Events and Activities Guide - Winter/Spring

Page 1

COMMISSION FOR ACCREDITATIONOF PARKAND RECRE ATION AGENCIES CAPR A AC CR EDITED Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES GUIDE
2023-June 2024
December

Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources

GENERAL INFORMATION

SARASOTA COUNTY COMMISSION

Michael A. Moran

District 1 Commissioner, Vice Chair

Mark Smith

District 2 Commissioner

Neil Rainford

District 3 Commissioner

Joe Neunder

District 4 Commissioner

Ron Cutsinger

District 5 Commissioner, Chair

Jonathan Lewis

County Administrator

ENVIRONMENTALLY SENSITIVE LANDS OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE (ESLOC)

Rhonda Deems Jono Miller, Chair

Shana Hamel Tina Powell

Alyn Kay Bill Samuels

Helen King Divya Puthanveetil

Raymond Loraine Wendy Ying

PARKS ADVISORY AND RECREATION COUNCIL (PARC)

John Hinshaw Matt Scarbrough

Celeste Jameson Elsie Souza

Jono Miller Michelle Stanley, Chair

Les Nichols Brett Thomas

Larry Prohs

PARKS, RECREATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES (PRNR) MANAGEMENT TEAM

Nicole Rissler, Director

Kim Heuberger, Senior Manager, Park Development, Planning and Maintenance

Shawn Yeager, Senior Manager, Parks, Programming and Stewardship

Scott Moranda, Beaches and Water Access Manager

Shelia Roberson, Business Operations Manager

Frank Moritz, Maintenance Services Manager

Tony Clements, Natural Areas and Trails Manager

Kimber Bereiter, Parks Planning and Development Manager

Lauren Kabrick, Recreation and Neighborhood Parks Manager

Ed Exner, Interim Sports Development and Athletics Manager

PRNR ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES

Sarasota County Administration Center

1660 Ringling Blvd., 5th floor, Sarasota, FL 34236

311 I SarasotaCountyParks.com I facebook.com/SRQCountyGov

MISSION

To provide clean, safe and inclusive parks with diverse opportunities for all.

VISION

A dynamic parks system that is essential to quality of life and enriches our community through participation, connection and diverse recreational opportunities.

VALUES

Stewardship, Preservation, Innovation, Respect, Inclusivity, Teamwork, Sustainability, Health and Wellness

ADA COMPLIANCE POLICY

Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs and activities. View the complete policy at scgov.net (keywords ADA compliance). Persons with disabilities who require assistance or alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.), or who wish to file a complaint, should contact:

Sarasota County ADA/Civil Rights Coordinator

1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34236

Phone: 311; TTY 7-1-1 or 1-800-955-8771

Email: adacoordinator@scgov.net

CREDIT AND DEBIT CARDS

Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources accepts major credit and debit cards (MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover) for payment of programs and services. The charge will appear on your statement as “Sarasota County Parks and Recreation.”

REFUNDS

Rental refund requests must be made in writing and submitted to Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources prior to 30 days before the date of the reservation. Each refund request is subject to a $25 administrative fee. No refunds will be granted if the request is received fewer than 30 days prior to the reservation date. Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources may reschedule the reservation if adverse environmental conditions occur, including local advisory for a tornado, hurricane watch or warning, imminent flood warning or red tide. Refund requests due to inclement weather that do not result in warnings/watches will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some programs may not allow refunds or may not allow refunds after a certain date; refer to specific program information. There is a $25 administration fee for program refunds where applicable. Programs whose total cost is less than $25 are not eligible for a refund. There are no refunds on passes.

DOG PARKS AND DOG-FRIENDLY PARKS

A dog park is a park for dogs to exercise and play off-leash under their owner’s supervision. At a dog-friendly park, dog owners can enjoy walking their dogs in designated areas, but they must be on a maximum 6-foot hand-held leash. For a list of Sarasota County dog parks and dog-friendly parks, visit scgov.net (keywords dog park)

2 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

WELCOME FROM THE DIRECTOR

Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources invites you to explore more than 55,000 acres that make up our park system. From diverse natural areas to unique sporting venues, there are safe places for people of all ages and abilities to play, learn and grow. From pickleball to nature walks to signature events like the annual Fire Fest, we hope you will find the right event for you.

This Events and Activities Guide is organized into three parts: Recreation and Athletics, Beaches and Water Access and Natural Areas and Trails. Each area has a wide range of events and activities where you and your family can reconnect with nature, stay healthy, make new friends or just relax. Our playgrounds, beaches, trails, natural areas, athletic facilities, recreation centers and water access parks provide Sarasota County residents and visitors a broad range of opportunities to stay healthy and active.

Please enjoy the many events and activities that the Sarasota County park system has to offer.

Should any events and activities listed within this guide need to be cancelled or changed, updates will be provided on the Events and Activities Guide page at SarasotaCountyParks.com.

Our recreation and community centers are available to rent for your next event. With rental spaces both inside and out, we can accommodate everything from a small private party to a business expo, sports tournament, wedding reception or a concert seating for up to 900 guests. To view and request reservations at all our reservable facilities, including this pavilion shown in the photo above, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 941-861-7275 (PARK).

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OUR PARKS?

Your feedback is valuable to us!

Visit surveymonkey.com/r/Z795MLM to take a survey to let us know how we’re doing. This survey should take about five minutes or less to complete.

JOIN OUR INCREDIBLE VOLUNTEERS

There are many opportunities to volunteer with Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources. You are invited to connect with others in our community for a good cause!

To find the right opportunity for you, visit scgov.net/volunteer.

1 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
RISSLER Siesta Beach Pavilion

ABOUT THIS EVENTS GUIDE

Want to get active?

Enjoy running on the beach?

Want to walk in nature?

Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources has the right activities for you! Check out all we have to offer and join in on the fun.

To help you find your favorite things to do, this guide is divided into three parts:

1) Recreation and Athletics

2) Beaches and Water Access

3) Natural Areas and Trails

Tables of Contents by activity, park and location are provided on the following pages.

This guide is published twice a year and is posted online at SarasotaCountyParks.com. We welcome your comments and suggestions. Email us at parksonline@scgov.net, or contact the Sarasota County Contact Center at 311.

Trails-Equestrian

2 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. COMMS I N O A C DT TON PAR ND EC T O AG NCE CAPR A ACCREDITED Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES GUIDE December 2023-June 2024
AT-A-GLANCE SYMBOLS AT-A-GLANCE SYMBOLS
Shop
Bait
Viewing
Ramp Camping
Launch
Garden
Stand/Restaurant Dog-friendly (Leash Required)
Park
Pier
Center
Equipment (Outdoor)
Resource
Rental
Center
Shelter/Pavilion
Building
Facility
Range
Baseball Field Basketball Beach Access Bicycling Birding/Wildlife
Boat
Canoe/Kayak
Community
Concession
Dog
Fishing Fishing
Fitness
Fitness
Gymnasium Historical/Cultural
Horseshoes Indoor
Lifeguard Nature
Pickleball Picnic
Picnicking Playground Recreation
Restrooms Rowing
Shooting
Field
Soccer Field Softball
Swimming Tennis Trailhead (The Legacy Trail)
Trails-Paved Trails-Unpaved Volleyball
3 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. CONTENTS TABLE OF CONTENTS BY ACTIVITIES At-A-Glance Activities 4 TABLE OF CONTENTS BY TYPE OF PARK Recreation and Athletics ................................................................................................................. 8-33 Beaches and Water Access .......................................................................................................... 34-40 Natural Areas and Trails 41-61 DIVISION INTRODUCTIONS Recreation and Athletics 8 Beaches and Water Access ................................................................................................................. 40 Natural Areas and Trails 41 ATHLETIC LEAGUES Contacts 9 LOOKING FOR A SUMMER JOB? JOIN OUR TEAM! You will gain valuable experience working with campers and creating a safe, fun and engaging environment that gets kids excited to learn and play! Camp staff positions include: counselors, substitute or specialty counselors, assistant supervisor and camp supervisor! Applicants must be age 16 and up. For more information, call 311.

AT-A-GLANCE

4 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
ACTIVITIES 35 36 37 34 32 22 33 30 31 20 21 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Park Number Park Page Number Baseball/Softball Basketball Bicycling Birding/Wildlife Viewing Camping Canoeing/Kayaking Concession/Restaurant Fishing/Fishing Pier Fitness Equipment (Outdoor) Horseshoes Pickleball Playground Soccer Tennis Trails-Equestrian Trails-Paved Trails-Unpaved Volleyball Trailhead (The Legacy Trail) Bee Ridge Park 1 10 • • • • • Carlton Reserve 2 44 • • • • • • • Colonial Oaks Park 3 11 • • • • Curry Creek Preserve 4 46 • • • Deer Prairie Creek Preserve 47 • • • • • • Englewood Sports Complex 6 14 • • • • • • • • Knight Trail Park 7 17 • • Laurel Park 8 18 • • • • • • • • Lemon Bay Park 48 • • • • • Longwood Park 11 19 • • • • • Manasota Beach Park 11 36 • • • • Manasota Scrub Preserve 12 50 • • Nathan Benderson Park 13 22 • • • • • • • Newtown Estates Park 14 23 • • • • • • • Nokomis Beach Park 15 36 • • • • • Nokomis Community Park 16 24 • • • • • • • • • • North Brohard Park 17 37 • • • North Jetty Park 18 37 • • • • • Old Miakka Preserve 51 • • • Phillippi Estate Park 25 • • • • • • Pinecraft Park 52 • • • • • • • Pocono Trail Preserve 52 • • • Potter Park 27 • • • • • • Red Bug Slough Preserve 54 • • • • • Scherer Thaxton Preserve 55 • • • • • Shamrock Park 56 • • • • • • • • Siesta Beach 38 • • • • • • • Sleeping Turtles Preserve North 57 • • • • • South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve 58 • • Ted Sperling Park at South Lido Beach 39 • • • • The Legacy Trail 59 • • Turtle Beach Campground/ Turtle Beach Park 40 • • • • • Urfer Family Park 61 • • • • • • Venice Beach 40 • • • Venice Community Center 28 Venice Train Depot 31 • Woodmere Park 32 • • • • • • • • 19 10 9 5

PARK LOCATOR MAP

KEY

#

Natural Areas

Municipality

Sarasota County

Park number

* This map does not include all Sarasota County parks. To learn about all of our great parks, go to SarasotaCountyParks.com.

SIGNATURE EVENTS

6 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. NAME LOCATION DATE PAGE North Jetty Park Food Truck Rally North Jetty Park Dec. 1, Jan. 5 37 Phillippi Farmhouse Market Phillippi Estate Park Dec. 6-April 24 25 Winter Arts and Crafts Show Venice Community Center Dec. 9 28 47th Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run Siesta Beach Dec. 9 36 Drop and Shop Nathan Benderson Park Dec. 10 22 Breakfast with Santa Laurel Park, Newtown Estates Park Dec. 16 18, 23 Winter Break Camps Colonial Oaks Park, Woodmere Park Dec. 26-29, Jan. 2-5 12, 18 Surrey Rides on The Legacy Trail Laurel Park Jan. 9-April 10 18 35th annual Gulf Coast Games for Life Multiple locations Jan. 9-Feb. 3 11 Community Garage Sale Woodmere Park Jan. 13 33 Winter Craft Show Englewood Sports Complex Jan. 20 16 Sunrise Beach Walks South Lido, Siesta, Nokomis beaches Feb. 1-March 28 36, 38, 39 Brown Bag Concerts Phillippi Estate Park Feb. 1-March 28 26 Fire Fest T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve Feb. 3 44 Say ‘I Do’ Again Nokomis Beach, Siesta Beach Feb. 14 36, 38 Community Garage Sale Englewood Sports Complex Feb. 17 16 2024 Summer Kick-Off Youth Activity Fair Phillippi Estate Park March 2 26 Beach University Siesta Beach March 7, 14, 21, 28 39 Spring Break Camps Colonial Oaks Park, Woodmere Park March 8-15 32 Spring Craft Show Englewood Sports Complex March 16 16 FSRA Sculling Nathan Benderson Park April 12-14 22 Big Truck Day CoolToday Park April 27 33 FSRA Sweeps Nathan Benderson Park April 27-29 22 Summer Camp Programs Multiple locations June-August 10, 12, 18, 19, 24 Kids' Summer Beach Runs North Brohard Park, Siesta Beach June 5-July 31 37, 39 USRowing Youth National Championships Nathan Benderson Park June 6-9 22

INDOOR PICKLEBALL

Colonial Oaks Park

5300 Colonial Oaks Blvd., Sarasota • Two courts (August-May)

Open Play – Monday and Wednesday, 1-3 p.m.

Englewood Sports Complex

1300 S. River Road, Englewood • Six courts (Year-round)

Beginners: Monday, noon to 2 p.m.; Thursday, 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Intermediate: Tuesday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.;

Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Advanced: Monday, 2-4 p.m.;

Tuesday, 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Laurel Park

509 Collins Road, Laurel • Two courts (August-May)

Open Play: Monday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to noon

Longwood Park

6050 Longwood Run Blvd., Sarasota • Two courts (August-May)

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10 a.m. to noon

Newtown Estates Park

2800 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota • Four courts (August-May)

Times TBD

Woodmere Park

3951 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice • Two courts (August-May)

Monday and Wednesday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

OUTDOOR PICKLEBALL

Bypass

Colonial

5300

Englewood

Fruitville

Laurel

Longwood

Newtown

Nokomis

7 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. 1 For more information and registration, visit scgov.net/parks, or call 941-861-5000.
Park/Foxworthy
Campus
Blvd.,
1101 Gulf Coast
Venice • 10 courts (*Four)
Park
Oaks
Colonial Oaks Blvd., Sarasota
• *Two courts
Sports Complex
River Road, Englewood
1300 S.
• 12 courts
Richardson Road, Sarasota
courts
Park 5151
• *Four
Park 509 Collins Road, Nokomis • *Four courts
Park
6050 Longwood Run Blvd., Sarasota • Six courts
Estates Park
2800 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota • *Four courts
Community Park
Nippino Trail, Nokomis • *Four courts
Park 1251 Pinebrook Road, Venice • *Two courts Pompano Trailhead 601 S. Pompano Ave., Sarasota • 12 courts Siesta Beach 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key • Six courts Twin Lakes Park 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota • *Four courts Woodmere Park 3951 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice • *Four courts Try your hand at PICKLEBALL PICKLEBALL PUNCH PASSES THE FASTEST GROWING SPORT IN AMERICA! For more information, call 311 or visit SarasotaCountyParks.com Sold and accepted at all Sarasota County indoor pickleball sites. 10 plays for $25 25 plays for $62.50 Daily drop-in fees are currently $3. *Effective starting January 2024 *Nontraditional - dual purpose pickleball/ tennis. May need to bring your own net. Dates and times subject to change. Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at scgov.net (keywords ADA compliance) Coming 2024 Extended sessions of indoor play!
234 E.
Pinebrook/Wellfield

RECREATION AND ATHLETICS

Introduction

T-REC PROGRAMS

Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources provides a variety of recreational opportunities throughout Sarasota County. Residents and visitors may enjoy attending one of the many special events throughout the year, such as the 47th annual Sandy Claws Beach Run at Siesta Beach, 35th annual Gulf Coast Games for Life (Senior Games) and Big Truck Day at CoolToday Park.

The county also offers Summer in the Parks, a 9-week program offering a fun and safe summer. Summer programs include Day Camp for elementary age campers, Adventure Camp for middle school ages, and many specialty camps that serve youth up to age 16. We also offer a Counselor in Training program for ages 14-16.

Those looking for recreational programming more convenient to home may enjoy exercise classes, pickleball programs, community gardens, live music, community garage sales, volleyball, table tennis, basketball, tennis and more located at the 9 recreation centers, 2 nature centers and 4 specialty facilities throughout Sarasota County. There are also specialty parks that offer shows, concerts, target shooting and historical tours.

In addition, the county’s athletic opportunities range from traditional sports such as baseball, football, softball and soccer, which are offered in more than 100 leagues, to sports like BMX, croquet, swimming and rowing, which are offered at world-class sporting facilities including Nathan Benderson Park, Sarasota BMX, Selby Aquatic Center and Sarasota County Croquet Club courts. Travel ball tournaments are also held at county facilities year-round as well as the athletic leagues’ training, tryouts and league championship tournaments.

Sarasota County is proud to offer sporting activities for all ages from youth to senior league programs. Working with Visit Sarasota County, there are several sporting events for everyone to enjoy throughout the county on an annual basis.

We invite you to come take part in all Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources has to offer!

The T-REC program of Sarasota County is comprised of multiple community agencies and volunteer groups working together to provide year-round recreational opportunities for teens and adults with disabilities. For more information about T-REC, please call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net. Become a member today. Membership is free.

HAPPY HEARTS

Year-round, second Saturday, 1-3 p.m.

Ages: 16 and up

Fee: Free

Nokomis Community Park, Main Hall

For details, email Stephanie at sbartlett475@gmail.com

FOREVER FRIENDS

Year-round, third Saturday, 1-3 p.m.

Ages: 10 and up

Fee: Free

Colonial Oaks Park, Room A

For details, call Denise at 941-228-7880, email ForeverFriendsInc@yahoo.com or visit foreverfriendsinc.org.

