Saturday, November 13, 2010

Urfer Family Park Celebrates First Birthday

Celebration today at Urfer Family Park!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Native plants


Wild coffee is a perennial plant
which grows 1-4 feet tall. It
produces whitish to purplish
flowers. The fruit can be
white, yellow or red.

Native plants




The Firebush has orange-red tubular flowers. The flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Birds eat the small dark red berries.











Salvia has flowering stems. The tubular flower colors range from red to blue.













Walters viburnum is a shrub or a small tree with glossy evergreen leaves and clusters of fragrant flowers.






Monday, July 26, 2010

Native Plants



The Coreopsois is a yellow
daisy-like flower with a two
inch circle of bracts around
the flower head. It blooms
in the summer in full sun.
This flower is excellent for wild gardens, containers
and in garden beds. It blooms better if the dead flowers
are removed (dead headed).


The Coral bean is a flowering shrub or a small tree. It
grows from 3'9" to 16 feet.
It attracts hummingbirds.









The Beauty berry flowers bloom
in clusters 2-5mm in diameter.
The fruit is red-purple with a highly
distinctive metallic lustre. The berries
are an important survival food for
birds and other animals.






Saturday, July 24, 2010

Park's natural wonders

More pictures of nature



Wildlfe

Pictures shared taken at the park


.

Thursday, July 22, 2010



Wood ducks photographed in park on March 22 2010.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Recognition for Rothenbach Park

Check out this site. http://countybeat.blogs.heraldtribune.com/10794/rothenbach-park-lauded-by-environmental-engineers/

Ray and I think it is really nice that a group of professionals recognized all the work that went into the creative design that has been used at Rothenbach Park. Hopefully we will have more people come visit and enjoy the park after reading this blog.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


On June 29th Friends of Rothenbach Park planted some Florida native plants at the beginning of the Turkey Trail which starts at the shell parking lot. The native plants were purchased through a grant offered by the Legacy Trail Chapter. We thank the chapter members of Legacy Trail for helping beautify our park. Most of the newly planted plants are not new to the park. They are growing naturally and can be seen along the trails.
The chapter members did a 'rain dance' to help the new plants grow. If you hear thunder with the afternoon showers it may be because one of the members accidentally did a 'war' dance.



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Safety rails




Safety rails are installed by Sarasota County.













Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rowing at Benderson this weekend

Some images from the high schools rowing regatta at Benderson Park this weekend. Today was set-up day:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Action from Neighborhoods and County

A commendatory note from Don Schultz of the Bee Ride Neighborhoods Committee:
The Sarasota County Parks Department followed our recommendations to install a pedestrian walk from Bee Ridge Road to the park entrance and to improve the cross walks at the Iona and Bee Ridge intersection. We called them about these omissions when the park opened .They appreciated our feedback and responded positively. 
This is a good illustration of what a neigborhood organization can accomplish through positive action and attention to what is taking place with new developments and projects. Children and adults will be safer as they walk to the park.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April in the park


This evening Rothenbach was quite nice - the rain had cooled things off, towards 5 p.m. the air was cool and fresh. Two children's parties were going on at the Pavilion, the play areas were getting lots of use.



We road down along the 2.75-mile bike path through the hammock, and stopped four times for armadillo sightings. The third armadillo caught sight of us on our bicycles and literally jumped at least a foot into the air, then ran for cover. Never saw one move that fast before.



Some folks were hiking along the trails; others were bicycling. Someone was stunt flying a model plane with superb skill. Wildflowers graced the open patches of ground.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Some pics from last Saturday's Eco-Egg Hunt

Where a great time was had by all:


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eco-Egg Hunt this Saturday

This Saturday, April 3, bring the kids out to the Rothenbach Park Eco-Egg Hunt.

Instead of eggs, we'll be picking up Air Potatoes from 9:15 to 10:30 a.m. - bring the family!



  • wear socks and tennis shoes
  • have some pink lemonade
  • kids will win candy for their efforts.

Air potatoes are an invasive plant that harms native vegetation and disrupts native habitat. This event is designed as a fun way for young and old to give back to your community.

At Rothenbach Park, 8350 Bee Ridge Road

Take Bee Ridge east past I-75, until it dead ends at Rothenbach Park. Continue into the park, past the gate, turn right and park in the playground/shelter area.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

A few shots from the Tour de Parks, Rothenbach Park



Bicyclists from Illinois


Families in the Tour de Parks


Parks and Rec Manager John McCarthy, mini-cam 
on helm, and Walt Rothenbach

Congratulations to the more than 80 cyclists who came through the Rothenbach Park rest area on Sunday!

Close to a ton

That's how many air potatoes a crew of volunteers collected at the park on Saturday - the bags and buckets stuffed with the invasive seeds were actually weighed before being sent to the dumpster. Below are some of the valiant helpers - thanks to all!


