What starts in parks is gathered here: The April 2014 Friends Newsletter

The Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc.
In This Issue
R U Ready?
Chapter Talk
Worthy Cause
Our Friends
Gulf Coast Gives Hands

Gulf Coast Gives

You’d Be Perfect

SRQ Volunteen



Our Chapters

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Greetings from the Friends

The Giving Partner Challenge

 R U ready

for the 2014 Giving Challenge? The Friends of Sarasota County Parks will be one of hundreds of nonprofits participating in the Challenge on May 6-7. The competition will be intense.
This  is an opportunity . . .
  • To raise funds to support our parks;
  • To raise awareness about the wonderful work being done by all of our Chapters.
Here it comes . . .

We bring together talented, passionate individuals. They’re putting new playground equipment in neighborhood parks, building community gardens, cleaning our beaches, creating dog parks, pulling up air potato spuds, building butterfly gardens, offering free surrey tours, giving us insights into Nature’s ways, and much more.

The Chapters of the Friends help make Sarasota a better place to live because they love parks and play, and the goodness that flows from them.
Keep an eye out: More to come on how to make this year’s Giving Challenge a huge success by donating to the Friends of Sarasota County Parks during the 24-hour online fundraising campaignon May 6 and 7!
Chapter Talk

…Chapters sharing new or ongoing projects… 
Two new Chapters

We’re happy to announce two new Chapters of the Friends.

The first is the Friends of Disc Golf.Chairperson Bryan Moore is a professional level player sponsored by Discraft,  also serves as Florida State Coordinator for the Professional Disc Golf Association (PDGA).

The group aims to raise awareness about the benefits of disc golf and support the development of new public courses at area parks. The chapter will also host volunteer events, park clean-up events, free disc golf clinics, and fundraiser events.

Bryan wrote:

One of the first volunteer opportunities will be a clean-up event at Lakeview Park, getting the course in shape for the Sunshine State Games on Saturday, June 7. This is the first time disc golf will be featured as part of the Sunshine State Games. The event will feature two rounds of 18 holes and is limited to 72 competitors. Three divisions will be offered for both men and women (Recreational, Intermediate, Advanced) with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for every division. The entry fee is the same price for everyone, and includes a Games tee shirt and custom stamped golf disc.

Englewood Veterans Memorial 

Representatives of the second new Chapter came to the most recent Friends’ Board meeting. Mary Ellen Diez presented a plan for the Englewood Veterans Memorial Project, featuring an outdoor plaza in a lovely spot on Lemon Bay, and a Freedom Pavilion with a “green roof.”



The grand opening is set for Nov. 11 — Veterans’ Day. The Board welcomed the Memorial Project group as a new Chapter. More here.

Postcard Guide to the Paw Parks

Dogs bring out a little extra good in folks. One good guy wants to install donor boxes at the county’s paw parks. Another would like to donate a kiosk. Residents near Buchan Air Field and folks at Palmer Ranch would love parks for their pooches.

To help coordinate these and many other tasks, the County has designated one guy — Wyatt Richardson — to be the point person for all of its paw parks. Wyatt has been in charge of the 17th Street Park.

Sue Nielsen of Friends of the Paw Parks is working on guides to the pooch pampas (we can’t keep saying “Paw Parks,” can we?). Click to download and print out her new Postcard-Sized Guide to the Dog-Friendly parks.

Sue will be at the Celebration of Pets at the Fairgrounds on April 12th and hopes you’ll stop and say hello.

Master Gardeners sprout new site

If you do any gardening, you will want to connect with the Master Gardeners. Subscribe to The Passionvine, their newsletter, and if you grow your own edibles, have a look at Growables.org, a new site by a few of their members.

TdP Recap

The March 28th Tour de Parks brought out 635 participants for the day and raised $14,700 to help connect the Trail to downtown Sarasota. 

That word comes from Bruce Dillon of  the Friends of Legacy Trail. Bruce took time out of a busy day to keep us posted…


By the way, bicyclists might wish to participate in a new cycling study. Bike Florida and a UF prof are hoping to help us all understand and enjoy bicycling even more. Click here for more.



Archery from Lekatchka


W will be holding our bi-monthly shoots on April 13th and April 27.  There is a work party the Saturday the day before each shoot to help set things up.

We are also setting up instructors/coaches for summer camps.





heart of the community



2014 Great American Cleanup
The Friends brought 24 volunteers to Caspersen Beach on March 22 to participate in the Cleanup coordinated by Keep Sarasota County Beautiful. At Caspersen alone, 120 pounds of trash were collected. Meanwhile,  volunteers worked at over 25 locations around the County.The pictures tell the story:
Chapters please send Terry your volunteer hours for March by April 10 – thanks!


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

12,000 Plugs in a Day for the Bay
The Sarasota Bay Estuary Program‘s Bay Guardians are teaming up with the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources and Around the Bend Nature Tours for a volunteer planting on April 12th.(Register Online here.)
The native planting at Perico Preserve will have plants donated by FWC Redfish Hatchery at Port Manatee. We’ll be planting 12,000 plugs of marsh grass. Some of the plants will be installed in shallow water. Get a sneak peak at one of Manatee County’s newest conservation sites! Plans at the site include seagrass restoration and a bird rookery. This event is suitable for ages 6 and up.
Please wear hat, sunscreen, close-toed shoes (old tennis shoes or water shoes), and clothes that can get dirty and wet. Shovels and trowels will be provided, but feel free to bring your own. Reusable water bottles will be given to all volunteers.

Worthy Cause
A new way to help grow the Friends

The Friends is an early adopter of The Worthy Cause Store, a new retail site that donates a portion of proceeds from each purchase to local not-for-profit organizations.

The site is the fruit of two years’ work by a team led by Sarasota’s John Ramsey. John has separately been working with the Friends on strategic initiatives, but his new site provides a way for shoppers to purchase products, tax-free, and get invoice confirmation that a portion of the purchase price went to the Sarasota not-for-profit beneficiary designated by the buyer.
As one of the very first organizations to climb aboard this venture, we hope you’ll remember the Friends while shopping at the store.
A few more things
April might not be the cruelest month, and is certainly not the coolest month, but it is Florida Volunteer Month. They have grants…

Happenings in Parks
Earth Day is April 27th, and will be celebrated at various parks around the area, including Buchans ParkCharlotte Harbor, and Oscar Scherer:

Regattas at Benderson

John Krotec is happy to hear from folks who’d like to volunteer at the upcoming regattas.
Dragonflies and Wildflowers

And, well, white pelicans. Why not? It’s the April Nature Events calendar. And in keeping with Florida Volunteer Month, lots of volunteers are leading walks, talks, and nature expeditions. Folks like Denny Girard, Al Squires, Charlie Sample, Don and Kathy Hess, Jim Clubb, Bruce Dayton, David Reynolds and family, Steve Christian, Randy Hurley, and more. Click to see what they volunteered for, and enjoy the awesomeness of April.
Tom M.



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