HEARTS

UP FOR IDD FUN NIGHT

Year-round, Fourth Friday, 6-8 p.m.

Ages: 16 and up

Fee: Free

Nokomis Community Park, Main Hall

For details, email Gena at heartsupforIDD@gmail.com.

T-REC HOLIDAY PARTY

Friday, Dec. 15, 4-5:30 p.m.

Ages: 13 and up

Fee: Free

Laurel Park, Room A/B

For details, call 941-486-2595.

T-REC SOCIAL CLUB

Jan. 26 and April 19, 5-7 p.m.

Ages: 13 and up

Fee: Free

George Mullen Activity Center, North Port

For details, call 941-429-PARK.

T-REC VALENTINE'S PARTY

Thursday, Feb. 15, 5-7 p.m.

Ages: 13 and up

Fee: Free

Nokomis Community Park, Main Hall

For details, call 941-486-2595.

T-REC KARAOKE NIGHT

Thursday, March 7, 5-6:30 p.m.

Fee: Free

Colonial Oaks Park, Room A

Ages: 13 and up

For details, call 941-486-2595.

T-REC Prom

Friday, May 17, 6-8 p.m.

Ages: 16 and up

Fee: Free

Phillippi Estate Park, Mansion

Advance registration is required. Call 941-861-7275.

8 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

ATHLETIC LEAGUES

NORTH COUNTY LEAGUES

BASEBALL

For all athletic league and athletic field use inquiries, please contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

Sarasota County Youth Baseball (aka Cal Ripken) calripkensarasota.com

Central Sarasota Little League info@srqlittleleague.com

Sarasota Babe Ruth League sarasotababeruth.com

BMX

Sarasota BMX sarasotabmx.com • srqbmx1974@gmail.com

FOOTBALL

Sarasota Hurricanes stacy.sanders18@yahoo.com

Sarasota Seminoles sarasotaathletics.com

Suncoast Sports Club, Inc. (flag football) Sweeks111@verizon.net

Sun Devils (football and cheerleading) sarasotasundevils.us

LACROSSE

Gulf Coast Lacrosse gulfcoastlax.srq@gmail.com

Lax Mainiax Lacrosse trey.burlingame@laxmaniax.com

Ripcurl Lacrosse contact@ripcurllacrosse.org

Sarasota Seahawks Lacrosse info@seahawkslacrosse.com

SOCCER

FC Sarasota Soccer League (youth) mmixon@fcsarasota.com

Lakewood Ranch FC lakewoodranchfc.org

DME Sarasota LLC dmeacademysarasota.com

Sarasota Football Club (adult) daverhodes1954@outlook.com

Suncoast Soccer (youth) info@mysuncoastsoccer.com

Suncoast Sports Club, Inc. suncoastsportsclub.com

SOFTBALL

17th Street Softball (Sunday league) 17thstreetsoftball@gmail.com

Church Softball League (adult) spetsios@verizon.net

Miss Sarasota Softball misssarasotasoftball.org

Sarasota Coed Softball (adult) coedball.com • coedballbeeridge@gmail.com

Sarasota Senior Softball Association sarasotaseniorsoftball.org

SoCo Club Sport (softball, soccer, kickball) info@sococlub.com

SOUTH COUNTY LEAGUES

BASEBALL

Englewood Area Youth Baseball englewoodareayouthbaseball.com

Venice Little League venicelittleleague.org

CROQUET

Sarasota County Croquet Club sarasotacountycroquet.com

FOOTBALL AND CHEERLEADING

Venice Vikings Pop Warner Football venicevikings.com

LACROSSE

Sarasota Seahawks Lacrosse info@seahawkslacrosse.com

SOCCER

Englewood Youth Soccer englewoodrays@outlook.com

Venice Area Youth Soccer venicesoccer.org

SOFTBALL

Englewood Senior Softball League ed8508@comcast.net

Venice 70+ League johnanjos0311@gmail.com

Miss Englewood Fast Pitch missenglewoodsoftball.com

Miss Venice Fast Pitch Softball missvenicefastpitch.com

Englewood Senior Women’s Legends League seniorwomenslegendsleaguesoftball.org

Venice Senior Gold burden441@yahoo.com

Venice Senior Silver veniceseniorsoftball.webs.com

9 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

BEE RIDGE PARK

4430 S. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota

Also features: sand volleyball. This park offers outdoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

THE RIDGE TEEN CENTER

School year / Ages: 12-17 / Fee: Free / Multiple locations / Monday-Friday, 2:30-7:30 p.m. and every other Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Ridge Teen Center provides a safe and supervised space where teens can engage in recreation, learning and fun. Teens will have the option of focusing on youth empowerment and well-being with activities such as tutoring, art projects, games and movies! Membership is required to enjoy The Ridge. Membership is free; parent must be present during registration.

COED SAND VOLLEYBALL

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: Contact league / Sand volleyball courts / Dates and times vary

For play opportunities, cost and schedule, contact league representatives at 954-589-2180 or email info@sococlubsport.com.

COED SOFTBALL LEAGUE

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: Varies / Softball fields / Sunday-Tuesday, 7-10 p.m.

Contact league representatives at coedballbeeridge@gmail.com for opportunities, cost and schedule.

COMMUNITY GARDENS IN PARKS

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up (under 18 must have adult supervision) / Garden / Daily, sunrise-sunset

Community gardens provide a place for individuals to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs. Gardeners can improve their families’ health and nutrition while reducing food costs. Community gardens also benefit the neighborhoods where they are located by utilizing open space and promoting a sense of community pride. For a $25 membership fee, gardeners receive a garden plot, basic gardening tools, soil testing, compost and water. If you are interested in reserving a plot in one of our community gardens, contact UF/IFAS Extension at Twin Lakes Park or call 941-861-7275.

SAND VOLLEYBALL

Year-round / Ages: 10 and up / Fee: Free / Sand volleyball courts / Daily, 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Open play on five lighted courts. For details, call 941-861-PARK (7275).

SUMMER ADVENTURE CAMP

June-August / Ages: Entering sixth-eighth grade / All rooms / Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The 2024 Summer Camp Guide includes more information about county camps. For more information, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com.

For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

10
AND ATHLETICS
RECREATION
Bee Ridge Park 4430 S. Lockwood Ridge Road, Sarasota Designed for youth ages 12-17, where teens can engage in recreation, learning and fun. To nd out more, email parksonline@scgov.net. FREE AFTER SCHOOL DROP-IN TEEN CENTER Weekdays 2:30-7:30 p.m. Select Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

COLONIAL OAKS PARK

5300 Colonial Oaks Blvd., Sarasota

Also features: community orchard, Little Free Library. This park offers indoor and outdoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

COMMUNITY ORCHARD

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Free / Community orchard / Daily during park hours, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Park patrons can visit the orchard located here to see which types of fruit trees can flourish in Florida. To schedule a guided group tour of the orchard, please contact UF/IFAS Extension at 941-861-7275 or sarasota@ifas.ufl.edu. In addition, visit https://ufsarasotaext. eventbrite.com to check for classes and events related to fruits, vegetables and other gardening topics.

COMPETITIVE CHEER

Year-round / Ages: 4-6 (6:30-7:15 p.m.) / Ages: 7-9 (7:15-8 p.m.) / Ages: 10+ (8-8:45 p.m.) / Room A / Mondays

Celebrating 35 years and over 150 locations nationwide! Champions in Motion is a low-cost competitive cheer program that focuses on the fundamentals of cheerleading. Great for all skill levels. For more details, please visit CIMUSA.com.

FOREVER FRIENDS FUN DAYS (T-REC)

Year-round / Ages: 10 and up / Fee: Free / Room A / Third Saturday, 1-3 p.m.

Join the volunteers of Forever Friends for an afternoon of fun, inspiration and activities. These events vary and may include music, crafts, snacks, games, special visitors and more. All individuals ages 10 and up with special needs are invited to this free event. Family and caregivers are also welcome. For details, call Denise at 941-228-7880.

ICAN BASKETBALL YOUTH LEAGUE

Year-round / Ages: 5-15 / Fee: Varies / Gymnasium / Mondays, Fridays, Saturdays / Call for dates and times

For more details and information please contact ICan Basketball at 727-365-2741.

SARASOTA TABLE TENNIS CLUB

Year-round / Ages: 7 and up (Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult) / Fee: $7 per day, $35 per month, $45 per two months / Gymnasium / Mondays and Wednesdays, 7-10 p.m., Saturdays, 2-5 p.m.

For details, call Heber Mercado at 787-327-2550 or email sarasotatabletennis@gmail.com.

SUNCOAST SANDFLEAS UKULELE CLUB

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: Free / Room A / First Sunday, 2-4 p.m.

The Sandfleas is a group of amateur musicians of all levels who get together to play ukuleles, mostly, and sing songs of all eras from Tin Pan Alley to the 70s. The group works primarily out of the two songbooks from the Daily Ukulele series and takes a social break in the middle so people can get acquainted. For more information, go to meetup.com and search for suncoastsandfleasukuleleclub.

The Gulf Coast Games for Life (Senior Games) is a multi-sport event program open to all amateur athletes ages 50 and older. These games are a local qualifier leading to the Florida Senior Games held annually in December.

16 events to choose from:

5K Road Race

Archery

Bag Toss (Corn Hole)

Basketball Shooting Bowling Cycling Golf Pickleball Register

Race Walk/Power Walk

Racquetball

Shuffleboard

Swimming

Table Tennis

Target Shooting

Track

11 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
Annual Gulf Coast Games
Life Jan.
35th
for
9-Feb. 3
online at SarasotaCountyParks.com
Paddle
Rowing and
and
information, call 941-861-PARK (7275).
Field For

COLONIAL OAKS PARK (continued)

5300 Colonial Oaks Blvd., Sarasota

ACTIVITIES

ACE PICKLEBALL CLASS

December-May / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: Varies / Gymnasium / Call for dates and times

Pickleball is a racquet sport that combines elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis using solid paddles made of wood or composite materials to hit a perforated polymer ball, similar to a wiffle ball, over a net. Students will learn the rules and procedure for how to play the fastest growing sport in America! All you need to bring is yourself and a bottle of water. Paddles and pickleballs will be provided. T-shirts, shorts and sneakers are your best bet for added comfort. For more information, contact ACE (Adult and Community Enrichment) at 941-361-6590 or go to ace-sarasota.com.

DRAMA KIDS (HOME SCHOOL CLASS)

December-May / Ages: 5-11 / Fee: Registration: $25, Tuition: $70 monthly / Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to noon

Children can explore the world of creative dramatics with classes designed to build verbal communication skills, acting ability and selfesteem. Our program ends in a staged performance. For details, call 941-922-8121, email dramakidsSRQ@gmail.com, or visit dramakids.com/fl1.

DRAMA KIDS JUNIOR ACTING ACADEMY CLASS

December-May / Ages 8-13 / Fee: Registration: $25, Tuition: $70 monthly / Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m.

The Acting Academy is for upper-elementary/middle-school students and will focus on ensemble work, spontaneity and creativity. All of our lessons include vocal warm-ups, physicalization and characterization. Our main lessons include a variety of both improvisational and scripted work. Our program ends in a staged performance. For details, call 941-922-8121, email dramakidsSRQ@gmail.com, or visit dramakids.com/fl.

PB&J PICKLEBALL TOURNAMENTS AND CLINICS

December-May / All ages / Fee: Varies / Gymnasium / Call for dates and times

Tournaments and clinics for beginner to advanced players are available multiple times throughout the year. Tournaments allow you to have a blast at the super fun, fast paced, round robin style, total points wins tournaments! No partner needed as you rotate partners and opponents all morning long. Clinics include the "Tell, Demonstrate, Do, Apply" format. Education, demonstration, practice drills and game play implementation with analysis verbally and video analysis as needed. I like to teach you so you can teach yourself! For details, call or text Julie Stewart at 941-726-0707 or email juliecdstewart@gmail.com.

SOCCER SHOTS

December-May / Ages: 2-5 / Fee: Varies / Sunday mornings

Fun, age-appropriate intro to soccer classes for children ages 2-5. Classes focus on soccer skills and coordination development (age 2); skill development and character development in a noncompetitive environment (ages 3-5). Parent participation is required for age 2 groups. For details, call 727-308-1200 or visit sarasota@soccershots.org.

TAI CHI AND QIGONG IN THE PARK

December-May / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: $10 per class / Room A / Saturdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m. and 10:45-11:45 a.m.

Tai Chi and Qigong are ancient mind-body practices to help maintain or regain health, relieve stress and increase strength, flexibility, mind focus, clarity and creativity. Tai Chi is one of the most frequently recommended practices to increase balance. For details, contact Gail at 941-685-9050, or email gailpettit47@gmail.com.

INDOOR PICKLEBALL

January-May / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: $3 (Passes available) / Gymnasium

For information, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com. All sessions require online registration. For more details, call 941-861-7275.

WINTER BREAK CAMP

Dec. 26-Jan. 5 (no camp Jan. 1) / Ages: K-fifth grade / Fee: $25 per day or $200 for eight full days / Camp rooms / Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This program offers fun, recreational and instructional activities with daily themes for children during the school break. No camp on Jan. 1. Registration is required. Register at SarasotaCountyParks.com. For details, call 941-861-PARK (7275).

For

information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

12
RECREATION
ATHLETICS
more
AND

COLONIAL OAKS PARK (continued)

5300 Colonial Oaks Blvd., Sarasota

SPRING BREAK CAMP

March 8-15 / Ages: K-fifth grade / Fee: $150 for six full days or $25 per day / Camp rooms / Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Fun recreational and instructional activities with daily themes. Registration is required. Registration is available at SarasotaCountyParks.com. For details, call 941-861-PARK (7275).

SUMMER DAY CAMP

June-August / Ages: Entering first-fifth grade / All rooms / Mondays-Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The 2024 Summer Camp Guide includes more information about county camps. For more information, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com.

SUNCOAST BASKETBALL CLUB CAMPS AND CLINICS

Year-round / Ages: 5-14 / Fee: Varies / Gymnasium / Days: Varies / Check website for dates and times

For details and information on upcoming basketball programs, please visit the website: www.suncoastbasketballclub.com.

T-REC KARAOKE NIGHT

March 7 / Room A / Ages: 13 and up / Fee: Free / Thursday, 5-6:30 p.m.

Join your T-REC Friends for an evening of music, singing and fun! For details, call 941-486-2595.

13 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
JOIN
You will gain valuable experience working with campers and creating a safe, fun and engaging environment that gets kids excited to learn and play! Camp staff positions include: counselors, substitute or specialty counselors, assistant supervisor and camp supervisor! Applicants must be age 16 and up. For more information, call 311.
Spring Break Camp
LOOKING FOR A SUMMER JOB?
OUR TEAM!

ENGLEWOOD SPORTS COMPLEX

1300 S. River Road, Englewood

Also features: Little Free Library. This park offers indoor and outdoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

BOOGIE CHAIR BY LAURENTZ

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: Varies / Location varies / Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9-10 a.m.

Join this new upper body and leg workout class that utilizes 1-2 pound weights. For more information, call 941-237-8983 or check out lalitenors410@gmail.com.

CIRCL MOBILITY

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: Varies / Gymnasium / Days and times vary

You will unlock your body's potential through flexibility, breath work, and mobility exercises. Contact instructor Laurentz Vogel more details 941-237-8983 or by email litenors410@gmail.com

DROP-IN BASKETBALL

Year-round / All ages / Fee: $3 / Gymnasium / Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3-5 p.m.

Join us for some indoor basketball fun at our gym! Just $3 per person to enter during drop-in hours. Basketballs are available for use.

DROP-IN PICKLEBALL

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: $3 (Passes available) / Gymnasium / Mondays, 12-2 p.m. Beginner / Mondays, 2-4 p.m. Advanced / Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m. to12:30 p.m. Intermediate / Tuesdays, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Advanced / Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Intermediate / Thursdays, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Beginner

For more information, call 941-861-7275 or visit SarasotaCountyParks.com. All sessions require registration.

THE LEGACY TRAIL

The Legacy Trail is one of the most popular recreational trails in Sarasota County and now offers more than 30 miles of access! Thousands of walkers, joggers and cyclists use these trails every month to exercise, commute, connect to their community and experience nature. View a list of trailheads by scanning the QR code or by visiting SarasotaCountyParks.com.

For

registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

14
RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
more information and

ENGLEWOOD SPORTS COMPLEX (continued)

1300 S. River Road, Englewood

DYNAMIC WALKING FITNESS

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: $5 per class, $40 for eight classes / Gymnasium / Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Join this adult fitness class that mixes walking with unique techniques and a variety of exercises incorporating cardio, balance, flexibility, coordination, core and upper body strength. Contact instructor Dyan Beyer for more details at 941-626-2399.

GLOBAL CARAVAN BELLY DANCE

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fees: $75 for 6 week session / Activity Room / Mondays, 6-8:15 p.m.

A dance of the soul, a dance to connect to each other, a moving meditation. A dance that unites all cultures. Spiraling through the body, a dance that feels good on all bodies of all ages. For more information contact Instructor Steph Johns at johns-stephanie@outlook.com

SUPERKIDS MARTIAL ARTS

Year-round / Ages: 5 and up / Fee: Varies / Conference Room / Mondays-Thursdays, 6-8 p.m.