Tour de Parks heading for Rothenbach

If you're coming out to Rothenbach Park Sunday morning, expect to see a number of bicyclists from the Tour de Parks - at last count, we're expecting 87 riders to make it all the way from Venice. Voulunteers will be on hand with water, snacks, and even an electric tire pump.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Volunteer for a Fun Time! Saturday, March 27th, 9 a.m. to Noon


The air potato plant covers trees and plants with its abundant green leaves. While some might find the look appealing, it is in fact a dangerous invasive plant that suffocates the native plant life it uses for support.

In order to support our park's native plants, it is necessary to remove as many invasive plants as possible.  On March 27th, the Friends of Rothenbach Park are holding a fun day event aimed at removing those plants while creating a picnic atmosphere with light snacks and camaraderie.

Please join us at in beautifying our park as we go along the trail removing invasive air potato bulbs and their vines.


 Families and volunteers of all ages are welcome. A County Park Naturalist will be on hand to answer your questions.

Bring:

  • a hat
  • gloves 
  • bottled water
  • a bike

 and wear closed-toe shoes.

Work will begin at 9 a.m. When you arrive, park in the shell parking lot and register there as a volunteer. If you know of any high school students who need community service hours, this is a good opportunity for them.

 If you haven't been on Rothenbach Park's trails, they are beautiful. Park in the shell parking lot -- from there, signs will direct you to the work site. Bring your bikes to ride or it is a shady 26-minute walk.


Thanks for volunteering.

Rothenbach Park is located at 8659 Bee Ridge Road. Drive 1.5 miles East of Interstate 75 on Bee Ridge Road to the four-way stop. The park entrance is visible from here.

If you have questions, please call Connie at 371-1180 or email rothenbachpark05@gmail.com - Thank you!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wildlife Week is coming March 15-21

Dear Friend,

National Wildlife Week, March 15-21, is conveniently timed with the first week of daylight savings this year. Take advantage of the extra hour you’ll gain to spend quality time outdoors with your family. National Wildlife Federation offers fun hands-on activities for kids and adults alike to help you gear up for spring.

Start getting wild this season with activities like making winter art with your kids and identifying birds in your backyard or a local park. These outdoor activities are perfect for the whole family (and friends) to do together.

Don’t forget to mark your calendar to celebrate National Wildlife Week in March. Participate by committing to National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There campaign, which gives back to our children what they don’t even know they’ve lost: a connection to the natural world.

Help your kids foster a lifelong love of wildlife. There’s a reason they call it the great outdoors!
Sincerely,
Ashleigh Poff Signature
Ashleigh Poff
Be Out There Education Team
National Wildlife Federation 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Google for Bicyclists

Just in time for the Tour de Parks, Google is building bike maps to help bicyclists navigate streets, hills, safe roads:



A note from Creative Loafing on the county's Legacy Trail:

LEGACY TRAIL Various points of entry south of Clark Road in Sarasota to Center Road in Venice (861-5000 or scg.co.sarasota.fl.us/rails-to-trails). We’re still a year out before Sarasota County’s massive Legacy Trail nears completion, but the framework is in place and people are already strolling, jogging and biking down the pastoral 10.5 mile stretch.

The former CSX Transportation railroad corridor runs from just south of Clark Road to Center Road in Venice, broken only by old railroad trestles slated for replacement or rehabilitation next year. Although you can access the path at a dozen locations, parking at the end points can be a pain; the county’s recent purchase of 10 acres on the south terminus of Legacy will remedy half that problem fairly quickly. Slather on the sunscreen and slap on a hat for a weekend jaunt down Sarasota’s entrée into suburban hiking. The attraction is free.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

T-Shirt Sale

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Change in Park Hours

A note from the county parks people:

Just to let you know that the park hours for Rothenbach Park have changed as per request from Solid Waste.

New park hours (to be implemented immediately):

6 a.m. to 6 p.m. November 1st through March 31st

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. April 1st through October 31st.

The change includes reduced hours for the month of March only.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Stay Tuned


Friends of Rothenbach will be at the park on Saturday, March 27 to pick up air potatoes throughout the hammocks.

There's also a children's event in the planning stages for Saturday, April 3 -- an Easter Egg and Air Potato Pick-Up, most likely beginning at 9:30. More details as they're firmed up.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

More images from the first Air Potato Pick-Up at Rothenbach



Thanks to Roxanne Williamson for the great photos.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Saturday at Benderson

A crowd of 2,500 or more is expected for this Saturday's (Feb. 27) regatta at Nathan Benderson Park. Come out and see the Sarasota Scullers in action. This park is on its way to becoming one of the top sites in the world for regatta racing, according to people associated with the project. Calendar info here.

Below, plans for the park:


One of the invasives



A brief walking tour of Rothenbach Park Tuesday led us to better identify several invasive species, including the air potato vine, Brazilian pepper, and Carrotwood. This is Carrotwood:


Saturday, February 20, 2010

Walking Rothenbach Park

Interested in learning more about one of Sarasota's newest parks? Come out this Tuesday at 1 p.m. to the pavilion at Rothenbach Park for a guided walk through the park's hammocks. Learn about the flora and fauna - this is the only park with free ranging deer in Sarasota - with Sarasota County naturalist Lynda Eppinger.

