“The main goal of the
Friends of Sarasota County Parks
is to bring participants and volunteers into the parks.”
That’s our Mission Statement in a nutshell. Fact is, the Friends consistently log over 1,000 volunteer hours each month. No list of all the activities/projects of this group of dedicated volunteers could be all-inclusive — a lot of people are doing a lot of neat things for your Sarasota County Parks.
In no particular order, then, here’s some of what the Friends and our 20+ Chapters have been up to this year:
At Phillippi Estate Park, the Friends are donating funds for the rehabilitation of the Edson Keith Farmhouse. And our volunteers staff the Farmhouse Market‘s welcome tent every Wednesday from October – April.
The Friends of the Carlton Reserve have been super busy. On their site you’ll find long list of all the wonderful things they have been working on this past year. Here’s our storyabout a few of them.
The Friends of Community Gardens are installing solar pump wells for irrigation, new sheds and compost bins, mushroom gardens, orchards and stormwater cisterns. Some of the six community gardens are developing seed plots, developing a list of the best vegetables for our environment and cataloging the insect species.
The Friends of Adaptive Rowing have purchased more shells and are gearing up for another regatta season at the Nathan Benderson Park.
In Englewood, the Friends of Indian Mound Park have installed a surveillance camera and are planning a second camera. Occupancy motion sensors have been installed in the restrooms. Timer locks have been installed on both the south side male and female restrooms doors and one is scheduled to go on the north side unisex restroom door. Elements of the pavilion have been repainted and large rocks have been placed in the grass bowl.
Lekatchka Archery folks have added 22 new shooting lanes, replaced 14 new back stops for our targets, added a new Cook Shed, and added all new signs for the range. They’ve purchased 16 new 3-D inserts, placed six new benches throughout the range, added lighting on our 29-yard range for evening shooting and cleaned our fence lines. Also, they worked with a student group from Michigan.
“We’re in the process of obtaining shells for our parking area and hope to obtain a new 4-wheel MULE to place our targets out. We’d like to get additional benches to place around the range, and stands for drinking water. A new refrigerator is next on our list!”
The Friends of the Legacy Trail just finished a very successful Tour de Parks and are now on a capital campaign drive to raise funds for the feasibility study for the extension of the Legacy Trail to downtown Sarasota. They are involved with FDOT in the Laurel Street overpass and have informational booths along the trail.
Friends of Sarasota County Parks (Friends) are working on a new “recognition fish” program at the North Jetty Park andengraved pavers at the new Siesta Beach pavilion. They are preparing a County facility/event sponsorship program, and schedule numerous volunteers for the parks and handle the administration expenses for the Chapters.
The Friends moved the Dr. Wilson House to Urfer Family Park, the Decagon Houses to Buchan Community Park, and the Cookie House to Cedar Point Park.
The Friends are now working on securing donations for a shade structure over every set of athletic bleachers in the County.
FOSCP purchased the GPS units for gopher tortoise surveys and a new Boom-Box for the Scrub-jay inventory. They built a volunteer garage at Shamrock Park and worked with the Friends of Shamrock Park and Arlington Park on their new butterfly gardens. They have been involved in the construction of two neighborhood playgrounds, improvements at theHopewell Memorial Park (Cemetery) and the design and construction of the Skip Stasko Park.
A few Friends’ volunteers designed and built a school garden on top of an asphalt basketball court which was interesting and fun.
Our Friends of the Paw Parks chapter has been coordinating with Sarasota Parks and Rec people to help improve the dog parks. They’ve also created and published a handy Paw Park locator card and a brochure that illustrates Paw Park responsibilities.
Yes, the list goes on:
There’s plenty more to tell, but this gives you an idea of what the Chapters of FOSCP are doing for our parks.
Are parks important? You bet! Check out the research that shows how parks and public lands contribute to the health, well being, and economic strengthof communities across the United States.
Many volunteers are working hard to make this community a better place to live and play. Would you like to join us? If yes, please contact President@FOSCP.org.
On May 6th, starting at noon, we are participating in the Giving Challenge with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. We welcome your support to continue the efforts of these volunteers. Any amount is welcome, but $25 or more makes a big difference.
So here’s the ***Action Item***:
Please go to www.GivingPartnerChallenge.org between noon May 6 and noon May 7th to support of the Friends of Sarasota County Parks (FOSCP) with your donation.
P.S. Friends of Sarasota County Parks, Inc. could not do this alone. It takes a dedicated/talented Board of Directors and an excellent working relationship with Sarasota County Parks staff and County Commissioners that makes all this possible. To them we say THANK YOU.