Call or text “Info Kit” to instructor Derrick Maretti at 941-258-7254 to get your child(ren) registered for this martial arts program for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

TABLE TENNIS

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: $3 (Passes available) / Activity Room / Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9-11 a.m.

All sessions are open to all skill levels. Loaner equipment is available. For more information, call 941-861-7275.

VOLLEYBALL

Year-round / Ages: 18 and under/ Fees: Varies/ Gymnasium / Monday and Thursday 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Jellys Volleyball is a girls youth Indoor and Sand Volleyball Club practices in Venice and Englewood FL. We offer Indoor competitive travel volleyball for girls ages 8U-18U and sand volleyball training for the same age group. We have 4 practice locations between the Venice and Englewood areas; practices run a few times per week from November through June. For more information about our Volleyball Club Coach's Charlene and Kevin 941-284-1075kkrause77@verizon. net or visit Jellys Volleyball www.jellysvolleyball.com

YOGA CLASS

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: $5 / Conference Room / Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9-10 a.m.

This Hatha Yoga class is open to all levels and will explore posture, breathing and alignment. Create physical and mental strength and increase your range of motion, flexibility and stamina. Learn to deal with stress, release tension and relax. To register, contact instructor Denise Manguse at 941-475-1180.

ZUMBA FITNESS

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fees: Vary / Gymnasium / Days and times vary

A total workout, combining all elements of fitness. For more information contact the instructor Laurentz Vogel at lalitenors410@gmail.com or call 941-237-8983.

DRAMA KIDS ACTING ACADEMY CLASS

December-May / Ages: 10-17 / Fee: Registration: $25, Tuition: $70 month / Activity Room / Mondays, 5-6 p.m. (Fifth to twelfth grade)

This Acting Academy is for middle through high school students and will focus on ensemble work, spontaneity and creativity. All of our lessons include vocal warm-ups, physicalization and characterization. Our main lessons include a variety of improvisational, scripted and monologue work. Our program ends in a staged performance.

EVENTS

SPECIAL OLYMPICS

Special Olympics Florida provides year-round sports training and competition to children and adults ages 8 and older in Sarasota County with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Please contact Special Olympics Florida at 352-243-9536 or visit Specialolympicsflorida.org for more information on participation, coaching or volunteering.

Sarasota Special Olympics Sport Offerings

Basketball, Bocce, Cycling, Equestrian, Soccer, Track and Field

JANUARY - MAY / Various locations

Bowling, Standup Paddleboard, Swimming MAY - AUGUST / Various locations

Special Olympics has volunteer opportunities available. This is a chance to give back and an opportunity to share your skills and knowledge. Please visit scgov.net (keyword volunteers) for more information.

15 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS

ENGLEWOOD SPORTS COMPLEX (continued)

1300 S. River Road, Englewood

EVENTS

HOLIDAY CRAFT SHOW

Dec. 2 / All ages / Fee: Free / Gymnasium, Conference and Activity Rooms / Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Shop for that special holiday gift at the tenth annual Holiday Craft Show with a variety of local artists and crafters located inside the main building. Over 120 vendor tables. Free admission and parking for shoppers.

WINTER CRAFT SHOW

Jan. 20 / All ages / Fee: Free / Gymnasium, Conference and Activity Rooms / Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Find a gift at the tenth annual Winter Craft Show with a variety of local artists and crafts. Over 120 indoor vendor tables. Free admission and parking for shoppers.

COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE

Feb. 17 / All ages / Fee: $15 indoor space, $10 outdoor space; free admission for shoppers / Gymnasium and outside parking lot / Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The tenth annual Community Garage Sale will have indoor and outdoor booth spaces for vendors. Cost is $15 for an indoor booth, with table and chairs, and outdoor space is $10 (vendor must provide own table outside). Indoor set up will be available from 1-5 p.m. Friday before the sale. Spaces assigned on first come, first serve basis. Registration will open at 9 a.m. on Nov. 7. For more details, call 941-861-7275.

SPRING CRAFT SHOW

March 16 / All ages / Fee: Free / Gymnasium, Conference and Activity Rooms / Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Find a gift at the annual Spring Craft Show with a variety of local artists and crafters. Over 120 indoor vendor tables. Free admission and parking for shoppers.

SPRING CARNIVAL

March 30 / Ages: 12 and under / Fee: Free with registration / Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Join us for our third annual Spring Carnival. There will be carnival games and prizes, arts and crafts, a photo op with the Easter Bunny and fun for all! Registration is required. Please call 941-PARK (7275) for more information.

16 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
Winter Craft Show Community Garage Sale

KNIGHT TRAIL PARK

3445 Rustic Road, Nokomis

Also features: youth group camping. This park offers outdoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

CAMPING

Year-round / Ages: Youth / Fee: $2 per person (minimum group size of six) / Primitive campgrounds / Availability varies

Primitive tent camping available at designated campground. Restrooms available for campers. Camping is available to non-profit, 501(c)(3) organizations that serve youth. For more information, including fees, schedule and camp rules, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com. For reservations, call 941-861-PARK (7275).

LEKATCHKA ARCHERY CLUB

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Varies / Archery range / Member hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. / Public hours: second and fourth Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Lekatchka Archery Club is a 50-acre family archery range located at Knight Trail Park. For more information, visit lekatchkaarchers.com or email LekatchkaArchery@yahoo.com.

OUTDOOR PISTOL AND RIFLE RANGE

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Adults $13.11 per day and youth (under 18) $9 (Fees are subject to change.) / Public pistol/rifle range / Wednesdays-Sundays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Range distances:

7 yards – Handgun calibers only

12 yards – Handgun calibers only

25 yards – Handguns, rifles and shotguns (slugs only in shotguns)

50 yards – Handguns, rifles and shotguns (slugs only in shotguns)

100 yards – Rifles and shotguns (slugs only in shotguns)

Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Adults other than parents/guardians who are accompanying minors to the range must have a signed FWC release form for each visit. For more information, including range rules and minor release forms, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com

TRAP, SKEET AND CLAY RANGE

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Varies / Trap, Skeet and Clay Range / Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sarasota Trap, Skeet and Clay Range is located at Knight Trail Park and includes four trap fields, three skeet fields and two clay courses. The range is home to the Scholastic Clay Target Program, which is designed to get school-aged boys and girls involved in shooting sports. For more information, visit sarasotatrapskeetandclays.com or call 941-861-7275.

NATHAN BENDERSON PARK OFFERS YEAR-ROUND RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL AGES

• Running/biking trail encircling the picturesque 400-acre lake

• A full calendar of championship events, community causes and more

• Indoor and outdoor space rentals for meetings, events and celebrations

• Picnic areas and children's playground

• Dog-friendly (leash required) Visit NathanBendersonPark.org or call 941-358-7275 for more information. See more events on page 20.

17 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS

LAUREL

PARK AND SANDRA SIMS TERRY COMMUNITY CENTER, 509 Collins Road, Nokomis

Also features: Little Free Library, open area playing field. This park offers indoor and outdoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks. com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

INDOOR PICKLEBALL

December-March / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: $3 (Passes available) / Gymnasium / Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to noon

All sessions require online registration. For more information, call 941-486-2753 or visit SarasotaCountyParks.com

DROP-IN VOLLEYBALL

December-March / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: $3 / Gymnasium / Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. to noon

Join us for this recreational drop-in volleyball program. Open to all skill levels. For details, call 941-486-2753.

DRAMA KIDS

December-May / Ages: 10-16 / Registration: $25; Tuition: $70 per month / Rooms A and B / Wednesdays, 5-6 p.m.

Children can explore the world of creative dramatics with classes designed to build verbal communication skills, acting abilities and self-esteem. For details, call Jessica and Andrew at 941-922-8121, visit dramakids.com/fl1 or email dramakidsSRQ@gmail.com.

SURREY RIDES ON THE LEGACY TRAIL

Jan. 9-April 10 / Ages: 5 and up / Fee: Free / Community Center / Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon

Ride the surrey with the fringe on top! Join The Friends of The Legacy Trail on a 45-minute guided tour of the history, plants and wildlife of The Legacy Trail! Pre-registration is required.

SUMMER DAY CAMP

June-August / Ages: Entering first to fifth grade / Community Center / Mondays-Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The 2024 Summer Camp Guide includes more information about this and other county camps. For more information, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com

EVENTS

T-REC HOLIDAY PARTY

Dec. 15 / Ages: 13 and up / Fee: Free / Room A/B / Friday, 4-5:30 p.m.

All individuals with disabilities and caregivers are invited to come join us for holiday themed crafts, snacks, games, music and fun. For more information, please call 941-486-2595.

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Dec. 16 / Ages: 12 and under / Fee: Free / Gymnasium / Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon

Santa is coming to Laurel Park! Enjoy listening to Christmas music, games and arts and crafts as you dine on pancakes, sausage, hot cocoa and orange juice. There will be photo opportunities with Santa. Don’t forget to write your letter to Santa and give it to the big guy in person! Space is limited. Registration is required. For details, call 941-861-7275 or visit SarasotaCountyParks.com.

18 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com
311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
or call
ACCESS TO
Breakfast with Santa

LONGWOOD PARK

6050 Longwood Run Blvd., Sarasota

Also features: Miracle League Baseball Field. This park offers indoor and outdoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

UNIVERSITY TAI CHI CLUB

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: $50 per month; $75 per couple; $6 per class (First month trial option) / Room B / Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6-7 p.m.

Traditional Yang Style Tai Chi is a slow-movement, internal martial art form that focuses on balance, energy, relaxation and breath control. For details, call 941-350-7282 or email info@universitytaichi.com. Sifu Richard Cummings has been teaching at the park for 20 seasons now.

GULF COAST CLOGGERS

December-March / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: $10 per month / Room B / Wednesdays, 3:30-5:30 p.m.

American clogging is a dance form that began in the Appalachian Mountains, but is now popular throughout the world. All levels welcome. For details, call 941-920-1922 or email cloggingpope@aol.com.

ACE PICKLEBALL CLASS

December-May / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: Varies / Gymnasium / Call for dates and times

All you need to bring is yourself and a bottle of water. Paddles and pickleballs will be provided. For more information, contact ACE (Adult and Community Enrichment) at 941-361-6590 or go to ace-sarasota.com.

INDOOR PICKLEBALL

December-May / Ages: 16 and up / Fee: $3 (Passes available) / Gymnasium / Open play on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to noon

Open to all skill levels. Must register for all sessions. For details, call 941-316-1383.

MENS BASKETBALL LEAGUES

December-May (Multiple sessions) / Ages: 40+ on Mondays, 50+ on Thursdays / Fee: $85 per session plus $75 uniform fee (one time) / Gymnasium / Mondays and Thursdays, times vary

Four-on-four basketball leagues. Equipment, team uniforms and certified referees provided. For details, contact Dennis Bunker at 941-704-8838 or dennisrbunker@aol.com.

MIRACLE LEAGUE OF MANASOTA

March-May / All ages / Miracle League field / Saturday, times vary

This baseball league is for individuals with special needs and all ability levels. For details, call 941-544-4653 or visit miracleleaguemanasota.org

DRAMA KIDS COMBINED-AGE CLASS

December-May / Ages: 5-11 (K-fifth grade) / Fee: Registration is $25, Tuition is $70 per month / Fridays, 5-6 p.m.

Children can explore the world of creative dramatics with classes designed to build verbal communication skills, acting abilities and self-esteem. Our program ends in a staged performance. For details, call Tamara at 941-922-8121 or visit dramakids.com/fl1.

DRAMA KIDS ACTING ACADEMY CLASS JR.

December-May / Ages: 11-13 (Sixth to eighth grade ) / Fee: Registration is $25, Tuition is $70/month / Fridays, 6:05-7:05 p.m.

This Junior Acting Academy is for middle school students and will focus on ensemble work, spontaneity and creativity. All lessons include vocal warm-ups, physicalization and characterization. Our main lessons include a variety of both improvisational and scripted work. Our program ends in a staged performance. For details, call Tamara at 941-922-8121 or visit dramakids.com/fl1

DRAMA KIDS ACTING ACADEMY CLASS SR.

December-May / Ages: 14-18 (Sixth to eighth grade) / Fee: Registration is $25, Tuition is $70/month / Fridays, 6:05-7:05 p.m.

In our Senior Acting Academy our high schoolers will delve into acting techniques that help the more advanced actor with focus, connection and characterization. Our main lessons include partner work, small group improvisational scenes, scripted scenes and monologues. Our program ends in a staged performance. For details, call Tamara at 941-922-8121 or visit dramakids.com/fl1

SUMMER DAY CAMP

June-August / Ages: Entering first-fifth grade / All rooms / Mondays-Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The 2024 Summer Camp Guide includes more information about county camps. For more information, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com.

FUN WITH WATERCOLOR

Class dates vary / Ages: 16 and up / Fee: $150 for 4 hour sessions / Room B / Varying Thursdays

This class is a paint along with the instructor with demonstration for all artistic adults. Consisting of a variety of subjects and techniques. Bring a lunch. For details, call Carolyn at 941-366-2866.

19 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
20 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS With rental spaces both inside and out, we can accommodate everything from a small private party to a business expo, a sports tournament or a wedding reception. View facilities and request reservations at SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 941-861-PARK (7275). RENTAL FACILITIES AT SARASOTA COUNTY PARKS RENTALS AND TOURS Kayaks and paddleboards are available for rent. Explore on your own or through a scheduled guided tour. The best part? No need to worry about transporting a kayak or paddleboard around. Vendors will meet you on-site. For more information, visit scgov.net (keywords: commercial recreation). Experience the natural beauty and pristine waterways in Sarasota County. TED SPERLING NATURE PARK 190 Taft Drive, Sarasota Longwood Park H e l p m a k e a d i f f e r e n c e ! H e l p m a k e a d i f f e r e n c e ! 941-861-2973 D i d y o u k n o w t h a t t h e T o b a c c o F r e e P a r t n e r s h i p , a c o m m u n i t yb a s e d g r o u p , h e l p e d m a k e o u r p a r k s a n d b e a c h e s s m o k e f r e e ? C o m e t o t h e n e x t m e e t i n g ! Meeting Location: The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County 2200 Ringling Blvd Sarasota, FL 34237 Call 941-8612973 for more information!
RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at scgov.net (keywords ADA compliance)
HEARTLAND ROCK

NATHAN BENDERSON PARK

5851 Nathan Benderson Circle, Sarasota

This park and event center offers indoor and outdoor reservable space. To reserve space or equipment, visit NathanBendersonPark.org, contact info@nathanbendersonpark.org or call 941-358-7275.

ACTIVITIES

COMMUNITY ROWING PROGRAM

Year-round / Ages: 18 and older / Regatta Island / Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, 7-8:30 a.m.

Masters team rowing allows rowers to develop competitive and recreational skills under the tutelage of a coach.

FITNESS CLASSES

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Varies / Location, days and times vary

Throughout the year, Camp Gladiator, Zumba and Yoga classes are offered by outside vendors and held at Nathan Benderson Park. For all the latest additions and offerings, visit nathanbendersonpark.org.

LEARN TO ROW: 101 AND PRIVATE LESSONS

Year-round / Ages: 12 and older / Fee: Varies / Regatta Island / Days and times vary

Learn to Row 101 focuses on the fundamentals of sculling (rowing with two oars). Participants will be taken step-by-step through nomenclature, safety maneuvers and independent boat-handling skills. The eight-hour course, spread over two days, will provide you with the skill set to safely row a single scull. Private lessons can be booked for participants that have completed a Learn to Row course or are experienced rowers. For details, call 941-358-7275 or email programs@ nathanbendersonpark.org.

PADDLING: 101 AND TEAM

Year-round / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Varies / Regatta Island / Days and times vary

TEAM BUILDING

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Varies / Location, days and times vary

Let Nathan Benderson Park lead your team-building event. Whether your group is corporate, family, youths or adults, we can tailor the experience to the specific needs of your group. Call 941-358-7275 or email programs@nathanbendersonpark.org for more information.

EVENTS

DROP AND SHOP

Dec. 10 / Kindergarten-fifth grade / Fee: $25/child (Sibling discount available) / Finish tower, 2nd floor / Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Provide parents an opportunity to have a little time for themselves while giving their children the opportunity to interact with other children in a safe environment. Event to be filled with holiday themed activities, a scavenger hunt, dancing, lunch and more. Pizza lunch provided. Preregistration is required at SarasotaCountyParks.com.

USA SWIMMING OPEN WATER NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

May 3-5 / Regatta Island and competition lake

Open water swimming offers the purest form of racing, where athletes are racing against their fellow competitors and not the clock. Race strategies, along with the conditions, are constantly changing, making adaptability a key skill. The event features swims of distances of 5K, 7.5K, 10K and 25K.

USROWING YOUTH NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

June 6-9 / Fee: Free / Regatta Island and competition lake / Thursday-Sunday

Watch as the nation's best youth rowers race for championship titles.