For those interested, there will be a brief Friends of Rothenbach Park meeting after the walk.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Community BBQ and Blues, Feb. 20 at Newtown Estates

An invite from the friends of Newtown Estates
The Friends of Newtown Estates would like to invite all to our Community BBQ Cook-off and Blues Festival  Feb. 20, from 10 until  the open air theater begins around  6 pm.  We have booth space available  Please call Newtown Estates office for more information. Thanks.

Newtown Estates Park

2800 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota, FL, 34234

(941) 861-9870 



Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tour de Parks March 28th

For bicyclists, come out to the Tour de Parks, Sunday, March 28th - ride the Legacy Trail.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How do you use the park?

The recently formed Friends of Rothenbach Park group will be planning future events and would very much appreciate your input.

Do you regularly use the park for a particular purpose or activity? Do you belong to a group, or know of one, that is using the amenities?

There are groups that bicycle, that do exercise with strollers, that jog and run, that operate small remote-controlled aircraft. If you belong to a group, let us know about you, and provide a contact point -- we'll put you on our mailing list for special events.

You can email us at rothenbachpark05@gmail.com. Thanks!

A Ton of Park and Rec events for February


Has Spring Arrived Yet in Florida? Explore Sleeping Turtles Preserve North

Explore the Sleeping Turtles Preserve North with Sarasota County Volunteers Al Squires and Denny Girard on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 from 9 – 11 AM. Enjoy the preserve’s meandering trails canopied by old live oaks and pines. Along the way, Al and Denny share their boundless knowledge of botany, not just identification, but lore of the plants as well. Take in the scenery and information about the natural lands and the plants they support.

This preserve is one of many that are available to the public through the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program. In addition to the numerous subtropical plants, visitors may observe eagles or osprey hunting over the river corridor.

Participants should bring binoculars, sun screen, insect repellent, drinking water and camera (optional), wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat.

Participants can reach the Sleeping Turtles Preserve North from northbound I-75, by taking exit 193 and then turning right on to Jacaranda Boulevard. From southbound I-75, take exit 193 and turn left on to Jacaranda Boulevard. Proceed north approximately 0.7 miles on Jacaranda Blvd. to the stop sign and turn right onto Border Road. Proceed approximately 2 miles east on Border Road to the bridge over the Myakka River. As you approach the bridge, the Sleeping Turtles Preserve North parking lot will be on the left (north side), immediately before the bridge.

Register on-line at www.scgov.net. Click Calendar of Events on the left. Click the 'All Events' drop down list, choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. On the bottom of each nature walk is an area that states 'Click here for registration.' Space for this walk is limited to 20.

If you are having problems with on-line registration, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Pocono Trail Preserve from a Historical Perspective

Join Sarasota County Volunteer and local historian, Nancy Eaton, on Thursday, February 4, 2010 from 9 - 11 AM as she leads participants on a guided walk through Pocono Trail Preserve in Nokomis. Stroll through shady oak hammocks to the south shore of Shakett Creek, once the site of the historic Pollyanna Inn. Learn about the Manasota Culture and later pioneers instrumental in the development of Nokomis and Venice.

Pocono Trail Preserve is one of many natural areas available through the county’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program. The site contains forested hammocks, pine flatwoods and shoreline along Shakett Creek that provide habitat for osprey, migrating songbirds and wading birds.

Participants should wear long pants, comfortable shoes, a light jacket, hat, and sunscreen, and bring insect repellent, drinking water and camera (optional), binoculars and a hand lens (optional).

Participants can reach Pocono Trail Preserve, 189 Pocono Trail by taking I-75 south to exit 200 (S.R. 681) toward Venice/Osprey. Merge onto U.S. 41 and travel 2.2 miles to Colonia Lane. Turn left on Colonia and left again onto Nash Avenue. Drive one block to Pocono Trail and park along the north road shoulder.

From the southern portion of the county, take I-75 north to exit 195 (Laurel Road) and travel west toward Laurel. Turn left onto U.S. 41 and drive south toward Venice. Turn left onto Colonia Lane and left again onto Nash Ave. Drive one block to Pocono Trail and park along the north road shoulder.

Register on-line at www.scgov.net. Click Calendar of Events on the left. Click the 'All Events' drop down list, choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. On the bottom of each nature walk is an area that states 'Click here for registration.' Space for this walk is limited to 15.

For more information on this or future nature walks please contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Birding on the South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve

Have you wondered what makes birding such a popular pastime? Join Sarasota County volunteers and Venice Area Audubon Society members Margaret Dunson and Rhea Guertin, and other folks interested in birding. Margaret and Rhea are avid and accomplished birders, traveling throughout North and Central America in search of birding opportunities. Learn how to spot birds in the natural environment and pointers identifying the most common birds around. The walk and talk occurs on Thursday, February 4, 2010, 8:00 -10:00 AM. Binoculars are a must to bring!

