siesta, Ted Sperling Park, and North Jetty:
We know which one you’ll be at — 7 a.m., July 5th. Fun in the sun – with porpoise.
Lots more going on in the waters and on land, especially in our parks. Please read on.

Welcome Jodi

Jodi Carroll has been hired as the new Coordinator of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks.

Jodi Carroll

Jodi worked for the Rockford Park District in Rockford, Illinois for the past 24 years. She began her career in the Park Services area where she gained experience with park maintenance operations, land acquisition and design and construction. After ten years she moved to Human Resources as the Training Manager and since 2003 had worked in revenue facilities and recreation programming eventually being appointed Deputy Director of Recreation.

Jodi, her husband Tom and their chocolate lab Dylan moved to the Sarasota-Bradenton area one year ago following Tom’s retirement. They enjoy boating, hiking and kayaking and chose the Sarasota-Bradenton area because of the many opportunities to be active outdoors. And the other bonus: no snow!

Jodi’s work with the Friends will focus on fundraising for programs and capital assets needed to support the park system. Her first project will be to raise funds for sun shades at several county ball diamonds. In addition to obtaining additional corporate sponsorships and submitting grants, Jodi will also be updating the Friends’ operational policies and office procedures.

“Sarasota County is rich with recreational opportunities for its citizens and guests,” says Jodi. “I am excited to work with the Friends to raise funds to support our parks and facilities.”

Chapter Notes
SCORR One for Carlton
Regular readers of the Friends News know all about the Legacy Trail and the dream of making an extension to connect it to downtown Sarasota.

The Sarasota County Off Road Riders –SCORR – may be less familiar. They’ve been building a path through theCarlton Reserve—  9.3 miles of biking and hiking that could eventually connect to North Port. County Administrator Tom Harmer and his wife Dee Dee got out there with Carlton volunteers Steve and Linda Christian on a recent humid morning. Seems to be a growing fad. SCORR members are now working on a path through the palmetto in the Myakkahatchee Creek Preserve.
Don’t Forget the VCC
The Venice Community Center has events all summer. The Arts and Crafts Show is August 9:
Lekatchka archers

Douglas Eader wrote to say:

Lekatchka has been very busy this month teaching archery to girl scouts, boy scouts and for the County Archery Camps. There were 40 kids in the camp last week and we have an additional 40 this week.   



Check out their Calendar here.

Here be dragon boats

It’s coming in October, but if you’re thinking of participating in October’s Dragon Boat Festival, you’ll want to get cracking. Some 3,000 breast cancer survivors and their supporters from around the world are heading to Nathan Benderson Park Oct. 24 to 26. There’s actually an entire week of events beginning Oct. 20th – (full schedule here).

 If you aren’t sure what a Dragon Boat is, or if you might want to help out, they’ll need hosts as well as help throughout the race venue – you can sign up here. And if you’re really into dragon boats, you will be happy to hear that dragon boat racing is a new addition to the Sarasota Bay Water Festival on November 1. Find out how to join a team here.

Helping hands and shiny fish

Ringling Volunteer Day
Every year the Friends works with Ringling College on a volunteer project. This year, that’s turned into several projects at multiple locations, with over 150 Ringling students participating. The day is Saturday, July 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and the volunteers will be working at Rothenbach and Culverhouse, at Heritage Park and Caspersen in Venice, and at the Hermitage. Friends volunteers will be delivering pizzas to the Ringling volunteers. Let Terry know if you can help.
Last year’s Ringling helpers
Speaking of Volunteers

Sarasota County is moving to a new portal for registering, tracking and insuring volunteers, and Friends volunteers will be invited to update their data quite soon. The new system is versatile and volunteers are likely to find it empowering in more ways than one. It will enable you to track mileage, for example. Bookmark the Volunteer Sarasota County page for updates.

North Jetty: Steel Fish & Sunsets

The North Jetty is undergoing some renovation and its new wall of shining steel fish is raising funds for the Friends.

“We have eight fish in place and three on order,” says Friends Vice President Fred Whitehouse. “They are currently $200 donation for standard and $400 donation for large but prices will soon go up.

“The fish are fabricated by local metal artist John Lemon, who constructed all the decorative metal work found in Bonefish Grill restaurants across the country. John resides in Nokomis not far from the jetty.

“The fish are a focal point and highlight of the new North Jetty concession and restroom facility. They are constructed of stainless steel and will remain in place as long as the facility lasts.”

The concession will soon open a new kitchen with short-order items, sandwiches, and snacks, as well as cold drinks including beer and wine.

The jetty is popular every night for sunsets, but especially fun on Friday nights when local musicians come in for a jam session with old standards and sing along. “Great place for something different to do,” adds Fred.

Shop and support the Friends

Just in time for the migration to the beaches, there’s a whole new line of outdoor products, picnic gear, and green products at the Worthy Cause Store. Check out our story and the store.


A few more things
Catherine Dente at Culverhouse Community Gardenwrote to share this cool image: 


“It’s a collage of what was growing in our garden this spring,” Catherine added. “The collage is by garden members Mary Lynn and Erin Fuller. Many people are still harvesting vegetables into July. The new planting season starts in late August. We have two or three memberships available right now out of our cap of 65.  People can find information on our website:”

For more terrific information on gardening,agriculturesustainable living et al, check out theUF/IFAS Extension site. Their summer schedule of classes begins July 1. The 10th Annual IFAS Plant Sale and EdFest is set for Oct. 11 at Twin Lakes, 8 am – 1 pm.
Sarasota County’s Natural Resources folks are reminding us to not use nitrogen and phosphorus between now and October. They’ve also got some fun things lined up for the summer, which you’ll find here.
More of what’s going on can be found on the County’s Calendar and at Escape to Sarasota.
If you’re celebrating at the beaches this weekend, be mindful of the snowy plovers. Have a happy 4th, and 5th.
plover with chick
Tom M.

The Newsletter of the
Friends of
Sarasota County Parks
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