The January 2015 Newsletter of the Friends

The Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc.
In This Issue
New Year’s Message
Chapter Notes
Volunteer Sarasota
A few more things
Our Friends
Gulf Coast Gives Hands

Gulf Coast Gives

You’d Be Perfect

SRQ Volunteen


Our Chapters

Join the Friends

Help us keep our parks clean, safe, and a breath of fresh air for all the people of Sarasota.
Quick Links
Follow us on TwitterLike us on FacebookVisit our blog

Join Our Mailing List

Clicking on the images below will bring you to more about our programs and

Paw Parks of Sarasota

A Worthy Store
Check out the Worthy Cause Store – great items, great prices, and a portion of your purchase goes to the Friends!
Join Our Mailing List

January 2015
GREETINGS from the Friends

Could this beetle be a friend of the parks?
foscp logo

A New Year’s message from Terry

A message from Friends’ Board President Terry Redman:

As we begin the new year, I want to take a moment to thank all the volunteers who gave thousands of hours in 2014 to support Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources through the Friends of Sarasota County Parks.Volunteerism is abundant in Sarasota County! 

Members of the Friends have helped in a variety of ways, including: 

  • purchasing new lockers for Payne Park Tennis Center;
  • making numerous improvements to paw parksthroughout the community;
  • raising funds to begin a feasibility study for the extension of the Legacy Trail; 
  • staffing the Phillippi Farmhouse Market with volunteers;
  • introducing the community to the hot sport of disc golf; 
  • providing rowing programs for people with disabilities; 
  • maintaining community gardens, and 
  • assisting with several park cleanup events, just to name a few.

In 2015, the many Chapters of the Friends will actively assist and support Sarasota County through their volunteer and fundraising efforts.

In addition to updating operating policies and procedures, the Board of the Friends is committed to connecting, supporting and improving communication with County staff and Chapters.

In 2015, the Friends will launch a fundraising campaign to fund shade structures for athletic fields to enhance the safety and comfort of the athletes and their fans.

Your time is appreciated, your support is invaluable and we are ever grateful for your generosity.

Wishing you all a happy, healthy 2015.


Chapter Notes

The Surrey is back

The Friends of the Legacy Trail (FLT) Surrey Program offers a way for mobility challenged residents and visitors who would otherwise be unable to share in The Legacy Trail to enjoy the experience. Sit back and enjoy the ride on a 4-passenger, 4-wheeled canopy covered bicycle while FLT volunteers provide the pedal-power.  This is a free program open to the public, though donations are always welcome. Donations will help fund the extension of The Legacy Trail to downtown Sarasota.


Surrey Times: Wednesdays and Thursdays, January 7 through March 26, at 10 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m.


Laurel Park and Sandra Sims Terry Community Center 509 Collins Road, Laurel

Guides: Friends of the Legacy Trail Volunteers

Note: Registration is necessary.


To register, go to the Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources Activity Search webpage and type ‘Surrey’ in the Keyword Search box then hit the Search button below that field. Scroll down to see all of the Surrey Ride entries. If you don’t have an account set up (a onetime set up), it will direct you to do so before you choose your surrey ride date/time. If you do have an account set up, please choose the surrey ride date/time and click the small shopping cart icon on the left side and follow the log-in procedures to confirm your event.

Speaking of the Legacy Trail extension…

While the Legacy Trail Extension has received a good deal of media attention, the report out now is only a draft. It has to be reviewed, revised and approved by several individuals and organizations. The extension has been and continues to be championed by the Friends of the Legacy Trail.
Here’s a short explanatory video:
LegacyTrail Extension
LegacyTrail Extension


Hot Time at the Carlton

Also coming up, a free evening of prescribed burn demos, water drops from helicopters, nature walks, speakers, games for kids, all at Fire Fest 2015. Nancy Edmonson, an Environmental Specialist, wrote to say she’s looking for several good volunteers for this event at the Carlton Reserve.

I thought it necessary to make the plea now, for volunteers to assist at our Fire Fest 2015.

It occurs on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, from 10 – 3, but we will need volunteers to help with the set up the day before as well as some to arrive early on Saturday to direct staff and other participants to the appropriate parking.