South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve is one of many public lands that are available to the public through the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program. In addition to the numerous subtropical plants, the preserve supports nesting bald eagles, Florida scrub jays and gopher tortoises, all protected animal species.

Participants should wear comfortable, neutral-colored clothing sunscreen, and bring insect repellent, drinking water, camera (optional), and binoculars.

Participants can reach South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve by taking I -75 to Exit 193 (Jacaranda Blvd.). At the end of the exit ramp, turn south onto Jacaranda Boulevard and drive approximately 5.2 miles. At the “T” intersection of Jacaranda Blvd. and Englewood Road (State Road 776), turn left (south).  Drive approximately 1.5 miles and turn west on to Manasota Beach Road. Continue about a mile until the road curves left.  At the curve turn right onto Belvidere Road. Next turn right onto Pheasant Road, then left onto Macon Road, and right on Osprey Road. Turn left onto Ocelot Road and park near the end of the street.  Meet at the intersection of Ocelot and Phorus Roads.

Register on-line at www.scgov.net. Click Calendar of Events on the left. Click the 'All Events' drop down list, choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. On the bottom of each nature walk is an area that states 'Click here for registration.' Space for this walk is limited to 20.

If you are having problems with on-line registration, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Experience birding diversity at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve with Charlie Sample
Calling all birding enthusiasts! Join Charlie Sample from Friends of the Carlton and Venice Audubon Society as he leads you on a birding nature walk adventure on Sunday, February 7 from 7:30 am – noon. Be tantalized and wowed by the vast array of bird species (52 species sited just last month!) and nature found at the beautiful T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve.  You won’t be disappointed!
The T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve located at 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway in Venice was purchased in the 1980's for public water supply source and for conservation/ recreation purposes.
The birding outing consists of a short walk around the Park area followed by a carpool trek into the Carlton backcountry with stops along the way to locate birds.
Participants should wear comfortable sturdy walking shoes (that can possibly get wet), hat or visor, sun screen, insect repellent, plenty of drinking water, and binoculars (a must!), field bird guide and camera (optional).
To reach the reserve, drive south from Sarasota along I-75 to Exit 193 (Jacaranda Boulevard). Turn left (East) at the exit and then right again at the next intersection (Border Road). Drive 2 ½ miles to the next intersection and turn left at the Carlton Reserve’s entrance. Follow signs to parking lot. Participants should meet at the parking lot at 7:30 am for an adventure in nature!
                                                                 
Space for this walk is unlimited and no reservations are necessary.  For beginning birders to expert, however, young children under 12 are notencouraged because of the distance covered.
If you would like more information regarding the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP) and/or the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve, please go to www.scgov.net, County A to Z, Natural Lands, or contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Strenuous Bike Hikes at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve Led by Larry Robbins

Start out the New Year right! Join Larry Robbins from Friends of the Carlton Reserve as he leads you on a strenuous bike adventure through the beautiful but rugged T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve on Sunday, February 7, 2010 from 7:30 am for approximately 2 to 3 hours. Not for the faint of heart! Looking for experienced adult off-road bicyclists that are physically fit! Expect to see lots of wildlife!
The T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve located at 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway in Venice was purchased in the 1980's for public water supply source and for conservation/ recreation purposes.
The strenuous bike adventures series started December 6, 2009 and will run every first Sunday of the month through May 2010.
Participants should bring their own (Off road/mountain trail type) bicycle with wide tires, helmet (highly recommended!), sun glasses, sun screen, insect repellent, and plenty of drinking water.
To reach the reserve, drive south from Sarasota along I-75 to Exit 193 (Jacaranda Boulevard). Turn left (East) at the exit and then right again at the next intersection (Border Road). Drive 2 ½ miles to the next intersection and turn left at the Carlton Reserve’s entrance. Follow signs to parking lot.
                                                                 
Space for this walk is limited to 6 participants. Reservations are necessary and should be secured by calling Larry Robbins at 941-544-0555He will also provide you the area to meet. This event is for experienced adult off road bike riders only.
If you would like more information regarding the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP) and/or the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve, please go to www.scgov.net, County A to Z, Natural Lands, or contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Informal Plein Air Sessions at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve

Looking for beautiful scenery to inspire you? Please join Friends of the Carlton Sally Christiansen (pastel artist) at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve on Sunday, February 7 from 2:30 to 5:00 pm. She encourages plein air artists of all mediums to join in the fun on the first Sunday afternoons of February, and March. Not an artist? You are welcome to watch several plein air artists work near the historic cabin located near the covered picnic area.
The T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve located at 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway in Venice was purchased in the 1980's for public water supply source and for conservation/ recreation purposes.
Participants should wear clothes appropriate to being outdoors, bring a hat, wear comfortable shoes (good for standing), and sunglasses. Bring water for painting and plenty of water to drink, insect repellent, sunscreen, your own plein air supplies (if you wish to participate), and an easy-to-carry folding chair.
To reach the reserve, drive south from Sarasota along I-75 to Exit 193 (Jacaranda Boulevard). Turn left at the exit and then right again at the next intersection (Border Road). Drive 2 ½ miles to the next intersection and turn left at the Carlton Reserve’s entrance. Follow signs to parking lot.
Space for this event is unlimited – open to all ages. You may watch or participate.