UPCOMING

EVENTS AT

USRowing Olympic Trials | April 2-7

FSRA Sculling Championship | April 12-14

BIG 10 Invitational | April 18-20

FSRA Sweeps Championship | April 27-29

USA Swimming Open Water National Championship | May 3-5

USRowing Southeast Youth Championships | May 9-12

USRowing Youth Nationals | June 6 - June 9

22 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
Learn the fundamentals of paddling. Participants can expect to get the basic strokes as well as on-the-water experience in dragon boats and outrigger canoes. Paddling 101 is the prerequisite for joining our community teams, which have recreational and competitive tracks for community members, veterans and breast cancer survivors. For details, call 941-358-7275 or email programs@nathanbendersonpark.org. NATHAN BENDERSON
PARK
FIRA Championships | March 29-30

NEWTOWN ESTATES PARK

2800 Newtown Blvd., Sarasota

Also features: Little Free Library, weight room. This park offers indoor and outdoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM

December-May / Ages: Elementary and middle school / Fee: Free / Multiple rooms / Mondays-Fridays, after school through 6 p.m.

Children who attend will enjoy art and literacy programs, indoor and outdoor team sports, homework help as well as access to game and computer rooms. For information, call the Boys and Girls Club at 941-358-2878.

SARASOTA PICKLEBALL CLUB

December-May / Ages: 16 and up / Fee: $3 for members, $5 for non-members /Gymnasium / Mondays, 9 a.m. to noon

Join Sarasota Pickleball Club for indoor pickleball play! All are welcome to join. For more information call (215) 622-1113.

WEIGHT ROOM

December-May / Ages: 16 and up / Weight Room / MondayFriday, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Weight room available for use; must sign in at front desk to use.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB SUMMER CAMP

June-July (Closed the week of July 4) / Ages: 5-18 / Various rooms / Mondays-Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Children will participate in a variety of activities including arts and crafts, athletic games, board games, reading and so much more. Breakfast, lunch and snacks are provided. Must attend mandatory parent orientation. For details, call the Boys and Girls Club at 941-358-2878.

EVENTS

BREAKFAST WITH SANTA

Dec. 16 / Ages: 12 and under / Fee: Free / Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon

Santa is coming to Newtown Estates Park! Enjoy listening to Christmas music, games and arts and crafts as you dine on breakfast. There will be photo opportunities with Santa. Space is limited. Registration is required. For details, call 941-861-7275 or visit SarasotaCountyParks.com.

23 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
Breakfast with Santa

NOKOMIS COMMUNITY PARK

234 Nippino Trail E., Nokomis

ACTIVITIES

Also features: covered outdoor stage, fitness equipment (outdoor). This park offers indoor and outdoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

EVENTS

T-REC VALENTINE'S PARTY

Feb. 15 / Main Hall / Ages: 13 and up / Fee: Free / Thursday, 5-7 p.m.

All individuals with disabilities and caregivers are invited to join your T-REC Friends for a night of holiday themed crafts, snacks, games and fun. For more information, call 941-486-2595.

HISTORIC NOKOMIS DAY

ALL FAITHS BANK MOBILE FOOD DISTRIBUTION

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: Free / Front parking lot / 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month, 9-10:30 a.m.

The mobile pantry truck brings fresh and non-perishable food directly to Nokomis Community Park where families can select items to take home. For more information, visit allfaithsfoodbank.org/foodfinder or call 941-379-6333.

HAPPY HEARTS FUN DAYS (T-REC)

Year-round / Ages: 16 and up / Fee: Free / Main Hall / Second Saturday, 1-3 p.m.

Inspiration, encouragement and fun for teens and adults with disabilities in a faith-based, nondenominational setting. Families and caregivers are welcome. Monthly meetings include fellowship, crafts, refreshments, praise, worship and fun activities. For details, email Stephanie at sbartlett475@gmail.com.

HEARTS UP FOR IDD FUN NIGHTS (T-REC)

Year-round / Ages: 16 and up / Fee: Free / Main Hall, Fourth Friday, 6-8 p.m.

Join the volunteers of Hearts Up for IDD for a monthly fun night. Activities will vary each month and may include dances, bingo, picnics, crafts and more. For details, email Gena at heartsupforIDD@gmail.com.

SUMMER ADVENTURE CAMP

June-August / Ages: Entering sixth-eighth grade / Fee: $707 / All rooms / Mondays-Fridays, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The 2024 Summer Camp Guide includes more information about county camps. For more information, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com.

Feb. 18 / All ages / Fee: Free / Community Center / Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Come see the Classic Car Show, along with local historical presentations. Food trucks and music by DJ Harry Wright. For more information, please call 941-586-8301 or visit naca-nokomis.com.

NOKOMIS COMMUNITY CLEAN-UP

Feb. 24 / All ages / Fee: Free / South parking lot / Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon

Bring your discarded household items, yard waste, tree trimmings, and other garbage. Televisions, electronics, computers, tires (<25/16), and large appliances and white goods will be accepted at this site only. No hazardous materials. Items such as paint, oil, gas, auto parts, aerosol cans will not be accepted at any site. Sponsored by Sarasota County Planning and Development Services/Code Enforcement. For more information, please call 941-861-7275.

UNLEASH THE FUN AT OUR OFF-LEASH DOG PARKS!

Bay

Brohard Paw

Lakeview Park

Woodmere Park

Questions? Call 941-861-PARK (7275).

For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

24
RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
ACCESS TO
St., Sarasota
17 Street Park 4570 17th
Street Park 300 Bay St., Osprey
Park - Beach 1850 S. Harbor Drive, Venice
7255 Hand Road, Sarasota
3951 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice

PHILLIPPI ESTATE PARK

5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota

Also features: gazebo, Little Free Library. This scenic heritage/nature park showcases the Historic Edson Keith Mansion and Historic Keith Farmhouse. For indoor and outdoor reservable space, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

PHILLIPPI FARMHOUSE MARKET

Dec. 6-April 24 / All ages / Fee: Free / Estate grounds / Wednesdays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sarasota’s only midweek farmers market occurs every Wednesday during October through April. The Farmhouse Market features local fresh produce, including USDA-certified organic produce, food trucks, prepared foods, artisans with crafts and live music. There is ample parking and leashed pets are welcome. Join in the fun and support local agriculture. For details, call 941-316-1309.

GUIDED HISTORIC EDSON KEITH MANSION TOUR

Dec. 6-April 24 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Edson Keith Mansion / Wednesdays, 10 a.m.

Take a trip through the past with a guided tour of Edson Keith Mansion. The Italian Renaissance mansion was built in 1916 as a private residence and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Guided tour with docent begins promptly at 10 a.m. One tour only. Tour limited to first 20 guests. For details, call 941-316-1309.

BROWN BAG CONCERTS

Feb. 1-March 28 / All ages / Fee: Free / Gazebo / Thursdays, noon to 1 p.m.

The Brown Bag Concert series begins the first Thursday in February and continues to the last Thursday in March. New local musicians will be playing this year. Bring your lawn chair and lunch, relax and enjoy wonderful music in a delightful park setting!

HOST YOUR NEXT EVENT AT PHILLIPPI ESTATE PARK, A SCENIC, 60-ACRE PARK ON THE SHORES OF PHILLIPPI CREEK.

• The historic and classic Edson Keith Mansion hosts weddings, fundraising events, corporate events, luncheons and awards banquets.

• The gazebo is perfect for children’s birthday parties, small weddings, family reunions and memorial services. The gazebo can be rented by itself or along with a large open area for larger festivals, concerts and parties.

• Outdoor rental space is available at the front of the park, and offers ample space for large fundraising gatherings, festivals and arts and crafts shows, with separate parking available on the south field of the park.

For more information, please call the Phillippi Estate Park office at 941-316-1309.

25 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS

PHILLIPPI ESTATE PARK (continued)

EVENTS

PHILLIPPI ARTS IN THE PARKQUICK DRAW CONTEST

Dec. 2 / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: $20 / Estate grounds / Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Grab your paints! Everyone can paint at Phillippi Farmhouse Market Quick Draw. Registration required. For more information, visit lightchasersinc.com.

AFTERNOONS AT THE MANSION

Jan. 14, Feb. 11 and March 10 / Ages: Adults / Fee: $25 / Edson Keith Mansion / Sunday, 2-4 p.m.

Sunday, Jan. 14

The Second Mrs. Ringling, presented by Ellen Brosnahan

Sunday, Feb. 11

Land of Selby Gardens, presented by David John Turner

Sunday, March 10

The Chicago Colony, presented by John F. McCarthy

Light refreshments included at each event. Register by calling 941-861-7275 or visit SarasotaCountyParks.com. For more information, call 941-316-1309.

T-REC PROM

May 17 / Ages 16 and up / Fee: Free / Mansion / Friday, 6-8 p.m.

Join your T-REC friends and dress up for Prom. This evening of dancing and fun is open to all teens and adults with disabilities, families and caregivers are welcome to attend. Advance registration is required, call 941-861-7275.

MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT

May 27 / All ages / Fee: Free / Gazebo / Monday, 5 p.m. Sarasota Concert Band presents its annual Memorial Day Concert. Bring your lawn chair. Food and beverage vendors will be available. For details, call 941-364-2263.

26 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota
SUMMER 2024 KICK-OFF YOUTH ACTIVITY FAIR March 2 / All ages / Fee: Free / Front field / Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
all of the resources you need to plan for your family's summer. There will be vendors, food trucks, demonstrations, inflatable games, entertainment, fun and more. For more information, call 941-861-7275. Saturday, March 2 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Phillippi Estate Park 5500 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota • Free swag • Inflatable games • Vendor booths • Demonstrations • Entertainment • Food trucks Gather all of the resources you need to plan for your family’s summer. Summer 2024 Kick-Of FREE!
Gather
Afternoons at the Mansion

SELBY AQUATIC CENTER AT POTTER PARK

8587 Potter Park Drive, Sarasota

The Selby Aquatic Center is operated by the non-profit Sarasota Sharks, Inc. The center consists of a 50-meter, Olympic-size pool and a 25-meter warm-up pool. Contact 941-260-9107 or contact@sarasotasharks.org.

ACTIVITIES

OPEN SWIM

Year-round / Ages: 18 and up / Fee: $70 per month, $7 drop-in / Selby Aquatic Center / Mondays-Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. / Contact kweyant@sarasotasharks.org

SYNCHRO TEAM

Year-round / Ages: 6-18 / Prices vary by level / Selby Aquatic Center

Synchronized swimming is a hybrid of swimming, gymnastics and dance. It involves strength, endurance, flexibility, grace and artistry. The swimmers perform choreographed routines to music. There are several competitive levels of synchronized swimming. Contact 941-260-9107 or kweyant@sarasotasharks.org for more information.

JUNIOR SHARKS

Session 2: Jan. 22-May 3 / Session 3: May 6-Aug. 2 / Fee: $380 per session

The Junior Sharks is a session-based group for athletes that are new to the sport and/or are working toward learning how to swim all four competitive strokes. In the Junior Sharks group, we will provide more intensive, curriculum-based teaching of the skills needed to be successful in competitive swimming. Our goal is to progress athletes into competitive swimming and ensure a great experience for all the athletes. For more info, contact kweyant@sarasotasharks.org.

SWIMFIT

Session 2: Jan. 22-May 3 / Session 3: May 6-Aug. 2 /

Ages: 11-15 / Fee: $380 per session / Selby Aquatic Center / Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, 6-7 p.m.

The Sarasota Sharks Swim team is excited to announce that we are adding a recreational swimming group titled SwimFit. The SwimFit group is for middle school aged children (fifth-eighth grade) who are looking for a recreational or part-time swimming option. SwimFit provides a positive and fun swimming experience for those looking to develop their strokes and skills, while also improving their physical

fitness with a less stringent commitment level than the competitive team. All of the SwimFit practice groups allow for progress in the water for those balancing several sports and activities, as well as for those looking for a way to maintain good physical fitness. Swimming is beneficial to both a child’s physical health and wellness, but it is also a vehicle by which the child learns valuable life lessons and skills that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Contact kweyant@sarasotasharks.org for more information.

INFLATABLE OBSTACLE COURSE RENTALS

$500 for one two-hour time from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (During operating hours) / $750 for one two-hour time from 1:30-3:30 p.m. (Private)

SARASOTA SHARKS AT SELBY AQUATIC CENTER

The Sarasota Sharks are a Gold Medal Club and home of USA Tokyo Olympian and Silver Medalist, Emma Weyant, Team USA Olympic Assistant Coach, Brent Arckey, Canadian Olympian, World Champion, and World Record holder, Summer McIntosh and 11 USA Olympic Trial qualifiers.

SWIM TEAM EVALUATIONS

(By appointment only.)

The Sarasota Sharks offer age-specific training for all of our athletes geared toward challenging each individual and developing them to reach their full potential. Sarasota Sharks also puts a special emphasis on the team. Swimmers learn how to become great teammates and help each other become their best resulting in sometimes lifelong friendships. Sarasota Sharks training and swim groups are designed for swimmers of all ages and abilities. From athletes that only swim a few times a week to the elite swimmer with Olympic aspirations, our experienced coaching staff welcomes all swimmers with open arms! For additional information head to sarasotasharks.org to book a placement swim. Placement swims take place on Wednesdays.

SARASOTA SHARKS SWIM SCHOOL

The Sarasota Sharks have been developing swimmers in Sarasota since 1961. Trust the experience and commitment to excellence in the Sarasota Sharks Swim School. We offer small groups and one-on-one lessons year-round with a focus on water safety through stroke development and technique. For more information about the Sarasota Sharks Swim School, please contact Kristi at kweyant@sarasotasharks.org

TEAM RENTALS

The Selby Aquatic Center is available for college and visiting club teams for winter break, spring break and summer break training. For more information and availability please email Kristi at kweyant@sarasotasharks.org

27 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS

VENICE COMMUNITY CENTER

326 S. Nokomis Ave., Venice

Facility rental opportunities include a ballroom with a large stage, professional-grade theatrical lighting and sound, a commercial kitchen, nine meeting rooms and ample parking. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-1380.

ACTIVITIES

NOVA REPUBLICAN CLUB

Year-round / Room A / Fee: Free / Ages: Adult / Third Tuesday of the month, 6-9 p.m.

To attract members into and involve them in the Republican party and subsequently provide them with a practical means of participation, leadership training and political involvement at all levels of government.

ORCHID SOCIETY MEETINGS

Year-round / Ages: Adult / Fee: Varies / First Monday of each month, 7-10 p.m.

Everything you ever wanted to know about orchids is discussed at these monthly meetings. Beginner orchid fans welcome. For details, call 941-497-4995.

SOUTH SARASOTA REPUBLICAN CLUB

Year-round / Ages: Adult / Fee: Varies / Room A / Second Wednesday of the month, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Sarasota Republican Club is a proactive group that sponsors events and dinner meetings to promote constitutionally-based conservative principles of government while seeking to support candidates who represent those principles.

TAI CHI FOR HEALTH

Year-round / Ages: Adult / Fee: Contact instructor / Tuesdays, 10:30-11:30 a.m.

Tai Chi for Health is taught by certified instructor Nancy Dellamura. Improve balance, increase flexibility, lower your blood pressure, increase bone density, strengthen joints and boost brain function. Practiced at a slow to moderate speed, Tai Chi integrates the body, mind and spirit, promoting health, fitness and relaxation. Tai Chi is low impact and especially beneficial to individuals with arthritis. For details, call 941-492-2167 or email NDellamura@aol.com.

VENICE FLORIDA CORVETTES MEETINGS

Year-round / Ages: Adult / Fee: Varies / First Tuesday, 6-8 p.m.

Join fellow Corvette enthusiasts the first Tuesday of every month. For details, call 908-400-7296.

BALLROOM DANCE CLASSES

5 week class starting Nov. 5 / Ages: Adults / 6:30 p.m. Advance; 7:30 Beginners/Intermediate

Learn to dance Waltz, Foxtrot, Swing, Cha Cha, Rumba and more with Marilyn & Vito Carcioppolo. For information call 941-496-9692 or thecarcioppolos@hotmail.com.

VENICE SAILING SQUADRON MONTHLY MEETINGS

January-April / Ages: Adult / Fee: Varies / Second Wednesday, 6:30-9 p.m.

The Venice Sailing Squadron meets the second Wednesday of every month, January through April. For details, call 303-840-2029.

AARP FREE TAX PREPARATION

Jan. 22-April 15 / All ages / Fee: Free / Mondays and Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Free tax preparation assistance for all ages. No appointments, first come, first serve. Please bring last year’s taxes with you.

EVENTS

WINTER ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW

Dec. 9 / Ages: All / Fee: Free / Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

If you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift, look no more. Check out the over 75+ vendors offering unique, handmade crafts. Food concession on site and free parking!

OLDIES DANCE WITH KIM JENKINS

Dec. 16, March 16, April 13 / 6-9 p.m. / Ages: Adult

Dance the night away to some of the greatest hits. For more info go to www.KimJenkinsMusic.com or call 941-276-6194.

SARASOTA INSTITUTE OF LIFETIME LEARNING (SILL) LECTURE SERIES

Jan. 9-March 29 / Ages: Adult / Tuesdays, 2 p.m., Fridays, 9:30 a.m.

Lecturers from around the world discuss global issues, both foreign and domestic.