12 volunteers needed on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 to assist with parking:

3 needed to arrive early (7:30ish).

9 to arrive at 9 AM (for briefing and positioning)

I could use 2 or 3 volunteers the day before (Friday, January 30, 2015) to install signs and set up the parking lots. Either the morning or afternoon would be workable. I can adjust my time to meet with the volunteers’ availability on Friday.



Volunteer Sarasota 
The new county volunteer program that uses Volgistics to track hours, connect with Sarasota volunteers, and update us on events now has over 1000 volunteers covering a variety of tasks and disciplines, according to County Coordinator Vickie French.

Between October and December, volunteers contributed 15,390 hours; community partners added another 27,311 hours, for a combined value of $906,969.

“There are about 100 park volunteers,” says Vickie. Of those with the Friends, the best represented Chapters so far are Friends of the Legacy Trail and Carlton Reserve, she added. There’s room for more Chapter members. The first of April is recognition day for all volunteers.

To sign up or sign in, go to the County’s Volunteer Page.

Remember, three good things come with renewing your volunteer registration:
  1. Benefits in accord with Florida Workers’ Compare afforded only to registered volunteers.
  2. Recording your work hours for the Friends and for the County can mean more grant moneyfor new worthwhile projects for your Chapter. You can also track mileage.
  3. You get to belong to the elite group of volunteers that contribute so much to Sarasota’s parks, trails, public lands and more.

Reach out to Vickie French, or Brenda Canales with any questions!

Volunteer at Benderson


At Benderson, John Krotec is gathering forces:


We are looking forward to the upcoming 2015 Modern Pentathlon World Cup Competition (Feb. 17-23) with great anticipation, he writes.


Last year’s event was a huge success because of your participation and sweat equity.   To make this year’s event shine we will need your help again & it would be fantastic if you could bring along a friend! 


world rowing  


Listed below are the upcoming ‘Volunteer Meetings’ we’ve scheduled (all at Nathan Benderson Park – mark your calendars):


Saturday, Jan. 31  “VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT MEETING ” (10 am-Noon).


Saturday, Feb. 7 “VOLUNTEER TRAINING SESSION” (10 am- Noon).


Saturday, Feb. 14 “VOLUNTEER TRAINING SESSION” (10 am- Noon).


This is an incredible opportunity to represent the greater community and to show these Olympic-class athletes and the rest of the world how great the Sarasota-Bradenton community is! 


If you have ANY questions, please email me at or call me at 941.400.7333. 

Thanks again for your support of world class sporting events at Nathan Benderson Park.


I hope to see you soon.



John Krotec

Nathan Benderson Park Volunteers


A few more things . . .
As always there are plenty of events, walks, tours, and activities going on in our parks. Find the list for January on our site, but also note a couple of late additions coming up soon (Jan. 13 and 23) at the Currey Creek Preserve.
Markets are bustling

Of course the Phillippi Farmhouse Market and theEnglewood Farmers Market are both back on Wednesdays and Thursdays respectively, and theEnglewood Conservancy continues its environmental explorations from now into April.

Air Potato Raid

The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program (SBEP) will host a Bay Guardian volunteer event at North Water Tower Park on Saturday, February 7 starting at 9 am. Volunteers will be removing air potato, an invasive vine that covers and shades beneficial native plants. Lunch will be provided with registration at 12pm. The park is located at 4700 Rilma Ave., Sarasota, FL 34234.
The air potato vine grows a large tuber that looks like a hanging potato. There will be a contest with prizes for the smallest, biggest, weirdest-looking, and most air potatoes collected. Volunteers will also remove trash.
Participants must wear closed-toed shoes and its recommend to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants. The event is suitable for all ages. Online registration is required. Please visit
Please contact Sara Kane at to learn more about the project or to get involved as a Bay Guardian volunteer.
About that bug…
Sara Kane, take note: It seems there’s one creature on Earth that does pretty much nothing but eat Air Potatoes.
Lilioceris cheni is being studied for its potential, and could be a true Friend of our parks in the future.More here.

Enjoy the parks – they’re better for your care!

Tom M.

The Newsletter of the
Friends of
Sarasota County Parks