If you have any questions please call Sally Christiansen at 941-484-4113.
If you would like more information regarding the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP) and/or the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve, please go to www.scgov.net, County A to Z, Natural Lands, or contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Serendipity Walk at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve
Enjoy the beauty and diversity of this lovely reserve while discovering the joy of finding peace and serenity in nature at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 from 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm with guide Donna Day from Friends of the Carlton.You will identify birds, mammals, and plants depending on what shows up that day. A true serendipity!
The Carlton Reserve located at 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway in Venice is one of many public lands that are available to the public through the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP).
Participants should wear comfortable sturdy walking shoes, a light jacket, hat or visor, sun screen, insect repellent, drinking water, and (optional) binoculars, camera and hand lens.
To reach the reserve, drive south from Sarasota along I-75 to Exit 193 (Jacaranda Boulevard). Turn left (East) at the exit and then right again at the next intersection (Border Road). Drive 2 ½ miles to the next intersection and turn left at the Carlton Reserve’s entrance. Follow signs to parking lot. Participants should meet at the parking lot at 2:50 pm for an adventure in nature!

Space for this walk is limited to 15 so please call Donna Day at 493-2287 to reserve a space
If you would like more information regarding ESLPP and or the Carlton Reserve, please go to www.scgov.net, County A to Z, Natural Lands, or contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Winter Bird Walk at Curry Creek Preserve

Sarasota County is offering a birding nature walk at Curry Creek Preserve in Venice (west entrance) on Thursday, February 11, 2010 from 9 – 11 AM. Audubon Society members Tom and Connie Plaskett will lead participants on a guided bird walk through the oak hammocks and along the edge of tidal marsh areas found on site.

Curry Creek Preserve is one of many natural areas available through Sarasota County’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program. In addition to a wide variety of native plant species, the preserve also provides habitat for gopher tortoises, bobcats and a wide variety of bird species.

Participants should wear long pants, comfortable walking shoes, a light jacket, sunscreen and a hat, and bring insect repellent, drinking water, binoculars (optional), camera and hand lens (optional).

Participants can reach Curry Creek Preserve’s WEST ENTRANCE OFF ALBEE FARM ROAD  by taking I -75 to Exit 195 (Laurel Road). Go west on Laurel Road approximately 1.5 miles and turn left on to Albee Farm Road. Head south on Albee Farm Road approximately 1.4 miles to the preserve entrance located on the left at 1075 Albee Farm Road. Pass the entrance and make a U-turn at the following median cut. Park in the preserve’s designated parking lot.

Register on-line at www.scgov.net. Click Calendar of Events on the left. Click the 'All Events' drop down list, choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. On the bottom of each nature walk is an area that states 'Click here for registration.' Space for this walk is limited to 20.

For more information on this or future nature walks please contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Women’s Off Road Bicycling at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve

Do you love nature and like off road bicycling, but are reluctant to go out in this wilderness area alone? Looking for both experienced off road bicyclists and those new to off road bicycling. Discover the natural beauty of the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve with W.O.M.B.A.T (Women Mountain Bicycling and Tea Society) and Friends of the Carlton Lori Biagini. Lori will lead you on a choice of two bike adventures through the beautiful but rugged T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve on Saturday, February 13 or Saturday, February 27.
Choose from:
  • For experienced riders only - 8:00 AM for 3 + hours at a strenuous pace.
  • For those new to off road riding - 12:00 PM for 1 hour at a relaxed pace.

Expect to see lots of wildlife and breathe fresh air!
The T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve located at 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway in Venice was purchased in the 1980's for public water supply source and for conservation/ recreation purposes.
Participants should bring their own (Off road/mountain trail type) bicycle with fat, knobby tires required for trail riding, helmet (must have!), sun glasses, sun screen, insect repellent, and plenty of drinking water.
To reach the reserve, drive south from Sarasota along I-75 to Exit 193 (Jacaranda Boulevard). Turn left at the exit and then right again at the next intersection (Border Road). Drive 2 ½ miles to the next intersection and turn left at the Carlton Reserve’s entrance. Follow signs to parking lot.
                                                                 
Space for these rides is limited to 8 participants. Reservations are necessary and should be secured by calling Lori Biagini at 941-492-4639 with your date and choice of riding adventure. You MUST RSVP to receive the actual meeting location.
If you would like more information regarding the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP) and/or the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve, please go to www.scgov.net, County A to Z, Natural Lands, or contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Nature of South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve

The South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve is far from dead in the winter! Explore this preserve with Sarasota County volunteer and Florida Master Naturalist, Lee Ann Harling from 9 – 11 AM on Tuesday, February 16, 2010. She will share some history of the site and information about the local wildlife and vegetation. Participants will pass through a brackish water wetland, a high salinity mangrove area, scrub, flatwoods, and coastal woodlands bordering Lemon Bay.