ANTIQUE SHOWS

Jan. 13 and 14 / Ages: Adults / Fee: $7 (with ad $6) / Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Find the best antiques all under one roof. Furniture, collectibles, jewelry, artwork and much more. For more info, call 239-877-2830.

or call 311.

28 For more information and registration,
RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
visit SarasotaCountyParks.com

VENICE COMMUNITY CENTER (continued)

326 S. Nokomis Ave., Venice

GUN AND KNIFE SHOW

Jan. 20 and 21, Feb. 17 and 18, May 4 and 5 / Fee: $10 / All ages / Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information visit floridagunexpo.com. All federal, state and local firearm ordinances and laws must be obeyed.

VENICE AREA ORCHID SHOW

Feb. 3 and 4 / All ages / Fee: Free / Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Thousands of blooming orchids in 20 artistic displays. Plants, supplies and orchid art from 15 premier vendors presented by the Venice Area Orchid Society. Visit vaos.org for information.

EXTREME WRESTLING

March 15 / Ringside tickets: $40, General admission: $25 / Saturday / Doors open: 7 p.m., Show time: 8-10 p.m.

Combine the intensity of memorable Lucha Libre feuds like Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Psicosis, Perro Aguayo vs. El Santo, Psycho Clown vs. Dr. Wagner Jr., and Ultimo Guerrero vs. Villano V with the never-say-die, fearless mentality of pro dwarf wrestling, and you have the right idea! These mini masked wrestlers live to compete in memorable matches every time they step foot into the ring.

EDWARDS TWINS PRESENTS

THE ULTIMATE VARIETY SHOW

April 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. / Ages: Adult / Fee: $30 and up

Twin brothers Anthony and Eddie Edwards are the country’s premiere celebrity illusionists! Utilizing the latest Hollywood grade make up and prosthetics as well as the fashion designers of the stars themselves the end result is a non-stop parade of stars on stage that are all at once amazing, funny and entertaining. For tickets visit TheEdwardsTwins.com or call 844-214-7469.

HOME SHOW

April 6-7 / All ages / Fee: $4 entry / Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tons of vendors with everything for your home, including hurricane shutters, kitchen cabinets, Jacuzzis, tub enclosures and lighting.

HEARTLAND ROCK (Mellencamp/Segar tribute concert)

Feb. 9, 2024

AIR MARGARITAVILLE (Jimmy Buffett tribute concert)

March 9, 2024

DAVID JERICKO (Neil Diamond tribute concert)

March 23, 2024

BRAND NEW DAY (Sting and Police tribute concert)

April 26, 2024

Show Times: 7 p.m. | Doors Open: 6 p.m.

For tickets or info, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 941-861-1380.

MEMPHIS MOTOWN SOUL EXPERIENCE

Jan. 10, 2024

BEE GEES NOW

Jan. 17, 2024

FAMOUSLY TOGETHER ELTON AND CHER

Jan. 24, 2024

7 BRIDGES: THE ULTIMATES EAGLES EXPERIENCE

Feb. 7, 2024

THE BEACH BOYS

Feb. 14, 2024

JOHN DENVER TRIBUTE STARRING JIM CURRY

Feb. 21, 2024

CHI TOWN

March 13, 2024

FLEETWOOD GOLD

March 20, 2024

ABSOLUTE QUEEN

March 27, 2024

Show Times: 7 p.m. | Doors Open: 6 p.m.

For tickets or info, visit sunevents.com or call 941-207-1038.

29 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
30 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS Be sure to follow @SRQCountyGov on Facebook for your one-stop shop to live, learn and play in Sarasota County! Stay up-to-date on all things happening county-wide and when you’re there, check out #SRQCountyParks for upcoming park events. Register online at SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 941-861-PARK (7275). Sarasota County’s trusted camp provider for more than 40 years! Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources WHEN SCHOOL’S OUT, CAMP’S IN! • Camps to fit your family’s schedule. • Summer camps that are affordable! • Camps to suit your child’s interests. RENTALS AND TOURS Kayaks and paddleboards are available for rent. Explore on your own or through a scheduled guided tour. The best part? No need to worry about transporting a kayak or paddleboard around. Vendors will meet you on-site. For more information visit SarasotaCountyParks.com Experience the natural beauty and pristine waterways in Sarasota County. TURTLE BEACH PARK

VENICE TRAIN DEPOT

AND ROLLINS W. COAKLEY RAILROAD PARK, 303 E. Venice Ave., Venice

Also features: historic railroad car. Neighboring complex of parks offer a boat ramp, playground and a canoe/kayak launch. This site offers indoor and outdoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-1380.

ACTIVITIES

VENICE TRAIN DEPOT TOURS

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Free / Lobby / Dates and times vary

The Venice Area Historical Society conducts tours of the Historic

RENTALS

The Train Depot Platform has architectural appeal with its high arches

HOST YOUR NEXT SPECIAL EVENT AT THE HISTORIC VENICE TRAIN DEPOT!

The Venice Train Depot has a variety of reservable space available including the rustic Freight Room, the Train Depot Platform overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway or the patio of an authentic railroad caboose. View facilities and request reservations at SarasotaCountyParks.com, or call 941-861-1380.

31 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS
ACCESS TO

WOODMERE PARK

3951 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice

Also features: reservable pavilion and off-leash dog park. This park offers indoor and outdoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

ALLIGATOR CREEK TRAIL

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Free / Trail / Daily, sunrise to sunset

Enjoy Woodmere Park’s newest amenity, 1.6 miles of pedestrian/ bicycle-friendly trail along Alligator Creek. This serene, nature lover’s paradise has abundant wildlife, including hawks and alligators. Bring a water bottle and take a break on a bench under a tree. For details, call 941-486-2780.

COASTAL COMMUNITY CHURCH

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Free / Sundays, 10 a.m. to noon

Join Coastal Community Church Sundays at Woodmere Park. We come from different walks of life, but are united in our pursuit of truly knowing God, both in our individual journey and in our united venture. For more information visit coastalccfl.com or call 941-493-2788.

JELLY'S VOLLEYBALL

December-April / Ages: Varies / Fee: Varies / Gym / Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5-9 p.m.

Jelly's Volleyball is a girl's youth Indoor and Sand Volleyball Club practice in Venice and Englewood. We offer indoor competitive travel volleyball for girls ages 8U-18U and sand volleyball training for the same age group. Practice runs a few times per week, NovemberJune. For more information please contact our Volleyball Club Coach Charlene and Kevin at 941-284-1075 and kkrause77@verizon.net or visit www.jellysolleyball.com.

DROP-IN BASKETBALL

December-May / All Ages / Fee: $3 (Passes available) / Gymnasium / Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Join us for some indoor basketball fun at our gym! Just $3 per person to enter during drop-in hours. Basketballs are available for use.

MCMURRAY'S FAMILY TAEKWONDO

December-May / Ages: 7 and older / Fee: $124 for one child, $187 for two children, $214 for three or more children / Gym / Mondays and Wednesdays, 5:30-7:30 p.m. / Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Taekwondo is a Korean Martial Art that translates to “The Way of the Hand and Foot.” Students learn self-defense, train stamina, flexibility, strength and endurance. Equally as important, students also learn about the moral part of Martial Arts, which is preventing fights, situational awareness for safety, training mental fortitude, courage, confidence and humility. Humility includes having courtesy, respect, and obedience for one’s parents, teachers and country. In Martial Arts, students are also trained to have the perseverance to finish what they begin, as all good things take time to achieve.

AARP TAX PREP SERVICE

Jan. 15-April 19 / Room B1 and B2 / Fee: Free / Age: 18+ Wednesday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For free and reliable tax prep service from AARP feel free to make an appointment by dropping by Woodmere Park, Wednesdays-Fridays starting Jan. 15 through the remainder of tax season. This service is open to the community.

JAZZERCISE

December-April / All ages / Fee $49 / Mondays-Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., Gym / Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30- 6:30 p.m., Room C

Jazzercise classes incorporate dance cardio with strength training to sculpt and tone your muscles in the ultimate full–body workout. For more information or any questions please contact Karen Schroll at 847-361-5810 and karen7881@gmail.com

WINTER BREAK CAMP

Dec. 26-Jan. 5 (no camp Jan. 1) / Ages: K-fifth grade / $25 per day or $200 for eight full days / Camp rooms / 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This program offers fun, recreational and instructional activities with daily themes for children during the school break. No camp on Jan. 1. Registration is required. Register at SarasotaCountyParks.com. For details, call 941-861-PARK (7275).

SPRING BREAK CAM P

March 8-15 / Ages: K-fifth grade / Fee: $150 for six full days or $25 per day / Camp rooms / Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This program offers fun, recreational and instructional activities with daily themes for children during the school break. Registration is required. Register at SarasotaCountyParks.com. For details, call 941-861-PARK (7275).

32 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. RECREATION AND ATHLETICS

WOODMERE PARK

EVENTS

COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE

Jan. 13 / All ages / Fee: Free admission for shoppers / Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Garage sale vendors must register online to rent garage sale space in advance. This event takes place rain-or-shine and there are no refunds, exchanges or transfers. To purchase booth space visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 941-861-7275.

WINTER WOODMERE BARK

Feb. 3 / All Ages / Free / Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join us for this pet-centered Saturday market, adoptions from local humane societies and pet rescues, dog training demonstrations, and safety talks from Mosquito Management. Vendors can purchase a booth on SarasotaCountyParks.com.

to noon

*Schedule subject to change.

USA BMX membership required for all programs. First day free trial, $80 for full year.

(Push Bike)

For toddlers ages 2-5

Separate smaller kids track (pump track)

Weekly

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
3951 Woodmere Park Blvd., Venice Big Truck Day April 27 Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 18800 W. Villages Parkway, Venice CoolToday Park Spring Training Home of the 2021 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS ATLANTA BRAVES! sarasotabmx.com 941-960-1578 | 1500 N. Tuttle Ave., Sarasota Private coaching with USABMX certified coaches available for all levels and ages. Check back for upcoming events Strider Program Previously hosted The Florida State Series Qualifier Sunshine State USA BMX National The UCI World Cup and World Championship A SPORT FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY. IF YOUR KIDS CAN WALK, THEY CAN RACE. Weekly races. Regular practices. Separate smaller kids track (pump track). Weekly Schedule Home Roots Group Training Monday, 6-8 p.m. USABMX Sanctioned Practice Tuesday, 6-8 p.m. Caleb 366 High Performance Training Wednesday, 6-8 p.m. USABMX Sanctioned Practice Thursday, 6-8 p.m. Friday Night Racing Friday sign-up at 6 p.m., races at 7:15 p.m. Open Practice for Members Saturday, 8-10 a.m. and noon to 2 p.m. Home Roots Beginner Program Saturday sign-up at 9:30 a.m., training at 10 a.m.

BEACHES AND WATER ACCESS Introduction

Welcome to the county’s Beaches and Water Access parks. With more than 35 miles of coastline with six lifeguarded beaches and 40 additional beaches and water accesses for motorized and non-motorized vessels, local visitors as well as those from all over the world are drawn here due to the biodiversity, beautiful vistas, fun activities and accessibility. If you’re looking for an adventure or just a place to recharge your batteries, Sarasota County Beaches and Water Access parks have it all!

Visit the world-famous Siesta Beach, the mangrove tunnels of Ted Sperling Nature Park at South Lido Beach or bring your pup to the beach at Brohard Paw Park. Our activities include beach runs and walks, food truck rallies and other special events. The 47th annual Sandy Claws Beach run will hit the sand with a 5K and 1-mile fun run, that help to support Sarasota County's Summer Camp Scholarship Fund. Renew your vows on Valentine’s Day at our Say ‘I Do’ Again event held at Nokomis and Siesta beaches. Experience the highest acceptance rate and lowest student debt, Beach University, by attending free presentations on coastal environmental ecosystems at Siesta Beach. Come out and camp next to the Gulf of Mexico at Turtle Beach Campground featuring 39 RV and tent sites with full hook-ups.

We look forward to your visit with us.

Please help preserve all natural areas by respecting wildlife and by packing out what you pack in.

We hope to see you soon!

BLUEWAYS PADDLING GUIDE

A GUIDE TO SARASOTA’S KAYAK AND CANOE TRAILS

Discover Sarasota County’s natural beauty, its unique wildlife and habitats as you explore the beautiful waterways of the county.

There are 11 area waterways to explore with suggested blueways (paddling trails) highlighted in this guide. The Sarasota Bay Trail, the Lido and South Lido Trails, the Phillippi Creek Trail, the Neville Marine Preserve Trail, the South Creek Trail, the Dona Bay/Roberts Bay Trails, the Caspersen Trail, the Lemon Bay Trail, the Myakka River/Carlton Trail and the Myakka River/Myakkahatchee Creek Trails.

Sarasota County has a diverse blend of natural areas to explore while paddling the blueways. Paddle through a mangrove forest and view the wildlife of the estuaries. Paddle along the bays, bayous, lagoons and creeks and explore the natural areas of Florida’s designated Wild and Scenic Myakka River.

To find a Blueways Paddling Guide, view the publication online at SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 941-861-PARK (7275).

34 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com
or call 311.

BEACH CONCESSIONS

GREAT EATS AT THE #1 BEACH!

Siesta Beach offers two concession locations with a full menu. Enjoy the number one beach with great eats and drinks!

NORTH JETTY GRILLE - WHERE THE INTRACOASTAL MEETS THE BEACH AT NORTH JETTY PARK

Enjoy an expansive menu filled with delectable choices including fish, burgers, salads, breakfast favorites or locally made ice cream. Cool off with a refreshing cocktail, ice cold beer, wine and sangria or a non-alcoholic option.

BITES, BASKETS AND BOOGIE BOARDS AT VENICE BEACH!

Enjoy an icy cold beverage including beer and wine or choose from a variety of awesome food and quick bites under the shady awning at the Pilot House, just steps from Venice Beach. Boogie boards, umbrellas, beach mats and more are also available!

GOOD FOOD FAST, NOT FAST FOOD AT NOKOMIS BEACH!

From the world famous Shark Tooth Tacos to the wildly popular Shark Bite Cocktail, Shark Tooth Beach Concessions is where you’ll find the most delicious beach eats and drinks! Expansive menu including burgers, Philly Cheesesteaks, golden french fries, hot dogs, breakfast hashes and locally made ice cream.

35 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

MANASOTA BEACH

8570 Manasota Key Road, Englewood

PARK

Also features: Boat ramp and outdoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

BEACH YOGA

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Donations accepted / On sand –beach access near large pavilion / Daily, varying morning times

Start your day off right with yoga on the sand! Classes held daily at Manasota Beach. For more information, call 941-313-0358 or visit yogamanasotabeach.com.

NOKOMIS BEACH PARK

100 Casey Key Road, Nokomis

Also features: Indoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

HOOP FLOW/BEACH GROOVE

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Contact instructor / On sand –beach access near large parking lot / Mondays-Sundays, Varying morning times

Hoop, dance and fitness come together in one great class. Join certified instructor Susan Ruden and Mary Cosme for this exciting class. For details, call 216-287-3977 or visit larimarstudiogallery.com

SUNRISE BEACH WALKS

Feb. 1-March 28 / Ages: Adult / Fee: $5 / Beach / Thursdays, 8-9:30 a.m.

Participate in this self-guided beach walk along our beautiful beach. Register before your one-mile minimum walk. Complete four walks and earn an event T-shirt. For details, call 941-861-7275.

EVENTS

SAY ‘I DO’ AGAIN

Feb. 14 / Ages: Adult / Fee: $15 per couple / Beach / Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Celebrate a renewal of wedding vows at sunset on beautiful Nokomis Beach. Event includes a commemorative certificate, a gift, a flower, music and light refreshments. Check-in begins at 4:30 p.m. and activities begin at 5 p.m. The nondenominational service begins promptly at 6 p.m. Register by Sunday, Feb. 11 or fee increases to $25 for day of registration. For details, call 941-861-7275.

BEACHES AND WATER ACCESS 36 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
Say 'I Do' Again

NORTH BROHARD PARK

1400 S. Harbor Drive, Venice

Also features: The Venice Fishing Pier and Sharky’s On The Pier.

ACTIVITIES

KIDS’ SUMMER BEACH RUNS

June 5-July 31 / Ages: 1-17 / Fee: Free / Venice Fishing Pier / Wednesdays, 5:30-7 p.m.

This one-mile fun run for kids is a summer favorite and a great opportunity for families to exercise together and have fun at the beach! Weekly registration begins at 5:30 p.m. with runs starting at 6:30 p.m. Kids receive a participation ribbon at each run. Complete four runs and earn a free custom T-shirt. No runs the week of July 4.

NORTH JETTY PARK

1000 S. Casey Key Road, Nokomis

DOGS LOVE BROHARD PAW PARK!

Did you know dogs can run and play leash-free on the beach at Brohard Paw Park?

Also features: This park offers outdoor reservable space. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

BEACH YOGA

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Donations accepted / On sand – beach access near large pavilion parking lot / Daily, varying morning times Visit beautiful North Jetty Park for a beach yoga class. For times and information, call 941-313-0358 or visit nokomisbeachyoga.com.

EVENTS

NORTH JETTY PARK FOOD TRUCK RALLY

Dec. 1, Jan. 5 / All ages / Free admission and parking / Fridays, 5-9 p.m.

