Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sarasota Nature Events for August 2011

We are pleased to offer nature events for the month of August. Still sweltering heat and the number is greatly reduced because of rain, but the quality and choices are still there!

Be sure to read the press release for specific dates, times, locations, directions and registration information.

FOR ON-LINE REGISTRATION - Go to Click Calendar of Events on the left. Click the 'All Events' drop down, choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. Scan the calendar for the event and date of your choice and click. Towards the bottom of each nature event news release is a bolded area for you to click for registration. Please supply information with an asterisks (*), which is your name, email and phone number. (Please note: Your registration information will not be shared and will be used only for contact purposes for the event of inclement weather or walk cancelation.)

Please, remember to respect our fellow participants, animals, lands and air space. To further enhance the experience at Sarasota County's environmentally sensitive lands, please help us with picking up and properly disposing of litter, respecting others experience with no cell phone usage, no pets, and please, no smoking. Thank you!

If you do not wish to receive this email, please contact me at or call 941-650-0696 to be removed. Thanks!


Sarasota County Communications | 941-861-5000 | Comcast 19/Verizon 32

Little Naturalist Field Trips for Youth Groups

“Looking for an outdoor education field trip for your summer camp, scout troop or civic club?” Then bring your youth to connect with nature in fun, creative ways at the Little Naturalist Program.

The Little Naturalist field trips are available from 9:30 – 10:30 AM, 11 AM – Noon or 1:30 – 2:30 PM on Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at Pocono Trail Preserve. Coastal habitats is the theme for these field trips. The field trips are available for toddlers through elementary-age groups. This program includes a variety of hands-on nature themed activities, a snack and story. All groups must be registered and accompanied by camp counselors, chaperones, parents and/or adult guardians.

Participants should wear comfortable weather-appropriate clothes, a jacket, walking shoes that can get wet (no flip-flops!), and bring a hat, sun screen, drinking water and camera (optional). All Sarasota County nature walks prohibit participants from smoking or bringing pets.

Directions to Pocono Trail Preserve, 189 Pocono Trail, Nokomis: From I-75 exit 195 (Laurel Road) travel west on Laurel Road. 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. The Preserve will be directly ahead and parking is available along the north road shoulder.

To register for one of the available Little Naturalist Program group field trips, please register on-line at Choose Calendar of Events on the left. Choose 'All Events' from the drop down menu, then choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. On the bottom of each Little Naturalist field trip description is an area that states ‘Register for Little Naturalist Field Trips for Youth Groups.’ Please register the name of the youth group. In the NOTES section of the registration form, please provide the age range and number of children and the number of supervising adults accompanying the group. The available time slots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Space for this program is limited to a maximum of 15 children.

For more information and details about the Little Naturalist Program summer field trips, please contact the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 and ask to speak with the Little Naturalist Program staff. To view the entire Little Naturalist Program’s summer calendar, go to Click Calendar of Events on the left. Click the 'All Events' drop down list, choose 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'.

To help us provide quality programming, we would appreciate your feedback on this program. A post-event survey will be emailed to you.


Photo Safari – Urfer Family Park

Date: 8/5/2011; Time: 9 – 11a.m. (first Friday of each month year-round)

Location: Urfer Family Park, 4000 Honore Ave. (Corner of Bee Ridge and Honore), Sarasota

Join Parks Naturalists on a leisurely two hour nature walk through Urfer Family Park. Learn tips about nature photography, and how to spot photo opportunities in a natural setting. Visit pine flatwoods, two distinctly different wetlands, and a cattle pasture with a working windmill right in the middle of town! The trail is approximately 1 1/2 miles and is relatively flat. Wear walking shoes and sun protection and bring your camera or binoculars. Don't forget to bring water!

Please contact Lynda Eppinger at 941-861-5000 or email at to register.


Calling All Early Risers! View the Perseid Meteor Shower at Red Bug Slough Preserve in the Early Morning of Saturday, August 13th

Join Environmental Specialist Jeff Weber for a very early morning viewing of the Perseid Meteor Shower at Sarasota’s Red Bug Slough Preserve from 4:30 – 6 AM on Saturday, August 13, 2011. Grab a cup of coffee and bring an old blanket or a folding chair to enjoy one of nature’s night sky spectaculars. Viewing will be at its peak on this date during this time period, when participants can expect to see up to 30 shooting stars per hour!

Red Bug Slough Preserve is one of many natural areas available through the county’s environmental lands program. Come join us for a rare pre-dawn excursion as we look to the heavens and enjoy nature’s chorus of frogs and crickets and possibly even a barred owl or two.

Participants should wear long pants and comfortable walking shoes that can get wet. Be sure to bring a flashlight, an old blanket or folding lawn/lounge chair, insect repellent, and light snacks or refreshments if you’d like.

To get to Red Bug Slough Preserve at 5200 Beneva Road, Sarasota, take I -75 to Exit 205 (S.R. 72 or Clark Road). Go west on Clark Road to Beneva Road and turn right onto Beneva. Continue north on Beneva Road until you reach the preserve parking lot, located west of Beneva Road. Turn left and park in designated spaces. NOTE: Construction is currently taking place at Red Bug Slough Preserve’s entrance. Please use caution when entering, parking and exiting the Preserve.

