Sarasota at Play in May

A monthly e-newsletter sharing our nature news and events.
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 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!
Sunday, May 1, 7:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.           
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
Space limited to 14.
Guide: Charlie Sample,
Sarasota County Volunteer
Registration info here for this event.  
Late Spring Wildflower Walk at Curry Creek Preserve


Join Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, on a hike through pine flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods and oak hammocks to see what’s blooming at Curry Creek Preserve. A number of spring/early summer wildflowers and many other interesting plants grow along the trails, making for a delightful and educational trek through the preserve.
Tuesday, May 3, 9 – 11 a.m. 
Curry Creek Preserve (East entrance)
1500 Pinebrook Rd., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
Demonstration Garden Tour at Shamrock Park
Join the master gardener volunteers as they provide free demonstration garden tours and advice on Florida gardening.
Meet at the central garden area near the Nature Center.

Thursday, May 5, 9 a.m.
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
No registrations necessary.
All welcome! For more information call941-861-5000
UF/IFAS Extension Services Nature Events


Mangroves and Coastal Landscapes, Walk and Talk  

Saturday, May 7, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Florida Friendly Basics: Palms For the Suncoast
Wednesday, May 11, 3-4 p.m.
3900 Shamrock Drive, Venice
‘Bee Aware’: Pollinator ID and Safety
Monday, May 23, 9-10:30 a.m.
5200 Beneva Road, Sarasota
To register for any of these classes, go to Eventbrite.
Take a Woodland Stroll on the Pocono


Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Jeff Weber, as he leads you on a leisurely stroll through the shady woodlands at Pocono Trail Preserve in Nokomis. Enjoy the beautiful live oak and cabbage palm hammocks, occasional glimpses of wading birds along the shoreline, and learn about the history of this interesting area.
Tuesday, May 10, 9 – 11 a.m.
189 Pocono Trail East, Nokomis
Space limited to 15.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
Land Management in an Urban Setting Hike at
Red Bug Slough Preserve


Join Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, as he identifies and shares a number of special challenges facing land managers who are in charge of managing sensitive, natural habitats atRed Bug Slough Preserve, an urban natural area site. Learn about the innovative ways Sarasota County staff manages fire dependent habitats, mitigate wildfire danger, protect rare species and balance the needs of public recreation.
Friday, May 13, 9 – 11 a.m.
5200 Beneva Rd., Sarasota
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
Seasons and Serendipity at Shamrock Park

Florida does have seasons, not just for hurricanes and warm vs. hotter weather.

Join Sarasota County Volunteer Master Naturalists and Shamrock Park Staff to stroll the trails, relying on changing seasons to bring us new flowers and birds’ nests, insects and animal activity. A little serendipity will find things in unexpected places!
Friday, May 13, 9 – 11 a.m.
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Sarasota County Volunteers and Sarasota County Staff
Registration info 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 American Littoral Society Biologist, Chuck Idelberger, 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, May 149:30 – 11:30 a.m.    
570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Space is unlimited.
Guide:  Chuck Idelberger, American
Littoral Society Biologist
For registration, please Call Chuck Idelberger directly at 941-488-8998.
Family Bike Adventures at the Beautiful
Carlton Reserve
Got bikes? It’s perfect weather to grab the whole family to join guides 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, May 15, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.      
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice
Space limited to 12.
Guides: David Reynolds and Gary Vasbinder
For registration: Please call David Reynolds at 941-412-5575 or Gary Vasbinder at 941-893-7729 directly to register and for meeting place.
Explore Nature with Your Toddler!
at Urfer Family Park
Bring your toddler to connect with nature in fun, creative ways at Urfer Family Park.
Join Sarasota County Staff as they take you and your children on a 15-minute nature walk, a 30 minute hands-on activities at two nature-themed Exploration Stations, and 15 minutes of fun group time (which includes a themed snack and story, finger plays, or songs).
Open to children ages 18 months – 2 years. All children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
Sunday, May 15, 10 – 11 a.m.          
4000 Honore Ave., Sarasota
Space limited to 15 children.
Guide: Ray Vinson, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event. 
Full Moon Walk at Pocono Trail Preserve


Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist, Jeff Weber, on a special moonlit hike at Pocono Trail Preserve to experience the mystery and intrigue of our natural areas after dark. Look and listen for twilight sights and sounds and learn about customs, superstitions and natural phenomena related to the moon. Be sure to bring a flashlight and insect spray. Note: Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Friday, May 20,  8:30 – 9:30 p.m.
189 Pocono Trail East, Nokomis
Space limited to 15.
Guide: Jeff Weber, Sarasota County Environmental Specialist
Registration info here for this event.
‘Crayola Critters’ – A Little Naturalist Event

Bring your pre-school child (ages 3-5 years) to connect with nature in fun, creative ways at Sarasota County’s youth nature program, the Little Naturalist.

Join Sarasota County Volunteer and Master Naturalist, Eileen Teel, for Crayola Critters at Shamrock Park and Nature Center. Although not colorful themselves, gopher tortoises create homes for other colorful creatures, like red and blue indigo snakes and their lemon-yellow babies. Your little naturalist will learn about these important tortoises, what makes a reptile a reptile, create a craft and hike to look for a live gopher tortoise! If you like, bring a snack to enjoy afterwards.
Friday, May 20, 2 – 3 p.m.              
Nature Center
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
Guide: Eileen Teal, Sarasota County Volunteer
Advance registration is required – Call Park Naturalist, Brooke Elias at (941) 404-6336 to register.
Full Moon Walk at Shamrock Park

Join Sarasota County Volunteer and Master Naturalist, Gail Deterra, to walk Shamrock Park’s trails lit by a rising full moon. Discover creatures that are attracted to moonlight and flowers that only bloom at night. Remember your flashlight!

Saturday, May 21, 8 – 9 p.m.   
3900 Shamrock Dr., Venice
Space limited to 20.
Guide: Gail Deterra, Sarasota County Volunteer and Master Naturalist
Registration info here for this event. 

Monthly Rain Barrel Workshop and Sales


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.

SaturdayMay 21, 10 – 11 a.m.
Green Meeting Room
6700 Clark Road, Sarasota
Contact: David Pouso, Sarasota CountyEnvironmental Specialist, 941-861-5000


To register for this free class go to Eventbrite.

For more nature based events for you and your family, please be sure to visit the links on the right column of this newsletter.

Go outside

and play!

Registration Process for Nature Events

Look for ‘View Activities’ (if you already have an account), orSIGN UP HERE (if you need to open up a

new household account).


Attached here are directions to help you set up an account to sign up for a free nature event.

Please remember the 3 R’s.
Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle, when visiting your parks and environmental lands!

Please use appropriate containers for recycles and trash.

When visiting a preserve or environmental land where there are limited trash receptacles, please remember to ‘Pack it in. Pack it out.’  Leave nothing but your footprints. Thank you for caring.


For more information on the three R’s for your home and business, visitSarasota County Solid Waste for useful information.

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

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