Come out to North Jetty Park for this family-friendly event series. We’ll have fun yard games, music and of course, plenty of food trucks. For details, call 941-861-7275.

BEACHES AND WATER ACCESS 37 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
North
Park
Truck
Jetty
Food
Rally
Kids' Summer Beach Runs

SIESTA BEACH

948 Beach Road, Sarasota

Also features: sand volleyball. Relax and enjoy lunch on the Siesta Sundeck. This park offers outdoor reservable space/pavilions. Visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

BEACH YOGA

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Donations accepted / Beach / Mondays-Saturdays, 9-10:30 a.m.; Wednesdays, Sunset Exercise on one of the nation’s most beautiful beaches. Bring a towel or mat and drinking water. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday mornings - www.yogaonthebeach.com and Tuesday/Thursday mornings and Wednesday evenings - www.siestakeyyoga.net. Times adjust according to daylight savings time.

SUNRISE BEACH WALKS

Feb. 7- March 27 / Ages: Adult / Fee: $5 / Beach / Wednesdays, 8-9:30 a.m.

Participate in this self-guided beach walk along our beautiful beach. Register at the main pavilion before your one-mile minimum walk. Complete four walks and receive an event T-shirt.

EVENTS

SEAFOOD AND MUSIC FESTIVAL

Dec. 1-3 / All ages / In the park / Fee: Free / Friday, noon to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A blending of food, music and visual entertainment, affording attendees a potpourri of delectable seafood creations and delicious drinks prepared by the top restaurants in Siesta Key and Sarasota. Musical performances by local and regional musicians in a diversity of genres from rock-androll, jazz, calypso, R&B and Caribbean sounds. For details, call 941-8617275 or visit seafoodfestivals.com.

47TH ANNUAL SANDY CLAWS BEACH RUN

Dec. 9 / All ages / Siesta Beach / Fee: $25 youth, $35 adult if registered by Nov. 17 / Saturday, 8 a.m.

BEACH WHEELCHAIRS

Beach wheelchairs are available to the public at no cost, year-round, for visitor use. To check availability, or to make special arrangements after the concessionaires or lifeguards have closed for the day, please call 311

Find beach wheelchairs at the following locations:

• Lido Beach

• Manasota Beach Park

• Nokomis Beach Park

• North Jetty Park

• Siesta Beach

• Venice Beach

The 47th Annual Sandy Claws Beach Run is back on the sand for a 5K run and a 1-mile fun run. Come wearing your best costume and enjoy refreshments after the run. Early packet pick up is on Thursday, Dec. 7, 3-6 p.m. at New Balance Sarasota, Stickney Point Road. Fees increase after Nov. 17, so register early to guarantee an event T-shirt. For more information, call 941-861-7275.

SAY ‘I DO’ AGAIN

Feb. 14 / Ages: Adult / Fee: $15 per couple / Beach / Wednesday, 6 p.m.

Celebrate a renewal of wedding vows at sunset on beautiful Siesta Beach. Event includes a commemorative certificate, a gift, a flower, music on the beach and light refreshments. Check-in begins at 4:30 p.m. and activities begin at 5 p.m. The nondenominational service begins promptly at 6 p.m. Register by Sunday, Feb. 11 or fee increases to $25 for day of registration. For details, call 941-861-7275.

BEACHES AND WATER ACCESS 38 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
Siesta Beach or Venice Beach? Each location has a beach access mat, a nonslip semi-rigid and stable rollout pathway, perfect for wheelchair accessibility.
Visiting

SIESTA BEACH (continued)

948 Beach Road, Sarasota

ACTIVITIES

BEACH UNIVERSITY

March 7, 14, 21, 28 / Ages: 10 and up / Fee: Free / Main Pavilion / Thursdays, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

The Siesta Beach Ambassadors co-host Beach University, a series of environmental education seminars about our beaches and coastal ecosystems.

KIDS’ SUMMER BEACH RUNS

June 4-July 30 / Ages: 1-17 / Fee: Free / Beach / Tuesdays, 5:30-7 p.m.

This one-mile fun run for kids is a summer favorite and a great opportunity for families to exercise together and have fun at the beach! Weekly registration begins at 5:30 p.m. with runs starting at 6:30 p.m. Kids receive a participation ribbon at each run. Complete four runs and earn a free custom T-shirt. For details, call 941-861-7275. No run on the week of July 4.

CHECK OUT THESE OTHER EXCITING EVENTS:

Dec. 23 Church of the Palms Christmas Eve Eve Service

Jan. 14 Andrew Monroe Memorial 5K

March 31 Pine Shores Easter Sunrise Service

April 6 Mote’s Run for the Turtles

May 11-12 Dig the Beach Volleyball Tournament

June 1-2 SSOVA Volleyball Tournament

TED SPERLING PARK AT SOUTH LIDO BEACH

2201 Benjamin Franklin Drive, Sarasota

Also features: Bring your binoculars and hiking shoes and experience the diversity of the natural trails that are adjacent to the sandy shoreline.

ACTIVITIES

SUNRISE BEACH WALKS

Feb. 6-March 26 / Ages: Adult / Fee: $5 / Beach / Tuesdays, 8-9:30 a.m.

Participate in this self-guided beach walk along our beautiful beach. Register at the playground before your one-mile minimum walk. Complete four walks and receive an event T-shirt. For details, call 941-861-7275.

BEACHES AND WATER ACCESS 39 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
Kids' Summer Beach Runs

TURTLE BEACH PARK

8918

Also

8862

Year-round / Rates start at $56 per night

Turtle Beach Campground is Sarasota County’s premier beachfront campground on Siesta Key. From sunrise to sunset, there is nothing like camping next to the Gulf of Mexico. This boutique campground features 39 RV and tent sites with full hookups. The tree-lined campground has crushed shell padded campsites and a picnic table at each site. You are only a moment’s stroll to the beach and your own personal paradise. Camp just minutes away from Siesta Beach, one of

the premier beaches in the U.S. Take the free, open-air trolley into town and visit all that Siesta Village and other parts of the key have to offer including restaurants, recreational rentals, sightseeing and more. To protect the natural areas, no pets are allowed (except service animals). Call 941-861-CAMP (2267) or visit turtlebeachcampground.com for more information or to book online. All amenities at neighboring Turtle Beach Park are also accessible to campground guests.

VENICE BEACH

101

Also features: sand volleyball, historic pavilion, shaded concession areas, popular destination for divers looking to explore the artificial reef in the area.

ACTIVITIES

BEACH YOGA

Year-round / All ages / Fee: Donations accepted / On sand – main beach access / Daily – varying times, both morning and evening

Come out to Venice Beach yoga for a relaxing session on the sand. For times and more information, call 941-408-9642 or visit yogawithelin.us.

The Esplanade, Venice
TURTLE BEACH CAMPGROUND
Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota
CAMP AT ONE OF FLORIDA’S FINEST BEACHES!
Midnight Pass Road, Sarasota
AND WATER ACCESS 40 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com, or call 311.
features: The boat ramp at this park provides quick access to the beautiful waterways of Sarasota Bay. For more information call 311. BEACHES

NATURAL AREAS AND TRAILS Introduction

Sarasota County's Natural Areas and Trails are not only the perfect places to reconnect with nature, but they also offer an ideal backdrop to learn and gain new outdoor skills, to get fit or simply relax and enjoy nature in all of its splendor. With more than 55,000 acres of managed natural areas, the opportunities are endless. Specialized nature walks address a wide range of interests, including plant and animal identification, coastal landscapes, birding, habitat management and even off-road bike rides! Natural Areas and Trails also provide an excellent place for fitness whether jogging or hiking through our trails, biking along The Legacy Trail or using outdoor exercise equipment found in several of our parks. One of our signature events is Fire Fest where families can learn how fire is used to manage natural lands.

NATURAL AREAS GUIDE

A GUIDE TO SARASOTA’S NATURAL AREAS

The goal of this guide is to help you discover a variety of ways to experience our community’s natural areas, learn about our amazing environment and wildlife, and enjoy being active, outdoors. Sarasota County’s vision is to be the premier community where people choose to live, work and play. Our network of natural areas is extensive and contributes to this goal by providing many special places to get outside, escape everyday stresses and enjoy all that these areas have to offer.

The Natural Areas Guide highlights 22 sites that feature exceptional outdoor recreational opportunities. For information on more of Sarasota County’s parks, natural areas and trails, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com. Get out there, share your experiences with others and enjoy!

To find a Natural Areas Guide, go to any Sarasota County recreation or nature center or view this publication online at SarasotaCountyParks.com (keywords Guides).

Together we can ensure that our community’s investments in these lands are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike and YOU can help others get off the beaten path and discover Sarasota’s natural areas.

41 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com, or call 311.
42 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. Dog-friendly Parks, Natural Areas and Trails Visit our dog-friendly areas, where dogs are welcome on a hand-held, maximum 6-foot leash. Bayou Oaks
Ridge Park Buchan Airpor t Community Park Culverhouse Nature Park Community gardens provide a place for individuals to grow vegetables, fruits and herbs. Gardeners can improve their families’ health and nutrition while reducing food costs For details, please contact UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County at 941-861-5000 or sarasota@ifas.u .edu. Laurel Park Nokomis Community Park Warm Mineral Springs Park COMMUNITY GARDENS NATURAL AREAS AND TRAILS Colonial Oaks Park Englewood Sports Complex Jelks Preserve Lakeview Park The Legacy Trail Nathan Benderson Park Nokomis Community Park
Estate Park Potter Park Red Bug Slough Preserve
Thaxton Preserve
Park Sleeping Turtles Preserve North Urfer Family Park and many more! For a complete list, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com Agriculture • Gardening/Landscaping • Natural Resources • Nutrition/Healthy Living • Sustainability • 4-H Youth Development An Equal Opportunity Institution. UF/IFAS Extension, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Andra Johnson, dean for UF/IFAS Extension. Sarasota County prohibits discrimination n all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at https://www.scgov.net/ADA UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County Find d your activity at EXTENSION scgov.net/extension sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasota 941.861.5000 sarasota@ifas.ufl.edu 6700 Clark Road, Twin Lakes Park (Green Building) Sarasota 34241-9328 • Classes, workshops and events (most free!) • 4-H youth clubs, camps and activities • Community and school gardens • Master Gardener Volunteer training • Free home irrigation evaluations • Plant Clinics: Expert plant and pest advice • Home energy workshops with upgrade kits • And much more Helping you build a better future Learn more and register at ufsarasotaext eventbrite com or sfyl ifas ufl edu/sarasota
Bee
Phillippi
Scherer
Shamrock

SARASOTA COUNTY’S FIRE FEST!

FIRE FEST! provides a first-hand look at how prescribed burns protect our communities and property from wildfires, as well as maintain Florida’s natural ecosystems for present and future generations. A part of Prescribed Fire Awareness Week, FIRE FEST! is a fun opportunity for the whole family to learn how fire is used carefully and effectively on our natural lands, right here in Sarasota County.

• Prescribed burn demos.

• Games zone for kids.

• Guided nature walks.

• Free food.

Where: T. Mabry Carlton, Jr. Memorial Reserve 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice

When: Saturday, Feb. 3 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (rain or shine)

Cost: Free

For more information, call 311.

Due to the ecologically sensitive nature of the area, dogs are not permitted at this event.

Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs and activities. View the complete policy at scgov.net (keywords ADA compliance). Public schools are permitted to make information available to parents regarding student activities offered by not-for-profit organizations. The School Board of Sarasota County provides this information as a service to students and their families. Distribution of this information does not constitute an endorsement of these activities.

CARLTON RESERVE

T. MABRY CARLTON, JR. MEMORIAL RESERVE, 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice

Also features: exceptional backcountry wilderness reserve with more than 100 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding.

ACTIVITIES

FIRE ECOLOGY: YOUTH SCIENCE PROGRAM

Dec. 13 / Ages: 11+ / Fee: Free / Meet at trailhead / Wednesday, 2-4 p.m.

Join us for a special youth science program all about prescribed fire! Participants will learn about the role of fire in sustaining Florida's fire-dependent ecosystems and its profound impact on ecological succession through hands-on activities and scientific observation. Students will explore the remarkable adaptations of plants and animals to survive fire and gain insight into the considerations of fire managers when planning prescribed burns. This program is recommended for children ages 11 and older and their families; however, all are welcome! Participants under 16 must attend with a parent or guardian.  Presented by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/691057269897

FAMILY BIKE RIDES AT THE CARLTON RESERVE

Dec. 17, Jan. 21, Feb. 18, March 17, April 21, May 19 / Ages: 11+ /

Fee: Free / Call for meeting spot / Third Sunday, 10 a.m. to noon

Bring the kids and explore this wilderness together. Come join Sarasota County volunteers David Reynolds and Jonah Sklaroff (expert off road bicyclists) for a fun and educational ride through the beautiful Carlton Reserve. View exciting wildlife in their environment and be one with nature as you roll along a mostly graveled/dirt road in hopes of catching a glimpse of Big Al at the turnaround point. Close-toed shoes and helmet required for all participants. Must be able to ride an off road bicycle. Technical biking skills not needed. Children must be accompanied by parent(s)/legal guardian(s).

Bring: Bicycle suitable for riding off the road (wide tires/Mountain bikes preferred, but not required), water, hat (for during breaks), sunscreen, insect repellent, (optional, but encouraged - bike gloves, binoculars and snacks/lunch). Routes may vary depending on trail conditions and group participants' skill levels on the day of the ride. (Some trails may have unexpected wild hog damage.) After you register your family, contact David (941) 412-5575 or Jonah (845) 399-9039 for meeting location. Pre-registration is required.

NATURE HIKE - BEGINNING BIRDING/ PHOTOGRAPHY

Oct. 3, Nov. 7, Dec. 5, Jan. 2, Feb. 6, March 5, April 2 / Ages: 18+ /

Fee: Free / See details for location / Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Join Sarasota County volunteer, Jim Bencivenga, for a short quiet hike at the Carlton Reserve. We will travel slowly and quietly, stopping for photo-ops as we go, taking in what nature has to offer that day. While we enjoy the serenity of this wonderful wilderness, we'll teach you some of the basics of birding as well as give you some photography ideas. Bring binoculars (bins) if you want to as well. We will cover up to 2 miles of natural trails. Participants must be able to hike, unassisted, over uneven/rough/potentially slippery and/or wet, muddy terrain. Wear/bring long pants, long sleeves, backpack, hiking poles, insect repellent, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, water, camera/smart phone, binoculars, hiking boots (or other suitable close-toed shoes with good traction, that may get wet/muddy). This hike is for up to 4 adult participants. You must be over 18 years old for this program! Please register with your name(s) and best phone number to call/text and your email. He will email/text you back to confirm your spot(s). Email will be from Jbencivenga948@gmail.com

OFF ROAD BIKE RIDE TO DEER PRAIRIE SLOUGH

Dec. 2, Jan. 6, Feb. 3, March 2 / Ages: 18+ / Fee: Free / See details for location / Saturday,10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Must be intermediate or advanced off road bicyclist. Enjoy the beautiful Carlton Reserve by joining Sarasota County volunteer Dan Hamari for an off road wilderness bicycle ride. The ride will go to Deer Prairie Slough bridge and back for a ride of approximately 10 miles. Destination may vary depending on trail conditions and group participants' skill level on the day of the ride. Bring: Bicycle suitable for riding on trails, helmet (required), water, recommend sunscreen, insect repellent, snacks, camera. Registration required. After you register with the county, contact Dan at dan@carltonreserve.org - email with your name(s) and best phone number to call/text. He will call/text to let you know where to meet.

EVENTS

CUB CRAWL

Jan. 6 / Ages 3-10 / Fee: Free / Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Pre-registration required. It’s sure to be a wild time as your young cub moves along a quarter-mile long obstacle course featuring ten age-appropriate challenges to inspire and educate young explorers. Mimicking native wildlife species, children will start the new year surrounded by nature and will complete their challenge by “adopting” one of the wildlife species they encountered along their journey. To register, call 941-861-PARK (7275) or visit SarasotaCountyParks.com

NATURAL AREAS 44 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

CARLTON RESERVE (continued)

T. MABRY CARLTON, JR. MEMORIAL RESERVE, 1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice

EVENTS

FIRE FEST

Feb. 3 / All ages / Fee: Free / Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Fire Fest is a fun family event that takes a look at how prescribed burns protect our communities and property from wildfires and maintains Florida’s natural ecosystems for present and future generations. Do you ever wonder why you see all those smoke columns across the horizon? Agencies from around the state come together to talk fire. Enjoy live fire demonstrations, helicopter bucket drops and nature tours. Kids will have a blast on the obstacle course, and will enjoy fun games and face painting in the Kid Zone. For more information, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 941-861-7275.

THE LEGACY TRAIL

The Legacy Trail is one of the most popular recreational trails in Sarasota County and now offers more than 30 miles of access! Thousands of walkers, joggers and cyclists use these trails every month to exercise, commute, connect to their community and experience nature. View a list of trailheads by scanning the QR code or by visiting SarasotaCountyParks.com.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT OUR PARKS?

Your feedback is valuable to us!

Visit surveymonkey.com/r/Z795MLM to take a survey to let us know how we’re doing. This survey should take about five minutes or less to complete.