This is one of many lands that are available through Sarasota County’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program. In addition to the numerous subtropical plants, the preserve supports nesting bald eagles, Florida scrub jays and gopher tortoises, all protected animal species. The preserve was the subject of a recent radical and very successful habitat restoration and hydrologic project.

Participants may bring binoculars, sun screen, insect repellent, drinking water and camera (optional), wear comfortable walking shoes for sandy soil and a hat.

Participants can reach South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve by taking I -75 to Exit 193 (Jacaranda Blvd.). At the end of the exit ramp, turn south onto Jacaranda Boulevard and drive approximately 5.2 miles. At the “T” intersection of Jacaranda Blvd. and Englewood Road (State Road 776), turn left (south).  Drive a ¼ mile and then turn right (west) onto Cypress Road. Turn left at Mangrove Road and left again on Heron Road. Turn left onto Seneca Road; take a right onto Varet Road, a right on Euclid Road to Kenisco Road. Turn right to park on the Kenisco road shoulder by the cyclone fence. Please be aware of gopher tortoises in this neighborhood. The street address is 5472 Kenisco Road, Venice.

Register on-line at www.scgov.net. Click Calendar of Events on the left. Click the 'All Events' drop down list, choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. On the bottom of each nature walk is an area that states 'Click here for registration.' Space for this walk is limited to 20.

If you are having problems with on-line registration, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Enjoy Nature with Your Dog at Red Bug Slough Preserve!

This Sarasota County preserve isn’t just for people! Leash up your beloved pooch and join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Jeff Weber for a guided walk designed to delight you AND your canine companions.  From 9 – 11 AM on Wednesday, February 17, 2010, participants will enjoy a relaxing stroll through Red Bug Slough Preserve exploring woodland trails that lead to an open field near the slough. ALL DOGS MUST BE ON LEASHES, have proof of current vaccinations (including rabies) and be well socialized. Space is extremely limited and reservations are required.

Red Bug Slough Preserve is one of many natural areas available through the county’s environmental lands program. In addition to a wide variety of native plant species, the preserve also provides habitat for river otters, bobcats and various species of wading birds.

Participants should wear long pants, comfortable walking shoes, bring a light jacket, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, drinking water, binoculars (optional), camera and hand lens (optional). Please be sure to bring along extra drinking water for your dog and a pooper scooper, if needed. Doggie bags are available on site.

To reach Red Bug Slough Preserve, take I -75 to Exit 205 (S.R. 72 or Clark Road). Go west on Clark Road approximately 3 miles to Beneva Road and turn right onto Beneva Road. Continue north to the preserve entrance and parking area on the left located at 5200 North Beneva Road.

Register on-line at www.scgov.net. Click Calendar of Events on the left. Click the 'All Events' drop down list, choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. On the bottom of each nature walk is an area that states 'Click here for registration.' Space for this walk is limited to 15.

If you are having problems with on-line registration, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Family Bike Hikes at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve

Grab your bikes and the whole family to join Friends of the Carlton Reserve David Reynolds and his family for an off road wilderness bicycle ride through the beautiful T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve on the third Sunday, February 21, 2010 from 10:00 a.m.for approximately 1 to 2 hours. Expect to see lots of wildlife!
The T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve located at 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway in Venice was purchased in the 1980's for public water supply source and for conservation/ recreation purposes.
The family bike adventure series runs every third Sunday of the month through May 2010.
Participants should bring their own bicycle suitable for off road riding - wide tires (Mountain bikes preferred, but not required), wear clothing applicable to riding bicycle on bumpy trails through the woods, closed-toed shoes, plenty of drinking water, sunscreen, insect repellant, sun glasses, helmet (required for all participants), padded bike gloves and binoculars (optional), and snacks/lunch (optional, but encouraged).