Register on-line at Choose Calendar of Events on the left. Choose the 'All Events' drop down list, then click on 'Nature Walks' and click 'go'. On the bottom of each nature walk is an area that states 'Click here for registration.' When registering, please be sure to provide a telephone number where you can be reached between 10 PM– midnight during the evening of August 12th. Staff will need to reach you if it becomes necessary to cancel the event due to cloud cover or inclement weather. Space for this outing is limited to 30.

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

To help us provide quality programming, we would appreciate your feedback on this program. A post-event survey will be emailed to you.


Know Your ‘Niche’ Nature Walk – Phillippi Estate Park

Date: 8/16/2011; Time: 8 – 9:30 a.m. (third Tuesday of each month year-round)

Location: Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Join Sarasota County Parks Naturalist for a nature walk along the trails at Phillippi Estate Park. Stroll along the shoreline then venture into the coastal hammock to learn about mangroves, epiphytes and the effects of exotic plants on native ecosystems.

Meet at the Fishing Pier trailhead on the northeast side of the front parking lot at Phillippi Estate Park.

We recommend participants wear appropriate shoes for walking paved and uneven shell trails.

Additional recommended items to bring are camera, binoculars, bird and/or Florida field guide, water, sunscreen, and insect repellent.

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

For more information: Contact Jennifer Rogers or call the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 to register.


Discovery Kayak – Lemon Bay Park

Date: 8/26/2011; Time: Friday, 8:30 a.m. – noon

Location: Lemon Bay Park, 570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood

Join Sarasota County Parks Naturalists as they lead a casual kayak journey along the shallow waters of beautiful Lemon Bay. Learn about the coastal mangroves, seagrasses, and oyster beds in the area. Spy wading birds, explore meandering mangrove tunnels, and perhaps catch a glimpse of a manatee or dolphin in the bay waters!

The program is an "intermediate" paddle of approximately 3.5 hours in length, 2.5 miles round-trip on bay waters and mangrove tunnels, and includes an interpretative landing on the Lemon Bay Park Addition.

Pre-registration is required. Space is limited and other requirements apply.

Participants must bring their own kayak, paddle, and safety gear as required by the U.S. Coast Guard. Participants must be able to portage kayak to the kayak/canoe launch (a distance of approximately 320 feet) and down a stepped slope to the water's edge.

We recommend paddlers wear a hat, clothes and shoes that can get wet and muddy; and bring camera, binoculars, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, snacks and plenty of drinking water.

Please contact Kenya Leonard at 941-861-5000 or email at for registration.


From the UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension Office

Free Rain Barrel workshops

All workshops will be from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

2011 Dates Location

August 20 Woodmere Community Park & Recreation Center

September 17 Twin Lakes Park

October 15 Englewood Sports Complex

November 19 Twin Lakes Park

December 17 North Sarasota Library


Englewood Sports Complex, 1300 South River Road, Englewood, FL 34223

North Sarasota Library, 2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34234

Woodmere Community Park & Recreation Center, 3951 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice, FL 34293

Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34241

Sarasota County Environmental Services will sell rain barrels after the class for $37

each, including tax. Payment may be made by check or cash (exact change only).

Online registration required. Please register at

For questions regarding registration, please call the UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension Office at 941.861.9900.

An Equal Opportunity Institution. Extension Service, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Millie Ferrer-Chancy, Interim Director.


August Extension Education Class Schedule





August 4

2 pm

Native Shrubs for the Landscape

Shamrock Park

August 10

10 am

Incentives for Home Energy Improvements

Twin Lakes Park

August 10

1 pm

Rodent and Mole Management

Twin Lakes Park

August 17

10 am

Green Cleaning at Home

Twin Lakes Park

August 17

1 pm

Life on a Popcorn Senna: Its Insect World

Twin Lakes Park

August 18

2 pm

Partnering with Pollinators

Shamrock Park

August 20

10 am

Vegetable Gardening 101

Twin Lakes Park

August 20

10 am

Rain Barrel Workshop

Woodmere Park

August 24

1 pm

Introduction to Insects and Mites

Twin Lakes Park

August 24

4 pm

Irrigation 101

Twin Lakes Park

August 31

1 pm

Red Imported Fire Ants

Twin Lakes Park

Registration is required. For class description and online registration: Click on Events Calendar or call 941.861.5000 for assistance.

North Port Library: 13800 S. Tamiami Trail, North Port

North Sarasota Library: 2801 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota

Twin Lakes Park: 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota

Shamrock Park: 3900 W. Shamrock Drive, Venice

Warm Mineral Springs: 12200 San Servando Avenue, North Port

Extension programs are open to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, age, disability, religion or national origin. All Extension Service events comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations, please inform the contact person for each event at least 72 hours prior to the event date.


Thank you to our volunteer and staff guides!