Monday, April 30, 2007

Essential addresses

This post contains key addresses for people in the Lake Sarasota Community Group.

Mailing address:

Lake Sarasota Community Group
PO Box 21983
Sarasota, FL 34276

Email addresses:

Debbie Marks, Neighborhood Services Liaison
Laura Mathis, Newsletter and leadership
Dawn Steele, Treasurer and Beautification
Tisha, Beautification
Blog, Communications

Some of our resident landscapers

Landscaping progressed at the Mauna Loa Entrance Saturday:

Laura and her son, Tyler, along with Dawn, Tisha and Debbie spent a good deal of the morning planting and mulching. Vivian also helped but wasn't around for the photo-op. Still to be planted: a couple of palms behind the signs.

The plants are all natives, and, says Tisha, will not need a lot of water or maintenance. She's going to update us with a list of the plants here in case anyone else is interested in brightening their own entrances.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Lost and Found

A helpful tip from a neighbor: If you have lost a pet or valuable item and wish to post a lost and found notice, keep in mind that the Lake Sarasota community newsgroup can be ideal for getting the word out.

The group can issue an email to all its members, nearly all of whom are residents. Addresses or phone numbers will only be seen by members, and are not visible outside of the group.

So if you or a neighbor have the need, keep the group in mind. If you're not a member, it only takes a minute to join.

Also, if you have lost a pet, especially a dog, be sure to post a notice at the dog park. It's a hub for dog lovers, and they and their network can be on the lookout in neighborhoods beyond Lake Sarasota.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Sign with Landscaping

The landscaping has only begun -- more to come. Major high fives to everyone -- especially to Laura and Dawn -- for working hard to make all this happen.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Signs of Renewal

Our neighborhood park (Lakeview) has seen some improvements lately, and during the cool hours of April, it’s nice to stroll its “hills” and swerving waterways and to glimpse its wealth of living creatures.

The dog park, disc golf course and petanque playcourt are all getting good use, but the park also offers passive rewards just as it is.

On a recent evening walk, I noticed that the county has installed at least two anchored wooden benches – one down by the public boat ramp, the other on the “point” of land that recently got a haircut. (One whole side of foliage was taken down at the request of the Sheriff, in order to give patrol cars a view from the pavilion area.)

There's more:
  • The public bathrooms are also looking quite clean after getting new doors, new paint, and new lighting – at least it looks like new, larger amber light fixtures.
  • The county also came in and trimmed a lot of deadwood along the water’s edges –- this at the request of the Fire Department -- and pulled a picnic table out of the trees.
  • Someone – probably Parks and Rec – painted and spruced up the pavilion grill, and is now installing new picnic tables.
  • Fire ant killer has been applied to the myriad antpiles that've popped up in the past month.
  • And a group of Sarasota disc golf players spent an entire Sunday fixing up goals and tees that had suffered from weather and vandalism, pouring concrete at their own expense.
  • All these welcome improvements came not long after some Lake Sarasota residents spent a March weekend cleaning out dead tree limbs, brush, and litter. George Morgan in particular did an amazing job pulling everything from picnic tables to beer bottles out of the canals. A lot of people came out and helped.
It'll come as no surprise that, as a result of these retouchings, the park seems to be getting treated with more respect. There's less litter, for one thing. And graffiti has not returned (yet) to mar the bathrooms or grill. The canals have remained relatively free from trash, the wandering picnic tables have stayed out of the trees and canals, and dog owners seem to be taking more pains to collect deposits.

So, right about now it’s a pleasure to walk around Lakeview Park. Its rather extravagant origins as a developer’s fantasia -- complete with goosey gondolas and water skiing elephants -- have relaxed into a tamed wildness filled with amazing birds (as Lynne’s slides attest), turtles, fish, and at least one young gator.

The other evening, as I walked my dog Max, there was a powerful whirr of wings to our right. The large blur settled onto a high limb, and looked at us through the large attentive eyes of a barred owl. It watched as we walked by, then, as we were about to cross the bridge, it gave one great echoing hoot. As if to say, “ok!”

Thanks to everyone who pitched in. The park is looking good. That's not to say it couldn't look better. A brief wishlist might include:
  1. A dispenser for doggie bags near the pavilion.
  2. Removal of some dead trees, and a good dose of fertilizer for the rest.
  3. Planting new trees to replace those that have been removed.
  4. Getting some tips from environmentalists on how to freshen up the lakewaters.
  5. And, as long as we're wishing: restore the pumps that apparently are still there in the park to get the water in the canals circulating.
Any more ideas for the park or the lakes? Drop us a line.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Birds of Lake Sarasota

These are some of the birds that live, nest, and raise families in Lakeview Park, and along the edges and on the little rookery island in Lake Sarasota. They offer quite a variety of species. All photos were taken by Lynne, who lives on the lake.

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"When you come to Lakeview Park, bring your camera and binoculars," says Lynne, adding,"our good fortune at having these beautiful birds in our midst comes with a responsibility to protect them."

Friday, April 13, 2007

Picnic Postponed: Same Time, May 6

It was just not to be. Now they're talking tornadoes along with lightning and thunder. Please mark your calendars, it's only three weeks away.

What: Spring Fling
When: May 6th 1 to 4 p.m.
Where: Pavilion on Lake Sarasota (In Lakeview Park, take Hand Drive off of Hand Road at the Dog Park and head down to the Lake).

Remind us never to schedule a picnic on Tax Day!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

13 reasons to come to the Spring Fling

  1. Free Food - burgers, hot dogs, potato salads, and all sorts of dishes and desserts cooked, baked or otherwise prepared by your neighbors.
  2. Meet your neighbors.
  3. Make something at the crafts table.
  4. Take Citizens Patrol training.
  5. Skyline
    (the band)

  6. Find out about the flaky Florida history of Lake Sarasota.
  7. Sign up for one of your neighborhood helper groups: Yard of the Month - Citizens Patrol - Beautification - Lakes - Clean-up - Communications
  8. Meet your local police.
  9. Sign up for the next Community Yard Sale (coming May 19th)
  10. Meet County representatives who know about stormwater, parks, recreation, and more.
  11. Did we mention free food?
  12. Raffles - with cool prizes - gift baskets, a boat ride for a party of four!
When: Sunday, May 6, 1-4 p.m.
Where: Pavilion, Lakeview Park
Why: See above
Bring: A dish, a chair and a neighbor

(There are a few volunteer jobs open at the picnic for anyone who wishes to join in - volunteers will begin preparations at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Pavilion)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Coming up

Tuesday April 10: General Meeting of the Lake Sarasota Community Group, 7 p.m. at Sarasota Baptist, Hand Rd.

We'll be making final plans for the Spring Fling on Sunday, April 15. Anyone wishing to help set up can meet at the Pavilion on Sunday at 11 a.m. The Picnic goes from 1 - 4 p.m. and will include games, face painting, raffles, food, community information, and people from the County to speak with about issues that interest you.

If you're coming out, try to bring a chair and a dish. Sarasota County is supplying tables, tents, and helping out with food and many other things.

One cool raffle prize: A two hour ride on a boat from Freedom Boat Club for a party of 4!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Spring Fling is ... postponed

Your neighborhood park might not look like this today --

but if you come out to the picnic, you'll have the chance to learn about the rather unusual origins of Lake Sarasota, complete with tropical gardens and "aquabelles":

New date: May 6th, 1-4 p.m., at the Pavilion on the Lake.

Bring a dish and a chair.