To reach the reserve, drive south from Sarasota along I-75 to Exit 193 (Jacaranda Boulevard). Turn left (East) at the exit and then right again at the next intersection (Border Road). Drive 2 ½ miles to the next intersection and turn left at the Carlton Reserve’s entrance. Follow signs to parking lot.
                                                                 
Space for this event is limited to 10 participants. Pre-registration required. Reservations should be secured by calling David Reynolds at 941-412-5575 for registration and meeting location. If you don't have an off-road type bike, bike rental information can be obtained by David at the time of registration. Must be able to ride an off road bicycle. Children must be accompanied by parent(s). Routes will vary depending on trail conditions and group participants on the day of the ride. (Be prepared that some trails may have unexpected feral hog damage making trails quite rough.)
If you would like more information regarding the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP) and/or the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve, please go to www.scgov.net, County A to Z, Natural Lands, or contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Serendipity Walk at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve
Enjoy the beauty and diversity of this lovely reserve while discovering the joy of finding peace and serenity in nature at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 from 3:00 pm – 5:30 pm with guide Donna Day from Friends of the Carlton.You will identify birds, mammals, and plants depending on what shows up that day. A true serendipity!
The Carlton Reserve located at 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway in Venice is one of many public lands that are available to the public through the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP).
Participants should wear comfortable sturdy walking shoes, a light jacket, hat or visor, sun screen, insect repellent, drinking water, and (optional) binoculars, camera and hand lens.
To reach the reserve, drive south from Sarasota along I-75 to Exit 193 (Jacaranda Boulevard). Turn left (East) at the exit and then right again at the next intersection (Border Road). Drive 2 ½ miles to the next intersection and turn left at the Carlton Reserve’s entrance. Follow signs to parking lot. Participants should meet at the parking lot at 2:50 pm for an adventure in nature!

Space for this walk is limited to 15 so please call Donna Day at 493-2287 to reserve a space. 
If you would like more information regarding ESLPP and or the Carlton Reserve, please go to www.scgov.net, County A to Z, Natural Lands, or contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In Search of Wild Lupine at South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve

The hunt is on! Come search for wild lupine and explore South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve with Sarasota County volunteers Al Squires and Denny Girard from 9 – 11 AM on Wednesday, February 24, 2010. Al and Denny will introduce you to wild lupine while sharing information about the native vegetation. Participants will pass through a brackish water wetland, a high salinity mangrove area, scrub, flatwoods, and coastal woodlands bordering Lemon Bay.

This is one of many lands that are available through Sarasota County’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program. In addition to the numerous subtropical plants, the preserve supports nesting bald eagles, Florida scrub jays and gopher tortoises, all protected animal species. The preserve was the subject of a recent radical and very successful habitat restoration and hydrologic project.

Participants may bring binoculars, sun screen, insect repellent, drinking water and camera (optional), wear comfortable walking shoes for sandy soil and a hat.

Participants can reach South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve by taking I -75 to Exit 193 (Jacaranda Blvd.). At the end of the exit ramp, turn south onto Jacaranda Boulevard and drive approximately 5.2 miles. At the “T” intersection of Jacaranda Blvd. and Englewood Road (State Road 776), turn left (south).  Drive a ¼ mile and then turn right (west) onto Cypress Road. Turn left at Mangrove Road and left again on Heron Road. Turn left onto Seneca Road; take a right onto Varet Road, a right on Euclid Road to Kenisco Road. Turn right to park on the Kenisco road shoulder by the cyclone fence. Please be aware of gopher tortoises in this neighborhood. The street address is 5472 Kenisco Road, Venice.

Register on-line at www.scgov.net. Click Calendar of Events on the left. Click the 'All Events' drop down list, choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. On the bottom of each nature walk is an area that states 'Click here for registration.' Space for this walk is limited to 20.

If you are having problems with on-line registration, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“What Bug is THAT?” – A guided insect identification walk at Curry Creek Preserve

Sarasota County is offering a guided insect identification nature walk at Curry Creek Preserve in Venice from 10 AM – noon on Thursday, February 25, 2010. Retired Sarasota County Entomologist Dr. Fred Santana will lead participants through pine flatwoods, oak scrub and other habitats found on site.

Curry Creek Preserve is one of many natural areas available through the county’s environmental lands program. In addition to a wide variety of native plant species, the preserve also provides habitat for gopher tortoises, bobcats and a wide variety of bird species.

Participants should wear long pants, comfortable walking shoes, and bring a hat, sun screen, insect repellent, drinking water, binoculars (optional), camera and a hand lens or magnifying glass (optional).

Participants can get to the Pinebrook Road  EAST entrance to Curry Creek Preserve by taking I -75 to Exit 195 (Laurel Road). Go west on Laurel Road for approximately 0.3 miles and turn left at the traffic light onto Pinebrook Road heading south. Go 1.5 miles passing the traffic light at Edmondson Road and look for the preserve sign on the right. Slightly before you get to the preserve sign, turn right into the driveway directly across from Water Street and then bear left onto preserve property. Park on the grass to the south of the preserve sign and entrance. Participants will gather for the walk at the cable gate entrance.

Register on-line at www.scgov.net. Click Calendar of Events on the left. Click the 'All Events' drop down list, choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. On the bottom of each nature walk is an area that states 'Click here for registration.' Space for this walk is limited to 20.