45 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
NATURAL AREAS

CURRY CREEK PRESERVE

Note: Activities listed below are located at east entrance.

1500 Pinebrook Road, Venice (east entrance) • 1075 Albee Farm Road, Venice (west entrance)

Also features: Dog-friendly area and kayak launch at west entrance.

ACTIVITIES INTRODUCTION TO THE LONGLEAF PINE ECOSYSTEM

Jan. 8 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at east entrance at the hiking trail / Monday, 8:30-11 a.m.

Join a Sarasota County Environmental Specialist on a hike through the beautiful longleaf pine flatwoods of Curry Creek Preserve. Along the way, you’ll learn about the interesting life history of longleaf pines, their historical uses, some of the common plants and animals that inhabit longleaf habitats and potential threats to this increasingly rare ecosystem. For details, call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net.

RESTORATION OF NATIVE COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS

Feb. 5 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at east entrance at the hiking trail / Monday, 8-10:30 a.m.

Enjoy a hike along the trails of Curry Creek Preserve to learn about habitat restoration including invasive plant management in natural area parks of Sarasota County. A portion of this walk may go off trails through areas of the preserve along Curry Creek with a focus on the wetland transitional marsh communities. Participants should bring drinking water, wear closed-toe shoes and be comfortable walking on uneven surfaces.

ECOWALK: UNIQUE PRESERVES

April 16 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at east entrance / Tuesday, 9-11 a.m.

Join a UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County educator and learn more about our amazing and unique Florida ecosystems. Take a leisurely stroll through some of our most beautiful and environmentally sensitive lands that have been preserved in Sarasota County and learn more about what makes these areas so unique and important, the plants and animals that inhabit them, how to be watershed wise, and the management issues faced when trying to preserve these lands for future generations. Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708851904127

PLANT AND ANIMAL IDENTIFICATION WALK

March 4 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at east entrance at the hiking trail / Monday, 9-11 a.m.

Explore a variety of natural habitats with a Sarasota County Environmental Specialist who will identify both native and non-native plants and resident wildlife inhabiting our preserves. No matter the season, there is always something beautiful in bloom or the potential to see interesting wildlife. For details, call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net.

NATURAL AREAS 46 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
Palmetto skipper on Florida paintbrush Pond apple

DEER PRAIRIE CREEK PRESERVE

10201 South Tamiami Trail, Venice (south entrance)

Also features: Portions of the preserve that are adjacent to the Myakka River, the state designated Wild and Scenic River.

ACTIVITIES

DEER PRAIRIE CREEK GUIDED PADDLE

Feb. 10 / Ages: All / Fee: Free / Meet at kayak launch / Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Join us for a guided paddle of Deer Prairie Creek and the lower Myakka River! As we make our way downstream, your naturalist guide will interpret the plants and animals that call the river home and highlight ways you can help protect the Myakka River Watershed. We’ll stop for lunch at the Tarpon Grill and Marina (participants must purchase their own meal) before returning to the kayak lunch. This is an intermediate paddle not suitable for beginners. The paddle is approximately 3.5 miles round trip. Participants must provide their own kayak or canoe, paddle, life jacket, and whistle. Participants must wear a life jacket at all times while on the water. Program suitable for individuals ages 16 and older. Children under 16 years old may attend with a parent or guardian in a tandem kayak or canoe. Presented by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/668925071897

THE WILD SIDE OF SARASOTA COUNTY

Feb. 13 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at first parking area across from the first kayak launch / Tuesday, 8:30-10:30 a.m.

As Sarasota County becomes an urban metropolis, natural wild areas are an oasis for native plants and animals. Explore one of Sarasota County’s larger preserves with a Sarasota County Environmental Specialist. Hike through a variety of habitats learning about key plans and animal found there. There will be a focus on methods used to manage natural area preserves and the management challenges as the preserve becomes surrounded by development. Participants should wear comfortable footwear for walking on potentially soft or moist ground, be prepared for limited shade and bring drinking water. Reservations are required. Call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net to register.

Be sure to follow @SRQCountyGov on Facebook for your one-stop shop to live, learn and play in Sarasota County! Stay up to date on all things happening county-wide and when you’re there, check out #SRQCountyParks for upcoming park events.

NATURAL AREAS 47 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
Otter Photo by Carol Dicker

LEMON BAY PARK

570 Bay Park Blvd., Englewood

Also features: nature trails and boardwalks overlooking the bay. This park offers indoor and outdoor reservable space/pavilions.

ACTIVITIES

LEMON BAY F.I.S.H. PROJECT

December-June / Ages: 8 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at the amphitheater / Second Saturday, 9:30-11 a.m.

Calling all F.I.S.H. (Folks Interested in Submerged Habitats). 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 some of the many interesting fishes and other animals that inhabit Lemon Bay. Registration is required. For more information, contact Chuck Idelberger at 941-488-8998.

ECOWALK: MANGROVES

Dec. 5, Jan. 23, Feb. 20, March 26, April 5, May 14 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Environmental Center / Multiple days, 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Join UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County for an engaging walk into the fantastic world of mangroves on a tour through one of our local natural areas. These walks will focus on learning about the ecology of mangrove ecosystems, identification of mangroves and other species associated with them and wildlife viewing.

Registration required:

Dec 5: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/612313555327

Jan. 23: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708594684777

Feb. 19: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708630812837

March 26: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708835485017

April 5: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ 708840831007

May 14: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ 708838313477

CULTURAL CRAFTS

Dec. 7 and 21, Jan. 4 and 11, Feb. 1 and 15, March 1 and 15, April 5 and 19 / Ages: 18 + / Fee: Free (bring your own supplies) / Meet in the meeting room / Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Love quilting and its cultural heritage? Fabric arts and stitching date back thousands of years. Join fellow quilters of various backgrounds and skill levels to sew, share and learn new techniques. This program takes place indoors. To register, email ndsmith@scgov.net. For more information, call 941-861 PARK (7275).

SEASONS AND SERENDIPITY – LET’S GO GREEN, LET’S GO NORTH

Dec. 15, Jan. 26, Feb.16 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet in front of the Environmental Center / Fridays, 9-11 a.m.

The northern reaches of Lemon Bay Park contain 125-acres of mature pine flatwoods. Join us for a slow walk through this habitat to explore the myriad of plants and creatures that make this area their home. Hats, closed toe shoes, sunscreen and water are recommended. For more information, please call 941-861-PARK (7275).

PLANT AND ANIMAL IDENTIFICATION NATURE WALK

Feb. 5, Feb. 19 / Ages: 8 and up / Environmental Center / Mondays, 9-10:30 a.m.

Join Park Specialist Sean McGrail for a leisurely stroll among the ecosystems of Lemon Bay Park. We will look for signs of gopher tortoises and learn about this threatened keystone species. Hats, closed toe shoes, sunscreen and water are recommended. For details, please call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net.

ECOWALK: SHINRIN YOKU: “FOREST BATHING” MEDITATION IN THE PARKS

Jan. 10 and 24, Feb. 7 and 21, March 6 / Ages: Adult / Fee: Free / Meet at the Environmental Center / Wednesdays, 9-10 a.m.

Join us for a contemplative walk where we will practice mindfulness, breath work, and using all our senses to connect with nature. Bring a portable chair or towel as we will stop to sit along the trail.

Registration is required: https://www.eventbrite.com/cc/ecowalks-236989

KAYAK TOUR ON THE BAY

Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 8 / Fee: Free / Ages: 18 + / Meet at the kayak launch / Fridays, 9-11 a.m.

Do you enjoy paddling and exploring nature from a unique perspective? Join us while we explore the importance of mangroves and discuss the fish, birds and mammals that call Lemon Bay home. Participants must bring their own kayak and be prepared for a short portage to the water. Please note that kayakers are required by Florida statutes to have a wearable USCG-approved personal flotation device. This activity is weather permitting and registration is required and limited. To register, please call 941-861-PARK (7275) or contact parksonline@scgov.net.

NATURAL AREAS 48 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

LEMON BAY PARK (continued)

570

ACTIVITIES

FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY IN PERIL

Jan. 19 / Ages: All / Fee: Free / Meet at the meeting room / Friday, 9 a.m.

The state and federally threatened Florida scrub-jay is the only species of bird unique to Florida. Why have the numbers been on decline and is there anything we can do to help? Join Park Specialist Sean McGrail as he teaches us about Florida scrub-jays and their disappearing habitat. For more information, please call 941-861-PARK (7275).

ECOWALK: UNIQUE PARKS AND PRESERVES

March 14, June 6 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at Environmental Center / Thursdays, 9-11 a.m.

Join a UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension educator or volunteer to learn more about our amazing and unique Florida ecosystems. Take a leisurely stroll through some of our most beautiful and environmentally sensitive lands that have been preserved in Sarasota County and learn more about what makes these areas so unique and important, the plants and animals that inhabit them, how to be watershed wise, and the management issues faced when trying to preserve these lands for future generations.

Registration required:

March 14: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708721764877

June 6: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708839547167

ECOWALK: FAMILY SUNSET ADVENTURE

April 17 / All ages / Fee: Free / Meet at Environmental Center / Wednesday, 7-8:15 p.m.

Bring your family and join a UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County educator to enjoy the mysteries of nature with the setting sun. Discover the wonders of the natural world and learn about the animal and plant families that call the outdoors home. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration required:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708850530017

EVENTS

GOPHER TORTOISE DAY - TORTOISE TREK

April 12 / Ages: 12 and up / Environmental Center / Friday, 9 a.m.

Lemon Bay Park has hundreds of gopher tortoise burrows. Whether you live with tortoises in your backyard or have never seen a gopher tortoise, join us to learn more about what they eat, where they lay eggs, why they depend on fire and why the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has designated April 10 as Gopher Tortoise Day! Participants should wear comfortable closed-toe footwear. Be prepared for limited shade and exposure to the outdoors. Water and sunscreen are recommended. Call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net for more information.

NATURAL AREAS 49 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
Bay Park Blvd., Englewood
Register online at SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 941-861-PARK (7275). Sarasota County’s trusted camp provider for more than 40 years! Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources WHEN SCHOOL’S OUT, CAMP’S IN! • Camps to fit your family’s schedule. • Summer camps that are affordable! • Camps to suit your child’s interests.

MANASOTA SCRUB PRESERVE

2695

Bridge St., Englewood

Also features: Home to some of the county’s remaining scattered pockets of scrub habitat.

ACTIVITIES

INTRODUCTION TO NATURE JOURNALING

Jan. 18 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at Bridge Street parking area / Thursday, 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Rediscover the natural world through a combination of art, writing and investigation. Join us for a leisurely nature walk with a seated break to reflect, write and draw in the middle of a beautiful preserve. Reservations are required. Call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net to register.

BIRDING BASICS

Feb. 7 / Ages: All / Fee: Free / Meet at trailhead / Wednesday, 9-11:30 a.m.

Learn how to spot and identify birds in their natural habitat at this beginner birding program. Your little ones will learn essential skills and tips they need to become bird enthusiasts! Using hands-on games and activities, we will unlock the secrets of bird adaptations, showcasing the remarkable ways these creatures thrive in different environments. We'll also discover the importance of land conservation to the well-being of our feathered friends, ensuring their habitats remain safe and healthy for generations to come. This program is recommended for children and their families; however, all are welcome! Participants under 16 must attend with a parent or guardian.  Presented by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast.

Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/691099636617

ECOWALK: UNIQUE PRESERVES

Feb. 12, March 19 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at the Bridge Street parking area / Monday, Tuesday, 9-11 a.m.

Join a UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension educator and learn more about our amazing and unique Florida ecosystems. Take a leisurely stroll through some of our beautiful and environmentally sensitive lands that have been preserved in Sarasota County and learn more about what makes these areas unique and important, the plants and animals that inhabit them, how to be watershed wise and the management issues faced when trying to preserve these lands for future generations. Participants should wear comfortable, neutralcolored clothing, sunscreen and insect repellent and bring drinking water, camera (optional) and binoculars. To increase the possibility of seeing wildlife, pets will not be allowed on the walk. Sarasota County nature walks prohibit participants from smoking.

Registration required:

Feb. 12: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708624293337

March 19: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708821312627

Are you passionate about preserving our beautiful trails and promoting a healthier, more active community? If so, we invite you to become a member of Friends of The Legacy Trail. Simply scan the QR code below or visit friendsofthelegacytrail.org to learn more.

NATURAL AREAS 50 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

OLD MIAKKA PRESERVE

251 Myakka Road, Sarasota

Also features: four miles of trails that provide wildlife viewing opportunities including gopher tortoises, butterflies and songbirds.

ACTIVITIES

FIRE IN FLORIDA’S ECOSYSTEMS

Jan. 25 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at the picnic shelter / Thursday, 9-11 a.m.

Join Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Jeff Weber on a guided hike to tour pine flatwoods and scrub areas managed with prescribed fire. Participants will learn about the natural fire cycle and its importance, ways in which plants and animals have evolved to live with fire and how land managers carefully apply prescribed fire to duplicate natural conditions. For details, call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net.

PLANT AND ANIMAL IDENTIFICATION WALK

Feb. 20 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at information kiosk / Tuesday, 9-11 a.m.

Explore a variety of natural habitats with Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Jeff Weber who will identify both native and non-native plants and resident wildlife inhabiting our preserves. No matter the season, there is always something beautiful in bloom or the potential to see interesting wildlife. For details, call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net.

ECOWALK: UNIQUE PRESERVES

March 9 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at picnic shelter / Saturday, 9-11 a.m.

Join a UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension educator to learn more about our amazing and unique Florida ecosystems. Take a leisurely stroll through some of our most beautiful and environmentally sensitive lands that have been preserved in Sarasota County and learn more about what makes these areas so unique and important, the plants and animals that inhabit them, how to be watershed wise, and the management issues faced when trying to preserve these lands for future generations.

Registration required:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708691554517

OLD MIAKKA WILDFLOWER WALK AND BIOBLITZ

April 27 / Ages: All / Fee: Free / Meet at information kiosk / Saturday, 9-10:00 a.m.

Join us for a naturalist-guided hike at Old Miakka Preserve as we look for Florida's spring wildflowers! We will explore the preserve at a leisurely pace, stopping to observe and identify wildflowers as we walk. Participants will learn about the pressures facing native plants and will receive resources for growing a native garden at home. This program is suitable for all ages. Participants under 16 must attend with a parent or guardian. Presented by the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast.

SUPPORT THE PARKS YOU LOVE WITH FRIENDS OF SARASOTA COUNTY PARKS

No one can do it alone, and the Friends of Sarasota County Parks organization is certainly no exception. Established in 2003, the Friends is a 501(c)(3) organization founded to support the efforts of Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources with maintaining and increasing the value and importance of our parks as places of natural beauty, recreation and education for all. For more information, visit foscp.org or email president@foscp.org.

Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/691129235147

NATURAL AREAS 51 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

NATURAL AREAS

PINECRAFT PARK

1420 Gilbert Ave., Sarasota

Also features: A quiet oasis and a community gathering space on Phillippi Creek, this park has mature oak trees and abundant shade. A nature trail winds through the mesic hammock on the south side of the park.

ACTIVITIES

ECOWALK: INVASIVE PLANTS

March 1 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at the north side parking area / Friday, 9-11 a.m.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is Feb. 26-March 2, 2024. Take a leisurely walk through Pinecraft Park to learn more about invasive plants and their impacts on Florida's ecosystems. Non-native invasive plants and animals are one of the leading threats to biodiversity around the world. They can also negatively affect property values, agricultural productivity, public utilities, fisheries, tourism, outdoor recreation and ecosystem function. Join UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County educator Dr. Katherine Clements and learn how to identify many of these plants and animals, hear about how and when they were introduced to our region and find out what you can do to be a responsible property owner. Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708664724267

POCONO TRAIL PRESERVE

189 Pocono Trail E., Nokomis

Also features: waterfront preserve on Shakett Creek, observation platform, shady trails.

ACTIVITIES

MANGROVES, ESTUARIES AND UPLANDS

Jan. 22 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at east entrance picnic table / Monday, 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Join us to learn how to identify our native mangroves and the important role they play in the estuarine food web and in providing nesting area rookeries for a wide variety of wading bird species. Enjoy this shady hike and discover how slight changes in elevation lead from an oak/palm dominated forest to the mangrove fringe along the shoreline of Shakett Creek. Participants should wear comfortable closed-toe footwear. Water and sunscreen is recommended. For details, call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net.

WATERSHED WONDERS

Dec. 20 / Ages: 6+ / Fee: Free / Meet at trailhead / Wednesday, 2-4 p.m.

In this engaging program, children will discover the wonderful world of water and gain a deeper understanding of local watersheds. Through experiments and hands-on activities, students will learn about the water cycle and simulate real-life watershed challenges using a miniature watershed model. Students will discuss how our actions on land affect the water, and how wetlands and natural areas are crucial for protecting local water quality. This program is recommended for children ages 6 to 10 and their families; however, all are welcome! Participants under 16 must attend with a parent or guardian. Presented by Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast. Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/691088703917

FROM EARLY INHABITANTS TO POLLYANNA: THE HISTORY OF POCONO TRAIL PRESERVE

March 11 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at Nokomis Community Center on Nippino Trail / Monday, 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Join a Sarasota County Environmental Specialist for a 1-hour walk in the preserve. Discover the interesting history of the preserve and the surrounding towns of Venice and Nokomis. Learn about people of the Manasota Culture, the interesting stories of local pioneers, including Dr. Fred Albee, and the luxury hotel known as the Pollyanna Inn that once stood on this site. Along the way, enjoy the beautiful live oak and cabbage palm hammocks and occasional glimpses of Shakett Creek as you learn about the history of this interesting area. For details, call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net.