If you are having problems with on-line registration, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Women’s Off Road Bicycling at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve

Do you love nature and like off road bicycling, but are reluctant to go out in this wilderness area alone? Looking for both experienced off road bicyclists and those new to off road bicycling. Discover the natural beauty of the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve with W.O.M.B.A.T. (Women Mountain Bicycling and Tea Society) and Friends of the Carlton Lori Biagini. Lori will lead you on a choice of two bike adventures through the beautiful but rugged T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve on Saturday, February 27.
Choose from:
  • For experienced riders only - 8:00 AM for 3 + hours at a strenuous pace.
  • For those new to off road riding - 12:00 PM for 1 hour at a relaxed pace.

Expect to see lots of wildlife and breathe fresh air!
The T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve located at 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway in Venice was purchased in the 1980's for public water supply source and for conservation/ recreation purposes.
Participants should bring their own (Off road/mountain trail type) bicycle with fat, knobby tires required for trail riding, helmet (must have!), sun glasses, sun screen, insect repellent, and plenty of drinking water.
To reach the reserve, drive south from Sarasota along I-75 to Exit 193 (Jacaranda Boulevard). Turn left at the exit and then right again at the next intersection (Border Road). Drive 2 ½ miles to the next intersection and turn left at the Carlton Reserve’s entrance. Follow signs to parking lot.
                                                                 
Space for these rides is limited to 8 participants. Reservations are necessary and should be secured by calling Lori Biagini at 941-492-4639 with your date and choice of riding adventure. You MUST RSVP to receive the actual meeting location.
If you would like more information regarding the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Protection Program (ESLPP) and/or the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve, please go to www.scgov.net, County A to Z, Natural Lands, or contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Winter Bird Walk at Red Bug Slough Preserve

Sarasota County is offering a guided bird walk at Red Bug Slough Preserve from 9 – 11 AM on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Sarasota Audubon Society member Pic Bailey will lead participants through pine and oak hammocks and other habitats found on site.

Red Bug Slough Preserve is one of many natural areas available through the county’s environmental lands program. In addition to a wide variety of native plant species, the preserve also provides habitat for river otters, bobcats and various species of wading birds.

Participants should wear long pants, comfortable walking shoes, and bring a hat, sun screen, insect repellent, drinking water, binoculars (optional), camera and hand lens (optional).

To reach Red Bug Slough Preserve, take I -75 to Exit 205 (S.R. 72 or Clark Road). Go west on Clark Road approximately 3 miles to Beneva Road and turn right onto Beneva Road. Continue north to the preserve entrance and parking area on the left located at 5200 North Beneva Road.

Register on-line at www.scgov.net. Click Calendar of Events on the left. Click the 'All Events' drop down list, choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. On the bottom of each nature walk is an area that states 'Click here for registration. Space for this walk is limited to 20.

If you are having problems with on-line registration, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
‘Curious about the Carlton’ at the T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve

Lee Ann Harling, Friends of the Carlton and certified Florida Master Naturalist, will lead a leisurely nature stroll from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m., Sunday, February 28, 2010 at Venice’s T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve. You will walk around some pine flatwoods and forested wetlands, visit a log cabin, hear and see birds, blooming flowers and several oak hammocks. We'll also learn about the surprising history of this huge Sarasota County reserve. 

The T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve (Carlton Reserve) located at 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway in Venice was purchased in the 1980's for public water supply source and for conservation/ recreation purposes.

Participants should wear comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat, and bring a light jacket, insect repellent, drinking water, binoculars (optional), camera and lunch (optional - for picnicking on your own after the walk).

To reach the reserve, drive south from Sarasota along I-75 to Exit 193 (Jacaranda Boulevard). Turn left (north) at the exit and then right again at the next intersection (Border Road). Drive 2 ½ miles to the next intersection and turn left at the Carlton Reserve’s entrance. Follow signs to parking lot. Participants can meet here.

Register on-line at www.scgov.net. Click Calendar of Events on the left. Click the 'All Events' drop down list, choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. On the bottom of each nature walk is an area that states 'Click here for registration.' Space for this walk is unlimited.

If you are having problems with on-line registration, contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask for Natural Resources.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WEDNESDAYS through May
Phillippi Farmhouse Market takes place every Wednesday from noon until dusk seasonally from November through May.  The Market features local growers, organics, plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables.  There are prepared food vendors offering entrees, soups, sandwiches, salads, crepes, and bar-b-q to either take home or eat at picnic tables in the park.  Also featured are sustainable products such as solar ovens and rain barrels as well as specialty items and Florida agricultural products.  The market is open to the public, has handicap accessibility and public restrooms.  Phillippi Farmhouse Market is located at 5500 South Tamiami Trail in Sarasota in beautiful Phillippi Estate Park.  The market is sponsored by  Friends of Sarasota County Parks, benefitting the restoration of the historic 1916 Edson Keith Farmhouse in Phillippi Estate Park.  For more information, please call 941-861-5000.