52 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

Caesarweed (invasive plant)
NATURAL AREAS 53 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311. Think before you throw… No matter where you go. Created by Sarasota County Communications 5.17.2021 With more than 55,000 acres of parks and preserves, Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources invites you to explore our beautiful county. For a complete list of parks and preserves, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com.

RED BUG SLOUGH PRESERVE

5200 Beneva Road, Sarasota

Also features: Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail, shady trails, butterfly garden.

ACTIVITIES

ECOWALK: FAMILY MOONLIGHT ADVENTURE

Feb. 21 / All ages / Fee: Free / Meet at information kiosk / Wednesday, 7-8:15 p.m.

Bring your family and join a UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County educator to enjoy the mysteries of the moonlight. Discover the wonders of the night sky and observe nature by night. A night adventure awaits you to explore the natural environment and learn about the animal and plant families that call the outdoors home. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration required:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708640431607

ECOWALK: FAMILY BIRDING 101

Feb. 24 / All Ages / Fee: Free / Meet at information kiosk / Saturday, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Join a UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County educator for a leisurely walk through this unique Preserve to view the many birds that make Red Bug Slough Preserve their home. Bring binoculars and learn where to look and how to identify our local bird friends. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708653259977

ECOWALK: SHINRIN YOKU: “FOREST BATHING” MEDITATION IN THE PARKS

March 2, April 15, May 3 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at the information kiosk / Saturday, Monday, Friday, 9-10 a.m.

Many traditions use some form of meditation, focus, contemplation, reflection or breath work to quiet the mind and center the body and spirit. Recent scientific research has shown that Shinrin yoku (a form of “forest bathing” practiced in Japan) decreases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lowers pulse rate and blood pressure and decreases sympathetic nerve activity (our fight or flight response). Research also indicates being in nature increases brain alpha waves (relaxed awareness), improves concentration and problem-solving ability, improves self-esteem and has immune system benefits that may decrease our risk for developing disease. Join us for an exploration of finding peace within nature and get healthier along the way! No prior experience needed. Wear comfortable, loose clothing and bring water and a portable chair or blanket to sit upon as we will stop to sit along the trail. Guided by a UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County educator or volunteer.

Registration is required:

March 2: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708683851477

April 15: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708841382657

May 3: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708842084757

PLANT AND ANIMAL IDENTIFICATION WALK

March 7 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at information kiosk / Thursday, 9-11 a.m.

Explore a variety of natural habitats with Sarasota County Environmental Specialist Jeff Weber who will identify both native and non-native plants and resident wildlife inhabiting our preserves. No matter the season, there is always something beautiful in bloom or the potential to see interesting wildlife. For details, call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net.

NATURAL AREAS 54 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
Summer farewell

2022 SARASOTA COUNTY PARK FAST FACTS

Acres of park land | 55,000

County-managed parks | 150

Miles of trails | 444

Miles of beaches | 35

Number of playgrounds | 45

Number of athletic fields | 92

Number of beaches | 14

SCHERER THAXTON PRESERVE

13125 Honore Ave., Osprey

Also features: 287

ACTIVITIES

PINE FLATWOODS ECOSYSTEM

Jan. 2 / Ages: 12 and up / Meet in the parking lot / Tuesday, 8-9:30 a.m.

Learn about the preserves natural communities on a hike deep into the pine flatwoods and marshes. This once expansive ecosystem has historically been impacted by development and other land use changes in Florida over the last 100 years. Gain an understanding of natural processes and resource management techniques including prescribed fire and invasive plant control. Participants should bring water and sturdy footwear.

NATURAL AREAS 55 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
acres of pine flatwoods and depressional wetlands. A marked fitness trail surrounds the lake and primitive hiking trails link to Oscar Scherer State Park and The Legacy Trail. Seasonally, primitive trails will be wet.
lilies
Pine

SHAMROCK PARK

3900 Shamrock Drive, Venice

Also features: 2.3-mile paved multi-use trail for wildlife viewing, hiking and biking located on the Intracoastal Waterway. This park offers indoor and outdoor reservable space. Visit scgov.net (keyword reservations) or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

DEMONSTRATION GARDEN TOUR

Jan. 4, Feb. 1, March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6 / Ages: 18 and up /

Fee: Free / Demonstration Garden / First Thursday, 9 a.m.

Master Gardener volunteers will be in the Demonstration Garden at Shamrock Park to answer questions, provide free tours and give expert advice on Florida-friendly landscaping. No registration necessary. For more information, call 941-861-7275.

SEASONS AND SERENDIPITY STROLL

Jan. 12, Feb. 9, March 8 / Ages: 12 and up /

Fee: Free / Nature Center / Second Fridays, 9-11 a.m.

Join Shamrock Park staff as they stroll trails that rely on changing seasons to bring us new flowers, birds’ nests, insects and animal activity. For more information and to register, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 941-861-7275.

ECOWALK: UNIQUE PARKS AND PRESERVES

Feb. 8, May 10 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet outside Nature Center / Thursday, Friday, 9-11 a.m.

Join a UF/IFAS Sarasota County Extension educator or volunteer to learn more about our amazing and unique Florida ecosystems. Take a leisurely stroll through some of our most beautiful and environmentally sensitive lands that have been preserved in Sarasota County future generations.

Registration required:

Feb 8: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708613410787

May 10: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708847019517

ECOTALK AND WALK: INVASIVE SPECIES

March 1 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Classroom / Friday, 2-3:30 p.m.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) is Feb. 26-March 2, 2024. To increase your awareness of the impact of invasive species in Florida, join Dr. Katherine Clements, UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County ecology and natural resources educator for a 45-minute talk about how to identify non-native, invasive plants and animals. Learn about how and when they were introduced to our region, and find out what you can do to be a responsible property owner. Weather permitting we will also take a walk and try to spot some invasives!

Registration required:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708671905747

INVASIVE PLANT PULL

March 2 / Ages 8 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at Nature Center / Saturday, 9:30-10:30 a.m.

National Invasive Species Awareness Week is Feb. 26- March 2, 2024! Join us to show your support for our environment and learn how to manage invasive species in our own back yards. Park Naturalists will explain what invasive species are and how they harm our environment. The group will get a chance for some hands-on experience pulling those pesky invaders! Join us to learn how we, as Sarasota County residents, can help keep Sarasota beautiful and how to spread the word. Please contact Parks Naturalist, Teresa Good with questions tjgood@scgov.net. Please wear sneakers or closed toed/closed heel shoes and bring water and garden gloves. Sunscreen and bug spray are recommend.

Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708677402187

ECOTALK: URBAN WILDLIFE

March 26 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Classroom / Tuesday, 3-4:15 p.m.

Join Dr. Katherine Clements, UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County ecology and natural resources educator to learn about the amazing animals you may encounter in your residential areas, how to minimize human wildlife conflict by being informed, and how you can play a role in fostering a peaceful coexistence between ourselves and the wild lands we are encroaching upon.

Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708828012667

NATURAL AREAS 56 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
ACCESS TO

SLEEPING TURTLES PRESERVE NORTH

3462 Border Road, Venice

Also features: Multiple passive recreation opportunities and preserves the character and quality of the Myakka River.

ACTIVITIES

ECOWALK: UNIQUE PRESERVES

Jan. 19, Jan. 29, April 12 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at the north side parking area / Friday, Monday, Friday, 9-11 a.m.

Join a UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County educator or volunteer and learn more about our amazing and unique Florida ecosystems. Take a leisurely stroll through some of our most beautiful and environmentally sensitive lands that have been preserved in Sarasota County and learn more about what makes these areas so unique and important, the plants and animals that inhabit them, how to be watershed wise, and the management issues faced when trying to preserve these lands for future generations. Participants should wear comfortable, neutral-colored clothing, sunscreen and insect repellent. Bring drinking water, camera (optional) and binoculars. To increase the possibility of seeing wildlife, pets will not be allowed on the walk. Sarasota County nature walks prohibit participants from smoking.

Registration required:

Jan. 19: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708585206427

Jan. 29: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708608486057

April 12: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708848303357

Call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net for more information.

NATURAL AREAS 57 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.

SOUTH VENICE LEMON BAY PRESERVE

6200 Osprey Road, Venice

Also features: A peaceful retreat for visitors and a refuge for several protected animals and plants.

ACTIVITIES

ECOWALK: SCRUB STROLL AND EAGLE NEST

Jan. 3 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at the Osprey Road parking area / Wednesday, 9-11 a.m.

Join Dr. Katherine Clements, ecology and natural resources educator with UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County, for a stroll through the scrub, a unique environment in an ancient dune system. This habitat is home to a variety of plants and animals. Learn about threatened, endemic and keystone species such as the Florida scrub-jay and gopher tortoise. Appreciate the wonders of the scrub and how we can help protect this dwindling habitat. Participants should wear comfortable footwear for walking in soft sand. Be prepared for limited shade. Pets are not allowed in South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve. Sarasota County nature walks prohibit participants from smoking. Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708560803437

FAMILY ECOWALK: SCRUB STROLL AND EAGLE NEST

Jan. 13 / All Ages / Fee: Free / Meet at Osprey Road parking area / Saturday, 9:30-11 a.m.

Join our UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County ecology and natural resources educator for a stroll through the scrub, a unique environment in an ancient dune system. Learn about threatened, endemic, and keystone specie such as the Florida scrub-jay and gopher tortoise and how we can help protect this imperiled ecosystem. Bring binoculars to view the eagle's nest and potentially catch a glimpse of the parents or eaglets before returning along this 1.5 mile round trip stroll. Be prepared for walking through soft sand and limited shade. Pets are not allowed in this Preserve. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

Registration required:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708573391087

GOPHER TORTOISE DAY - TORTOISE TREK

April 9 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at 6200 Osprey Road, Venice / Tuesday, 9 a.m.

South Venice Lemon Bay Preserve is home to many gopher tortoises. Join us to learn more about their ecological importance, natural history, behavior and why the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has designated April 10th as Gopher Tortoise Day! Participants should wear comfortable closed-toe footwear and bring drinking water. Be prepared for limited shade and exposure to the outdoors. Reservations are required. Call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net to register.

MANAGING FOR THE ENDEMIC FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY

April 30 / Ages: 12 and up / Fee: Free / Meet at 6200 Osprey Road, Venice / Tuesday, 8:30-10:30 a.m.

The Florida scrub-jay is Florida’s only endemic bird, living in scrubby flatwoods and scrub habitats. Learn what kind of requirements the birds require to thrive and how the preserve is managed to meet the scrub-jay’s needs. Participants should bring binoculars and drinking water, wear comfortable clothing, walking shoes, sunscreen and insect repellent. Pets are not allowed. Sarasota County nature walks prohibit participants from smoking. Space is limited to 12 people. Reservations are required. Call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net for more information.

NATURAL AREAS 58 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
Gopher tortoise

THE LEGACY TRAIL

Multiple trailheads

Also features: The Legacy Trail is one of the most popular recreational trails in Sarasota County and now offers more than 30 miles of access! View a list of trailheads by scanning the QR code on this page or by visiting SarasotaCountyParks.com.

ACTIVITIES

Osprey Junction Trailhead, 939 Bay Street, Osprey

PEDICAB RIDES

Feb. 1-April 18 / Ages: 5+ / Fee: Free / Meet at the Osprey Junction Trailhead Visitor Center / Thursdays, 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m.

Enjoy a fun and relaxing ride on the pedicab. Sign up for a 45-minute guided tour of The Legacy Trail. The Pedicab accommodates two guests per ride. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Florida law requires that all riders younger than 16 years of age must wear a fastened bicycle helmet. Advance registration is required. Call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net to register.

KIDS BIKE SAFETY RODEO

March 30 / Ages: 8-13 / Fee: Free / Meet in the public parking lot adjacent to The Legacy Trail / Saturday, 8:30-11:30 a.m. Get the kids outside and boost their self-confidence and independence. This bike rodeo will focus on key bike safety lessons and all children will be fitted for and given a free helmet! Please note that all participants must bring their own bicycle (must be in good working order), should have the basic skills needed to balance and ride a bike and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Florida law requires that all riders younger than 16 years of age must wear a fastened bicycle helmet. Registration is required and limited to 16 participants. Reservations are required. Call 941-861-7275 or email parksonline@scgov.net to register.

The Legacy Trail Trailheads

Introducing the Natural Areas Story Map

Developed by UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County in partnership with Sarasota County Parks, Recreation, and Natural Resources, use the “Natural Areas Story Map” to:

• Take a virtual, guided hike through select county parks and preserves

• Learn about the plants, animals, and habitats at each location

• View photos taken along the trail

• Find more information and resources about Sarasota County’s natural areas

NATURAL
59 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
AREAS
LEARN MORE tiny.cc/ufsaraext_naturestorymap QUESTIONS? 941.861.5000 or sarasota@ifas.ufl.edu Take it on your mobile device to learn onsite or explore virtually from anywhere!

Do you know the power of your local parks and recreation? Yes, they provide beautiful green spaces and fun programs, but they do so much more and the benefits are immense. Learn more at www.nrpa.org/power-of-parks and watch the video.

PARKS HAVE ENVIRONMENTAL POWER

1 ACRE OF TREES absorbs the carbon dioxide produced by DRIVING A CAR 11,000 MILES.

PARKS HAVE SAFETY POWER

In Macon, GA, a revitalized park that included new programming and beautification efforts reduced incidents of crime and violence by 50% .

PARKS HAVE HEALTH POWER

Increased access to places for physical activity leads to a 25% increase in people exercising 3 or more days a week.

PARKS HAVE COMMUNITY POWER

Parks strengthen community ties and bring diverse populations together.

Parks have the power to strengthen communities, transform lives, and protect the future.

Parks are the most powerful aspect of every community. #PowerOfParks

NATURAL AREAS 60 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
THE POWER OF PARKS
Sources: Centers for Disease Control, Environmental Protection Agency, American Planning Association

URFER FAMILY PARK

4012 Honore Ave., Sarasota

Also features: fitness equipment (outdoor), paved fitness trail, nature trail, boardwalk overlooking wetlands, historical Dr. C.B. Wilson House. This park offers outdoor reservable space/pavilions. Visit scgov.net (keyword reservations) or contact 941-861-PARK (7275).

ACTIVITIES

FITNESS IN THE PARK: FIT AS A FIDDLE FOR 50-PLUS

Dec. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 / Ages: Adult / Fee: Free / Pavilion / Friday,| 9-10 a.m.

Looking for an opportunity to get a little fresh air and meet new people? Increase your sense of well-being and quality of life through gentle exercise and companionship in a beautiful natural setting. This is a gentle workout and not for advanced fitness buffs. For details, call 941-861-7275.

HISTORY IN THE PARK: DR. C.B. WILSON HOUSE OPEN HOUSES

December-May / All ages / Fee: Free / C.B. Wilson House / Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon

Take a self-guided tour through the historic Dr. C.B. Wilson House to learn about the house, the Wilson family and other historical aspects of Sarasota County. Volunteer docents are on site to guide you through the house and to answer your questions. For details, call 941-861-7275.

ECOWALK: INCREDIBLE AQUATIC INVERTEBRATES

April 23 / Ages: 12 to adult / Fee: Free / Kiosk / Tuesday, 9-10:30 a.m.

Join our UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County educator and insect enthusiast, Jackie Lebouitz, on a tour through the park while we learn about the link between aquatic insects, water quality, and ecosystem health as well as how to collect, identify, and appreciate all the 6-legged crawlers among us. Aquatic insects, like dragonfly nymphs, caddisflies, and bloodworms serve a very important purpose in our local freshwater ecosystems! Many of us associate our ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams with fishing, birds, and the occasional alligator. All of these have one thing in common, they depend on the presence of aquatic insects for survival. These insects, in turn, depend on water that is relatively healthy and free of pollutants.

Registration required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/708855805797

ROTHENBACH PARK FITNESS COURSE

ELEVATE fitness course at Rothenbach Park brings together a series of challenging physical obstacles that an individual or team can take on! Levels of challenge include options for beginners, intermediate and advanced fitness users ages 5+.

For more information, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com

NATURAL AREAS PROGRAMS AND WALKS

Are you interested in having a programs or walk for your group, HOA or organization beyond what is offered in this guide? We're here to help!

For more info, call 311.

NATURAL AREAS 61 For more information and registration, visit SarasotaCountyParks.com or call 311.
Flatwoods red rat snake
Sarasota County prohibits discrimination in all services, programs or activities. View the complete policy at scgov.net (keywords ADA compliance) HOW TO REACH US: Mailing address: Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources 1660 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota FL 34236 Phone: 941-861-5000 or 311 Follow us @SRQCountyGov | SarasotaCountyParks.com JOIN OUR TEAM! View Sarasota County Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources job opportunities at scgov.net/jobs or call 311.
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.